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Emancipation Day Paperback – Deckle Edge, Jul 30 2013
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Longlist - 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Amazon.ca Editor’s Pick—July 2013
“Grady’s novel reads with the velvety tempo of the jazz music of its day. Like a deft conductor, he seamlessly brings in his main characters’ voices in alternating chapters throughout the novel. . . . For Jack, the eternal dilemma is whether we can successfully carve out a future if we reject our past. The answer occupies a distinctly grey area, one Wayne Grady fearlessly explores to expose heated race relations and the masks we all assume.”
“A stellar debut. This literary novel is set in the heart of the big-band era…. The music swings. So does the story. Though Grady portrays the complexities of race and racial politics, there's nothing overtly didactic here. It's a novel of
ideas that succeeds precisely because it's also a good story.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“It takes a careful writer to make science clear and engaging to the layperson, and here Grady uses his skills to keep his prose quiet, spacious and neat, showing us how his characters navigate racial politics without telling us what to think about it. . . . Emancipation Day is an engaging look at when and where true co-existence and polite tolerance dissolve into prejudice and power struggle. That’s a fully contemporary issue, and one that’s entirely Canadian.”
—The Globe and Mail
“A masterwork of storytelling examining race relations, denial and misconceptions, and what they do to three generations of a Canadian family. Grady does not tie things up in a neat bundle for the reader here. Like life itself, Emancipation Day is gritty, messy, surprising and poignant. It is an unvarnished look at life in Canada in the middle of the last century and the profound influence our thoughts and actions have on the lives of others.”
“Grady—a skilled, careful and knowledgeable writer—does not miss a step. . . .[his] work is an absorbing, entertaining and informative look at love, marriage, men at war, family dynamics and, especially, race and racism in Canadian history.”
—Literary Review of Canada
"This finely wrought novel navigates the complexities of love, race, and loyalties of choice. With a deft hand, Grady convinces us that whatever appearances may suggest, nothing is ever black and white."
—Vincent Lam, author of The Headmaster’s Wager and Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
“A haunting, memorable, believable portrait of a man so desperate to deny his heritage that he imperils his very soul.”
—Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes
“A brave book to challenge every reader's thinking on race, family, fear, and love. Profound and compelling.”
—Annabel Lyon, author of The Golden Mean and The Sweet Girl
“Wayne Grady’s masterful novel is a compelling story about secrets and shame, denial and self-discovery, racism, and love that goes deeper than skin deep. Grady shows how the ties of family bind and also set us free. This novel is unforgettable.”
—Lisa Moore, author of Alligator
“Wayne Grady has created characters out of life, out of love, out of recognition and sympathy. They are not to be missed."
—Linda Spalding, author of The Purchase
About the Author
WAYNE GRADY is the author of fourteen highly-acclaimed books, including Breakfast at the Exit Cafe, Bringing Back the Dodo, and The Bone Museum. He is also the translator of fifteen novels from the French, and the editor of eleven anthologies of literary fiction and nonfiction. His writing has appeared in literary magazines, as well as in major newsstand magazines, including Saturday Night, Toronto Life, Canadian Geographic, Smithsonian and Explore. He won the Governor General's Award for Translation in 1989 for Antonine Maillet's On the Eighth Day, and was nominated for the same award in 1995 and again in 2005. Grady teaches creative nonfiction as a sessional lecturer at the University of British Columbia, and lives near Kingston, with his wife, novelist and creative nonfiction writer Merilyn Simonds.
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Most recent customer reviews
I was disappointed in the book and I found the storyline hard to believe. Even the most sheltered woman would not be as ignorant as the way the female character is described in the... Read morePublished on May 31 2014 by Amazon Customer
It was a different style of writing than I would usually choose but I got so I could not put the book down. I am amazed it is the author's firts book. Hopefully he will write more.Published on May 2 2014 by Elizabeth Irwin
Didn't move along quite the way I wanted it to but a very good read. About an enduring love. I'm passing it on to freindsPublished on Nov. 10 2013 by Granny sparkle
Jack is a complex character with complex issues. As I was reading it, I found myself asking why would he do that? why would he say that? This book would be great for book clubs!!Published on Oct. 20 2013 by kelly currah