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Brown Girl in the Ring
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Brown Girl in the Ring
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In this "impressive debut" from award-winning speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, a young woman must solve the tragic mystery surrounding her family and bargain with the gods to save her city...
In this "impressive debut" from award-winning speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, a young woman must solve the tragic mystery surrounding her family and bargain with the gods to save her city...
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  • In this "impressive debut" from award-winning speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, a young woman must solve the tragic mystery surrounding her family and bargain with the gods to save her city and herself. (The Washington Post)
    The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways—farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother. She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends.

About the Author-

  • Nalo Hopkinson was born in Jamaica and has lived in Guyana, Trinidad, and Canada. The daughter of a poet/playwright and a library technician, she has won numerous awards including the John W. Campbell Award, the World Fantasy Award, and Canada's Sunburst Award for literature of the fantastic. Her award-winning short fiction collection Skin Folk was selected for the 2002 New York Times Summer Reading List and was one of the New York Times Best Books of the Year. Hopkinson is also the author of The New Moon's Arms, The Salt Roads, Midnight Robber, and Brown Girl in the Ring. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and splits her time between California, USA, and Toronto, Canada.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 29, 1998
    The musical rhythms of Caribbean voices and the earthy spirit-magic of obeah knit together this unusual fantasy, the first winner of Warner Aspect's First Novel Contest. Toronto in the next century is a "doughnut hole city," its core collapsed into ruinous slums after much of the population left to escape rising urban crime and violence. Those who remain in the Burn are survivors like Ti-Jeanne and her grandmother Mami, who trade herbal cures and spells for necessities, or predators like drug-lord Rudy and the "posse" of men, including Ti-Jeanne's ex-lover Tony, who sell "buff" for him. Outside the Burn, Catherine Uttley, the premier of Ontario, needs a heart transplant and a boost in her approval ratings. To accomplish both, she announces support for a return to voluntary human organ donation, allegedly to prevent the spread of Virus Epsilon, sometimes found in the porcine organs grown for transplant. The heart she needs will have to come from someone in the Burn, and Rudy saddles Tony with the job of finding a donor. Tony has no stomach for the job, however, and goes to Ti-Jeanne and Mami for help, bringing the unpredictable and powerful spirits of Caribbean obeah into play. Though the story sometimes turns too easily on coincidence, Hopkinson's writing is smooth and assured, and her characters lively and believable. She has created a vivid world of urban decay and startling, dangerous magic, where the human heart is both a physical and metaphorical key.

  • Library Journal

    June 15, 1998
    In the ruined core of downtown 21st-century Toronto, a girl reluctantly embraces her heritage of spirit magic to save the lives of her child and her lover from a gang leader's evil sorcery. Hopkinson, winner of the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest for this work, draws upon Afro-Caribbean myths to provide a rich, evocative background for a classic tale of salvation and sacrifice. Smoothly written, with memorable characters, this top-quality debut belongs in most libraries.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 1998
    YA-An outstanding science-fiction novel by a Jamaican-born novelist. The setting is post-modern Toronto. The inner city's economic base has collapsed; the police and most of civilization have deserted and roadblocked the city, leaving the homeless, poor, and criminals behind. The heroine, Ti-Jeanne, and her infant son live with her grandmother on a small herbal "farm" from which they dispense folk-medicine treatments to the other disenfranchised inhabitants of the "Burn." The story combines African and Jamaican folklore, religion, and patois as Ti-Jeanne learns to understand the ancient spirits that are so important in her family's history. The tragedies of her mother and grandmother must be understood and corrected, and only Ti-Jeanne can do it, if she can face her own fears. A page-turner that builds to an exciting conclusion, this quickly read fantasy will have lots of appeal to young adults.-Carol DeAngelo, Garcia Consulting Inc., EPA Headquarters, Washington, DC

  • Sunday Denver Post "Excellent...a bright, original mix of future urban decay and West Indian magic...strongly rooted in character and place."—Sunday Denver Post
  • The Washington Post "An impressive debut precisely because of Hopkinson's fresh viewpoint."—The Washington Post
  • New York Times Book Review "Hopkinson lives up to her advance billing."—New York Times Book Review
  • Publisher's Weekly "Hopkinson's writing is smooth and assured, and her characters lively and believable. She has created a vivid world of urban decay and startling, dangerous magic, where the human heart is both a physical and metaphorical key."—Publisher's Weekly
  • Kirkus Review "Splendid....Superbly plotted and redolent of the rhythms of Afro-Caribbean speech."—Kirkus Review
  • Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club "Utterly original....the debut of a major talent. Gripping, memorable, and beautiful."—Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

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    Grand Central Publishing
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