When We Were Birds: Signed Edition (Hardback)Ayanna Lloyd Banwo (author)
Evocatively exploring contemporary life through the labyrinth of myth and the otherworldly, this masterfully crafted Trinidad-set debut about a handsome young gravedigger and a girl with the gift of speaking to the dead announces a spell-binding new voice in fiction.
A Standard Edition is available here
Mesmerising, mythic and timeless - the most unmissable debut novel of 2022 - for fans of Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison and Monique Roffey
Discover a love story and a ghost story set in the lush landscape and thriving backstreets of modern-day Trinidad...
Darwin is a down-on-his-luck gravedigger, newly arrived in the city of Port Angeles to seek his fortune, young and beautiful and lost. Estranged from his mother and the Rastafari faith she taught him, he is convinced that the father he never met may be waiting for him somewhere amid these bustling streets.
Meanwhile in an old house on a hill, where the city meets the rainforest, Yejide's mother is dying. And she is leaving behind a legacy that now passes to Yejide: the power to talk to the dead. The women of Yejide's family are human but also not - descended from corbeau, the black birds that fly east at sunset, taking with them the souls of the dead.
Darwin and Yejide both have something that the other needs. Their destinies are intertwined, and they will find one another in the sprawling, ancient cemetery at the heart of Port Angeles, where trouble is brewing...
Rich with magic and wisdom, When We Were Birds is an exuberant, incantatory masterpiece that conjures and mesmerises on every line. Ayanna Lloyd Banwo weaves an unforgettable story of loss and renewal, darkness and light; a triumphant reckoning with a grief that runs back generations and a defiant, joyful affirmation of hope.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 700 g
Dimensions: 222 x 138 x 38 mm
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“An exquisite and enchanting debut”
Set in an imagined version of Trinidad, When We Were Birds is a quietly dazzling novel suffused with beauty and horror.
Life and death are the key themes of the novel, and are the things that the central... More
“A wonderful piece of modern day magical realism”
This is a beautiful piece of writing. An exemplary piece of modern day magical realism.
Darwin is a Rastafarian. His religion forbids him from working with the dead, but his dwindling bank account and lack of work... More
“When We Were Birds”
I struggled to get into this book and I think the main reason was the language of the Island and it was right of the author to write this way as after getting used to it, it enhanced the story. Yejide lives a life... More
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