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Land of Love and Drowning
by Tiphanie Yanique


Overview - Recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal FoundationAward
A major debut from an award-winning writer an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea.
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More About Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
 
 
 
Overview
Recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal FoundationAward
A major debut from an award-winning writer an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.
Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the author s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothersand sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781594488337
  • ISBN-10: 1594488339
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: July 2014
  • Page Count: 358
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 6.25 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.25 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Historical - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-05-05
  • Reviewer: Staff

For her debut novel, Yanique (author of the story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony) has written an epic multigenerational tale set in the U.S. Virgin Islands that traces the ambivalent history of its inhabitants during the course of the 20th century. The story follows two sisters whose genteel prospects are shattered after the sudden death of their father, Owen Arthur Bradshaw, a descendent of West African slaves and owner of a cargo ship. Eeona, the older of the two, is a famous beauty who terrifies men with her radiance and high-caste pretensions, while her younger sister, Anette, is sensuous and passionate, holding on to her local dialect and identity. Ever recalling memories of her father, Eeona struggles to escape St. Thomas and achieve a measure of freedom. Anette, meanwhile, falls desperately in love with Jacob, who, unbeknownst to her, is actually her half-brother. The novel shows how global conflicts, including World War II, and America’s legacy of racism shape the lives of Jacob and other islanders. As Anette becomes a mother and Eeona becomes a spectral embodiment of the islands’ mystery, American tourism gradually upends the local economy and deprives the natives of land, beaches, and freedom. Amid the devastation of hurricanes and exploitation by wealthy American entrepreneurs, the sisters struggle to understand their history, their place in the modern world, and the fatal attraction of the islands’ magical beauty. Through the voices and lives of its native people, Yanique offers an affecting narrative of the Virgin Islands that pulses with life, vitality, and a haunting evocation of place. (July)

 
BookPage Reviews

A sweeping family saga in the Caribbean

Set against the colorful backdrop of the Virgin Islands from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning weaves an intricate tale of the legacy of an island family as it grapples with love, magic and death over more than six decades. A heartbroken patriarch purposefully sinks his ship into the Caribbean, leaving two daughters and their half-brother to make their own way, each in possession of a particular magic and unusual beauty.

Rumors of witchcraft, adultery and incest surround the orphaned Bradshaw children, and as the siblings set out to form their own future on the steadily changing island, they discover family is important, but also inescapable. The islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and tourism becomes king; however, just as St. Thomas is coming into the modern world, a fearsome hurricane reveals forgotten priorities.

Tiphanie Yanique is a native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and the author of the story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony. Alternately told in neat, concise speech and fiery Caribbean dialect, Land of Love and Drowning is well researched—much of Yanique’s family history is woven into the storyline—and the novel’s careful structure keeps the reader from getting lost amid the historical context. Yanique’s vivid writing, echoing Toni Morrison and Gabriel García Márquez, builds a whole world within its language and cadence. Exhilarating, fierce and effortless, Land of Love and Drowning is the imaginative tale of a family’s fight to endure.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

ALSO ON BOOKPAGE.COM: Read Tiphanie Yanique's behind-the-book story for Land of Love and Drowning.

 
BAM Customer Reviews