Book details

All Decent Animals

A Novel

Author: Oonya Kempadoo

All Decent Animals

All Decent Animals

$15.00

About This Book

Oonya Kempadoo's moving third novel, All Decent Animals, looks at the personal and aesthetic choices of a multifaceted cast of characters on the Caribbean island of Trinidad—a country...

Page Count
272
On Sale
05/13/2014

Book Details

Oonya Kempadoo's moving third novel, All Decent Animals, looks at the personal and aesthetic choices of a multifaceted cast of characters on the Caribbean island of Trinidad—a country still developing economically but rich culturally, aiming at "world-class" status amid its poor island cousins. It is a novel about relationships, examined through the distinct rhythms of the city of Port of Spain.

Loyalties, love, conflicting cultures, and creativity come into play as Ata, a young woman working in carnival design but curious about writing, and her European boyfriend, Pierre, negotiate the care of their friend Fraser, a closeted gay man dying from AIDS. The contradictory Trinidadian setting becomes a parallel character to Fraser's Cambridge-derived artistic sensibility and an antagonist to Ata's creative journey.

All Decent Animals is a forthright inquiry into the complexity of character, social issues, and island society, with all the island's humor, mysticism, and tragedy.

Imprint Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN

9780374534615

In The News

“How am I only now finding out about this writer? It's as if she's inventing her own language, which is incantatory, dense, and lush. The authority and blood pulse of it seduced me.” —Karen Russell, O, the Oprah Magazine

“Combining a highly lyrical prose, a superb command of the blending of languages, and an exacting power of observation, Kempadoo creates an unforgettable cast of characters. She also creates a hypnotic picture of Trinidad, one of the crossroads of the Caribbean.” —Claudio I. Remeseira, NBC Latino

“At its core [All Decent Animals] is the story of Ata's journey to become a writer. Ata evolves, emerging as both an artist from her work in Carnival costume production and freelance graphic design, and as a writer from life experiences among close-knit friends . . . In Kempadoo's style of writing, the text is a sensory experience: textures, fabrics, costumes, drum rhythms, colors of all vibrancies, tastes, heat, samba, sweat, sex. Often the text has an electric dialect of Trinidad, along with mesmerizing comparative language pulled from the locale. The ‘hustle and knivery' of the town . . . For Kempadoo, there is much emphasis on place in her characters . . . . For Kempadoo's characters, the place to look is where things connect; where there is the weaving of people, the coming together of them, the falling apart, the inevitable loss, the assemblage of so many unique threads of experience.” —Christopher X. Shade, New Orleans Review

“Over the last 15 years, Kempadoo has established herself as a preeminent writer of Caribbean fiction . . . Kempadoo's narration alternates between the formal language of international development and a heavily dialectized slang, to create a creaolized island English. Together with references to local rhythms like calypso, kaiso, and soca, the effect is of sheer saturation, as seamlessly coupled as night jasmine and passion fruit, with certain scenes nearly synesthetic in their blending of sensory impressions. Yet even a climactic and mysterious encounter between lovers grows dark, wrapped in bitter seaweed and plunged in salt water.” —Diego Báez, Booklist

About the Creators

All Decent Animals

All Decent Animals

$15.00