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Book Title: The Second Life of Samuel Tyne|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 328 KB
v The author of the book: Esi Edugyan
Edition: Serpent's Tail
Date of issue: June 2nd 2013
ISBN 13: 9781846689390
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books The Second Life of Samuel Tyne:Esi Edugyan's atmospheric first novel has all the ingredients of a 1970s horror flick. A mild-mannered civil servant inherits a rambling old house in the country from a mysterious uncle. Convinced that this is his second chance, he quits his job and moves with his wife and twin 12-year-old daughters to the quiet town of Aster, Alberta. Before long the twins are behaving very strangely. They speak to no one but each other and only in an odd gibberish. They collect cast-off hairbrushes, lining them up on the floor of the room they share with their visiting friend Ama, and disappear alone into the bush each day. Then there are the accidents. Surely the twins wouldn't leave Ama to drown on purpose, but what about their mother's fall from the ladder and all those fires?
What saves The Second Life of Samuel Tyne from the cheap melodrama of films like The Stepford Wives and The Bad Seed is race. For Samuel is a black man, and colour lies over this gothic-hued tale of evil and stupidity like the thick grey dust coating the rooms of the Tyne mansion. In Samuel, the Calgary-raised Edugyan (whose fiction was recently featured in Best New American Voices) has created a Canadian Mr. Biswas. Like the hero of V.S. Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas, this middle-aged immigrant from Ghana pursues his new start in life with an obstinate naïveté that is excruciating to behold. His relationships, however, become increasingly swathed in obscurity. It's as if the furtive secrecy that marks the twins' communication infects all other interactions in the novel. By the end, it is impossible to say why any of the characters do or say the things they do. This unfortunately leaves the reader feeling as shut out from the action as the Tynes are from Aster society. --Lisa Alward
Read information about the authorEsi Edugyan has a Masters in Writing from Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003, ed. Joyce Carol Oates, and Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing (2006).
Her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally. It was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, was a More Book Lust selection, and was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of 2004's Books to Remember.
Edugyan has held fellowships in the US, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Spain and Belgium. She has taught creative writing at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Victoria, and has sat on many international panels, including the LesART Literary Festival in Esslingen, Germany, the Budapest Book Fair in Hungary, and Barnard College in New York City.
She currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
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