Uniquely imagined and vividly evoked, André Alexis’s prize-winning novel chronicles the childhood – or perhaps the loss of childhood – of Thomas MacMillan, who sets out to piece together the early years of his life. Raised in a Southern Ontario town in the ’50s and ’60s, Thomas is abandoned to the care of his eccentric Trinidadian grandmother. Then, at ten, his mother, Katarina, reclaims him, taking him to Ottawa and to the once-splendid Victorian home of Henry Wing, a gentle conjurer whose love of science and the imagination becomes an important legacy. But is he Thomas’s father? Moving and wryly humorous, Childhood tells the story of a man’s quest for what is lost, bringing him closer to the truth about himself.
About the author
- Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
André Alexis was born in Trinidad in 1957 and grew up in Canada. His debut novel, Childhood (1998), won the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, shared the Trillium Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Rogers Communications Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. It has been published around the world. He is also the author of an internationally acclaimed collection of short stories, Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa (1994), which was shortlisted for a Regional Commonwealth Prize, and he has published a play, Lambton Kent (1999).
André Alexis lives in Toronto, where he is at work on his next novel.
“The love affair between a young black boy’s wayward mother and a man who may or may not be his father forms the intriguing background to this enormously appealing first novel…An impressive new voice.”
“A stellar performance.”
–Globe and Mail
“A most meticulous investigation of the human heart, beautifully bittersweet. André Alexis is a genuine talent.”
–Richard Bachmann, A Different Drummer Books
“Elegant and understated.”
–Los Angeles Times