André Alexis has described his fictional terrain as “the shifting ground between the imagined life and the life that you live in from day to day.” There’s no better representation of this than the compelling narrative in A, where Alexander Baddeley, a Toronto book reviewer, is obsessed with the work of the elusive and mythical poet Avery Andrews.
Following in the footsteps of countless pilgrims throughout literary history, Baddeley tracks Andrews down, thinking that meeting his literary hero will provide some answers to his lifelong questions about creativity, art, and inspiration.
Though replete with mysticism and allusions to spirituality and the divine, Alexis’s writing in A manages to bring higher-level concepts down to the grassroots level, as the interactions between the two main characters results in a meditation and a revelation about the creative act itself that generates more and more questions about what it really means to be “inspired.”
Listen to the BookThug Author Interview:
Watch the Book Launch and Reading:
“A [is] a wondrous piece…. that deftly plays with the conventions of satire, polemic, and magic realism.” —Quill & Quire (starred review)
“[A is] a propulsive read, effortless and a little addictive… It is genuinely fascinating, a work whose rich complexities belie its brevity.” —The Winnipeg Review
“Part satire, part parable, A will really, really, really appeal to those who care about Toronto’s literary scene…. [And] it’s the funnest read I’ve read in a long time.” —David A. Barker, nouspique (blog)
“Alexis [has an] astute understanding of the madly shimmering, beautifully weaving patterns created by what we have agreed to call memory.” —Ottawa Citizen
“Alexis already knows what it takes many grey wise men a lifetime to realize: that neither memory nor history is a straight line.” —Edmonton Journal
Interviews and Profiles:
12 or 20 Questions with André Alexis —rob mclennan’s blog
A Full-On CanLit Feud: A rare delicious CanLit burn fight, David Gilmour vs. André Alexis is a snapshot of a flawed scene —Maclean’s
André Alexis accuses David Gilmour of Racism —The Biblio File
André Alexis: Of a Smallness in the Soul —Canadian Notes and Queries
André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His other previous books include Asylum, Ingrid & the Wolf, Pastoral (nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; a Globe and Mail Top 100 book of 2014), and Fifteen Dogs (winner of the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; finalist for the Toronto Book Awards). He was a contributing book reviewer for The Globe and Mail, and has worked extensively in radio, having been the host/writer of CBC Radio One’s “Radio Nomad” and CBC Radio 2’s “Skylarking.”