Wan

By Dawn Promislow

Wan
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"Wan is a masterpiece. This beautiful, painterly, sublime, and sonically exquisite novel by Dawn Promislow is a work of utter genius. " - Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things

Narrated in a completely distinctive and mesmerizing voice, Wan is the story of Jacqueline, ... Read more


Overview

"Wan is a masterpiece. This beautiful, painterly, sublime, and sonically exquisite novel by Dawn Promislow is a work of utter genius. " - Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things

Narrated in a completely distinctive and mesmerizing voice, Wan is the story of Jacqueline, a privileged artist in 1970s South Africa. After an anti-apartheid activist comes to hide in her garden house, Jacqueline's carefully constructed life begins to unravel.

Written in gorgeous and spare prose, this exquisite debut novel grapples with questions of complicity and guilt, of privilege, and of the immeasurable value of art and of life.

Dawn Promislow

Dawn Promislow was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has lived in Toronto since 1987. Her collection Jewels and Other Stories was published by Mawenzi House in 2010. Wan is her first novel.

Reviews

"Wan is a masterpiece. This beautiful, painterly, sublime, and sonically exquisite novel by Dawn Promislow is a work of utter genius. " - Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things

"A stunning, compelling read, Dawn Promislow's first novel belongs to the literature of witness - an eloquent portrayal of a white South African woman in the apartheid era, one which speaks with a universal voice to our present moment. The author captures Jacqueline's quiet but acute unease, as she and her husband negotiate a perilous world, the courage it asks of them, and the catastrophe that follows. This is riveting work, courageous and honest. " - Carole Giangrande, author of The Tender Birds

"A very still but articulate woman speaks with great precision about her privileged life in apartheid South Africa. But the stillness is an illusion. Beneath her calm voice, political pressure is building and sexual tension is rising. The atmosphere in this powerful novel is the literary equivalent of the highly charged atmosphere you feel before a major storm. I couldn't put this book down. " - Antanas Sileika, author of Provisionally Yours

"This exquisite novel insists on being read at the pace of its narrator's voice. An insistence I gave into like a warm spring, heated by the relentless tectonic shifts taking place beneath the surface. " - Darcie Friesen Hossack, Commonwealth Writers Prize shortlisted author of Mennonites Don't Dance

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