Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two More Reviews & a blog thumbs up

In spite of my mainstream invisibility, I am heartened by the responses to TAIL OF THE BLUE BIRD in the US and I'm happy to share a few excerpts. One of the things I'm most relieved about is (except for the Booklist review) none of them seem to be inconvenienced by the language choices - although many industry 'insiders' advised me to 'mellow' the book down for the US market. Testament to what Toni Morrison has oft spoken about - the intelligence of the reader:

From The Examiner:

"...a truly beautiful novel. Parkes' skill as a poet is quite apparent within the symmetry of his writing. It is also apparent that he has (spiritually) consorted with the Old Masters Amos Tutuola and D.O. Fagunwa." --Rosetta Codling
- link to full review, http://exm.nr/gdUMaL


From Booklist:

"Set in a contemporary Ghanaian village, this murder mystery blends CSI with magic realism... The novel, which was short-listed for the Commonwealth Prize, is not easy reading, especially the occasional parts told in pidgin dialect, but the story and atmosphere prove quite engaging. Working in a remote village, rooted in the scary forest, Kayo must look beyond the easy answers that come at the touch of a keyboard and search for absolute truths." --Hazel Rochman
- can be seen on Amazon.com, http://amzn.to/ustotb1


From A Striped Armchair (blog - one of my favourites; it's almost as if the blogger can tell I was raised by strong women):

"Parkes strikes me as an author unwilling to settle for simple, black-and-white views; while we see the women in the village through the eyes of men, the different male characters have different attitudes. The stories Kayo hears include powerful women as well as victimised ones... There isn't that feeling one sometimes comes across in novels by international authors aimed at Western audiences that the culture has been exoticised and is being spoon-fed to the reader. Parkes had a story to tell, one that was intimately connected with the place and culture he grew up in, and so he told it... as my first 'five star' read of 2011, it definitely set a marvelous tone for the rest of my reading!"
- link to full review/thoughts/comment, http://bit.ly/ezCkbM
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