September 2008 Indie Next List
“This spellbinding new novel revolves around three adopted siblings whose lives break apart and eventually reconnect years later. Their story parallels another unusual family unit, a reclusive writer and his gypsy neighbors searching for a peaceful life in post-war France. As usual, Ondaatje's storytelling is highly individual and utterly hypnotizing, as story leads into story, and the reader arrives at the end with a longing to turn to page one and begin again.”
— Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC
From the celebrated author of "The English Patient" and "Anil's Ghost" comes a remarkable, intimate novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time. In the 1970s in Northern California a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is shattered by an incident of violence that sets fire to the rest of their lives. "Divisadero" takes us from San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada's casinos and eventually to the landscape of southern France. As the narrative moves back and forth through time and place, we find each of the characters trying to find some foothold in a present shadowed by the past.
About the Author
Michael Ondaatje was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1943. He moved first to England and then, in 1962, to Canada, where he has taught at the University of Western Ontario, London, and Glendon College, Toronto. A poet and novelist, he has had a continuing interest in theatre, film and publishing. His novel "The English Patient" (1992) won the Trillium Award, the Governor General's Award, and the Booker Prize, and it was made into a successful film. "The Passions of Lalla" won the fiction award in the 1982 CBC Canadian Literary Awards and was published in "Running in the Family" (1982).
"Ravishing and intricate. . . . Unforgettable." —Pico Iyer, The New York Review of Books“My life always stops for a new book by Michael Ondaatje. . . . [Divisadero is] a mosaic of profound dignity, with an elegiac quietude that only the greatest of writers can achieve. . . . Ondaatje's finest novel to date.” —Jhumpa Lahiri"The more you give Divisadero, the more it gives in return . . . . [Ondaatje] is a writer of intense acuity." —The New York Times"Brilliant. . . . Divisadero plays whimsically with chronology and memory, with fantasy and historical fact." —San Francisco Chronicle