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3 of 5
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list price: $34.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
category: Fiction
published: April 2007
ISBN:9780771068720

Divisadero

by Michael Ondaatje

reviews: 1
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literary
3 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $34.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
category: Fiction
published: April 2007
ISBN:9780771068720
Description

From the celebrated author of The English Patient and In the Skin of a Lion comes a remarkable new novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time.

In the 1970s in northern California, near Gold Rush country, a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is riven by an incident of violence — of both hand and heart — that sets fire to the rest of their lives.

Divisadero takes us from the city of San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada’s casinos, and eventually to the landscape of south central France. It is here, outside a small rural village, that Anna becomes immersed in the life and the world of a writer from an earlier time — Lucien Segura. His compelling story, which has its beginnings at the turn of the century, circles around “the raw truth” of Anna’s own life, the one she’s left behind but can never truly leave. And as the narrative moves back and forth in time and place, we discover each of the characters managing to find some foothold in a present rough-hewn from the past.

Breathtakingly evoked and with unforgettable characters, Divisadero is a multi-layered novel about passion, loss, and the unshakable past, about the often discordant demands of family, love, and memory. It is Michael Ondaatje’s most intimate and beautiful novel to date.

Contributor Notes

Michael Ondaatje is the author of the novels In the Skin of a Lion, The English Patient, and Anil’s Ghost. His other books include Running in the Family, Coming Through Slaughter, The Cinnamon Peeler, and Handwriting. He lives in Toronto.

Editorial Review

“Genius (there is no other word for a writer of such grace and depth). Ondaatje’s unique gift is that his stories perform an inexorable seduction, impossible to resist. . . . Divisadero shines with an indisputable and incomparable power. . . . A brilliant sleight of hand.”
Globe and Mail
“The bewitching, assured Divisadero is the perfect reminder of why Ondaatje deserves to be honoured with his global peers.”
— CBC

“Gorgeous. . . . It’s Ondaatje’s singular achievement to explore the heavy costs and burdens of colliding human lives with a lightness of touch and clarity of vision that makes for dead-run compelling reading.”
National Post
“Michael Ondaatje’s prose is breathtaking. . . . Divisadero is his most beautiful [novel]. . . . [A] luminous book by one of our most thoughtful and erudite writers.”
— Charlotte Gray, Ottawa Citizen
“Intricate, lyrical, profoundly moving, this brilliantly imagined mediation on love, loss and memory. . . .”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“At once powerful and beautiful . . .”
Booklist (starred review)

“Michael Ondaatje is the Canadian William Faulkner, writing novels that are visually unforgettable, stylistically inimitable, utterly devoted to the rise and fall of the human heart . . . . Compelling and moving. . . .”
Vancouver Sun
“It has the ensemble qualities of early Robert Altman films and the poetic intensity of Ingmar Bergman’s oeuvre. . . . Masterly writing. . . .”
— Montreal Gazette

“The spare erotics and lucid passions of Divisadero engage readers first and last through Ondaatje’s supple and resonant gifts with language, syntax and style, in the service of stories and voices that resonate far beyond the page. . . . The lives and longings of [his characters] quietly but insistently enter your own, as if you’d known them for an era — and as if their stories should mean something to you. And you have, and they do.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“Emotionally riveting. . . . [Divisadero] delivers his trademark seductive prose, quixotic characters and psychological intricacy.”
Publishers Weekly
“Ondaatje’s writing is evocative, powerful and deeply intimate. The reader can’t help but care about all of the characters. . . . [who] come to accept the reality of their own lives, and the loss of the ones who meant the most.”
Calgary Herald

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Reader Reviews

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Karene Polhuis
Librarian review

Maybe

This is my first book by this author. It felt too disjointed for me, maybe it was too intricate for me to follow, maybe I couldn't pick up on the subtleties of the characters, maybe... there are too many maybes so maybe this book just wasn't for me. I did however like the story of Lucien Segura... that was something I could follow and someone I could care about (I don't know what the rest was about). Maybe if I read it again at a later date I might understand what Ondaatje was writing about. Maybe.

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