Also By This Author
“The story is rich in the patois and daily rhythms of the Caribbean. . . . One of Mootoo’s real accomplishments is his portrayal of the expatriate Harry. . . . Much of the novel is recounted in snippets and flashbacks, from many points of view, which gives the tale a fine-grained, beautifully textured finish.” Publishers Weekly
He Drown She in the Sea
978-0-8021-4260-3 • $14.00 • Paperback • July 2006
The spellbinding second novel by Shani Mootoo is a tale of forbidden love between two children on a tiny Caribbean islanda love long repressed that is rekindled in adulthood
Shani Mootoo’s debut novel, Cereus Blooms at Night was a finalist for the Giller Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Set in modern-day Vancouver and on the fictional Caribbean island of Guanagaspar during World War II, her new novel is the story of two childhood friends whose enduring bond drives them late in life to attempt to break free from the social constraints that have kept them apart.
Harry, the son of a widowed maid, and Rose, the daughter of his mother’s well-to-do employer, are inseparable as children, having formed a connection that knows nothing of race or class or the hierarchies that define island society. But the friendship is severed one night during World War II, after American troops have occupied Guanagaspar. An air raid has brought on an emergency curfew that prevents Harry and his mother from returning home. The frightened children have innocently fallen asleep together and when Rose’s father arrives to find them sleeping in the same bed, Harry and his mother are banned from the house forever. It is a wrenching apart that awakens Harry to the harsh realities of social difference and drives him to eventually leave the island. When, years later, Harry and Rose cross paths again in Vancouver, Harry has dared to reinvent himself and the gulf separating them is not so apparent. He and Rose have a life-affirming affair that is an awakening for her and a form of retribution for Harry. From this liaison a climactic series of events is set in motion as Rose takes it upon herself to reroute their destinies.
He Drown She in the Sea is a love story, a story of one man’s ambition, failures, and triumphs, and an exploration of the origins of desire. It is a lyrical, sensuous, and suspenseful story about the danger of love against all odds and the sacrifice and euphoria that come with defying the life one is born into.