Saturday, November 13, 2010

Books We Don't Hate

Anna In-Between
a novel by
Elizabeth Nunez
A HARDCOVER Original l ISBN: 978-1-933354-84-2
320 pages | $22.95
Forthcoming: September 2009

"A psychologically and emotionally astute family portrait, with dark themes like racism, cancer and the bittersweet longing of the immigrant."
--New York Times Book Review (Editors Choice)
"Nunez has created a moving and insightful character study while delving into the complexities of identity politics. Highly recommended."
--Library Journal (*starred review*)

"Nunez deftly explores family strife and immigrant identity in her vivid latest . . . with expressive prose and convincing characters that immediately hook the reader."
--Publishers Weekly (*starred review*)

"Nunez offers an intimate portrait of the unknowable secrets and indelible ties that bind husbands and wives, mothers and daughters."

"The award-winning author of Prosperos Daughter has written a novel more intimate than her usual big-picture work; this moving exploration of immigrant identity has a protagonist caught between race, class and a mothers love."
--Ms. Magazine

"A new book by Elizabeth Nunez is always excellent news. Probing and lyrical, this fantastic novel is one of her best yet. Fall into her prose. Immerse yourself in her world. You will not be disappointed."
--Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I'm Dying

"Anna In-Between is Elizabeth Nunez's best novel. Nunez proves that a great writer, armed with intellect, talent, and very little equipment, can challenge a multibillion-dollar media operation. As long as she writes her magnificent books, characters like the Sinclairs, characters with depth and integrity, will not be hidden from us."
--Ishmael Reed, author of Mumbo Jumbo

"In crisp, clear, and beautifully turned prose, Elizabeth Nunez has written a fascinating novel that will profoundly affect the way in which many readers now view the Caribbean. We welcome the voice of the infinitely wise narrator, Anna, who is an expert witness to the seismic changes that take place within and without. A wonderful read."
--Lorna Goodison, author of From Harvey River

"Elizabeth Nunez has written a contemplative, lush, and measured examination of how a family history can reflect the social history of an island, and how twined together, like fragrant vines, the two can remain."
--Susan Straight, author of A Million Nightingales

"Gripping and richly imagined . . . Nunez is a master at pacing and plotting."
--New York Times (Editors' Choice), on Prospero's Daughter

"Nunez's fiction, with its lush, lyric cadences and whirlwind narrative, casts a seductive spell."
--O, The Oprah Magazine

"[An] exquisite retelling of The Tempest . . . Masterful."
--Kirkus Reviews

"[An] honest and superbly written book."
--Miami Herald, on Prospero's Daughter

Anna In-Between is Elizabeth Nunez's finest literary achievement to date. In spare prose, with laserlike attention to every word and the juxtaposition of words to each other, Nunez returns to her themes of emotional alienation, within the context of class and color discrimination, so richly developed in her earlier novels.

Anna, the novel's main character, who has a successful publishing career in the U.S., is the daughter of an upper-class Caribbean family. While on vacation in the island home of her birth she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has breast cancer. Beatrice categorically rejects all efforts to persuade her to go to the U.S. for treatment, even though it is, perhaps, her only chance of survival. Anna and her father, who tries to remain respectful of his wife's wishes, must convince her to change her mind.

In a convergence of craftsmanship, unflinching honesty, and the ability to universalize the lives of her characters, Nunez tells a story that explores our longing for belonging to a community, the age-old love-repulsion relationship between mother and daughter, the Freudian overtones in the love between daughter and father, and the mutual respect that is essential for a successful marriage. One of the crowning achievements of this novel is that it shines a harsh light on the ambiguous situation of this ruling-class family who rose from the constraints of colonialism to employ their own servants. It is a strength of the novel that it understands that the political truth is not distinct from the truth of the family or the truth of love relationships; they are integrated into a unity in this novel constituting one unbroken reality as they are in real life.

Elizabeth Nunez is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College in New York City, and the award-winning author of seven novels, including Prosperos Daughter (New York Times Editors' Choice; 2006 Novel of the Year, Black Issues Book Review) and Bruised Hibiscus (American Book Award). She is coeditor with Jennifer Sparrow of the anthology Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad. Nunez is executive producer of the 2004 NY Emmy-nominated CUNY TV series Black Writers in America. She divides her time between Amityville, New York and Brooklyn.

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