"[Laferriere's] prose has always had the ability to wrap itself around the reader's organs and take hold, slowly at first, before becoming a part of the body. This novel is no different, digging deep through a minefield of emotional and physical detail with compassionate honesty...a stunning and breathtaking book, and is easily one of his best." -- Rob McLennan
"Deeply and miraculously touches our hearts, minds and funny bone all at the same time." -- Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory
From the Prix Medicis winner comes a haunting meditation on the nature of identity.
Dany Laferriere's most celebrated book since How to Make Love to a Negro, The Return is a bestseller in France and Quebec and the winner of many awards, including the prestigious Prix Medicis and the Grand Prix du livre de Montreal.
At age 23, the narrator, Dany, hurriedly left behind the stifling heat of Port-au-Prince for the unending winter of Montreal. It was 1976, and Baby Doc Duvalier's regime had just killed one of his journalist colleagues. Thirty-three years later, a telephone call informs Dany of his father's death in New York. Windsor LaferriËre had fled Haiti in the 1960s, fearing persecution for his political activities. After the funeral, Dany plans to return his father to Baraderes, the village in Haiti where he was born. It is not the body he will take, but the spirit.
How does one return from exile? In acutely observed details, Dany reveals his affection for his father and for the land of his birth. Translated by two-time Governor General's Awardñwinner David Homel, The Return blends the gritty reality of daily life with the lush sensuality and ecstatic mystery that underlie Haitian culture. It is the novel of a great writer.
"The Return is like a whole life that suddenly explodes as a Big Bang, liberating the past and the present, dreams and reality, North and South, hot and cold, life and death, exile and return, those who stay and those who go, themes that are found throughout Dany Laferriere's writing but that have never been as well put together, maybe because they were missing this angle of father and son, which casts everything in a new light. It is a book to savor, a long poem that demands more than one reading." -- Chantal Guy, La Presse