A soucouyant is an evil spirit in Caribbean folklore, and a symbol here of the distant and dimly remembered legacies that continue to haunt the Americas. This extraordinary first novel set in Ontario, in a house near the Scarborough Bluffs, focuses on a Canadian-born son who despairingly abandons his Caribbean-born mother suffering from dementia.
The son returns after two years to confront his mother but also a young woman who now mysteriously occupies the house. In his desire to atone for his past and live anew, he is compelled to imagine his mother's life before it all slips into darkness--her arrival in Canada during the early sixties, her childhood in Trinidad during World War II, and her lurking secret that each have tried to forget.
Luminously poetic, Soucouyant marks the arrival of a major new literary talent in Canada.
David Chariandy is a novelist and Professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. Chariandy specializes in Canadian, Black, and Caribbean fiction as well as creative writing. In 2019, he was the winner of Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize.
Other publications from this author include:
- I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter (2018)
- Brother (2017)
- The Reverend's Apprentice (2008)
- "'The Fiction of Belonging': On Second-Generation Black Writing in Canada" in Callaloo, 30 (3), 818-829 (2007)
- "Postcolonial Diasporas" in Postcolonial Text, 2 (1) (2006)
- "'Canada in Us Now': Locating the Criticism of Black Canadian Writing" in Essays on Canadian Writing, 75, 196-216 (2002)