Book - 2017
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Brother explores questions of masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780771022906
Branch Call Number: CHARI
Characteristics: 180 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Brother : a novel


From Library Staff

Vancouver author Chariandy was the grand prize winner of $50,000 for his book Brother. This novel was also longlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Brother is described as a coming of age story which takes place in Toronto. It is the story of two brothers, who are sons of immigrants from ... Read More »

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Nov 06, 2018

powerful, emotionally charged and beautifully written. Although I'm not from that world I can't help but have tremendous empathy and more understanding of the plight of the at risk youths and their parents struggling to provide a better life for their children but fail nonetheless.

Jul 02, 2018

I personally did NOT enjoy this SAD, pessimistic, book; set basically in the poorer parts of the ghettos, which told scenes of many gang fights, racism and much young street violence - not a healthy way to spend ones time and mind in reading about, "Boyz-of-the-hood". Book is basically directed to youth, poverty, and their daunting struggles to survive in life while facing their hardships and many misfortunes. This book did NOT hold my interest long - which I lost towards the latter 1/2 - felt like a chore to finish. Skip it unless u like violence and street gang fights which doesn't go anywhere but towards death n destruction, in the end. Thx

Powerful novella. I too was sucked into the hopelessness of life in a poor neighbourhood. Mother had her religion for support but even her family back in Trinidad believed she was 'lucky' because she had escaped. Mother's overwhelming grief in the loss of one son is beautifully drawn by the surviving son. Is this the "Ford Nation" Toronto is seeking?

Mar 03, 2018

In beautiful language the novel explores love and loss, poverty and the immigrant experience. Left just a little dissatisfied at the end.

SCL_Justin Jan 25, 2018

This short novel is an excellent study of how people grieve. It's about a poor Trinidadian-Canadian family in Scarborough and how their lives intersect with gangs and hip-hop culture and a mother who works and works and then needs to be cared for. It's a great thoughtful story, well-told.

Jan 24, 2018

I really enjoyed this novel. I took it out for the Amnesty International Canada bookclub. It is the story of two brothers that takes place in a rough neighbourhood in Toronto. The boys are of Trinidadian descent and live with their single mother, their father having abandoned them many years ago. This novel deals with coming of age issues including sexuality, which are exasperated by the rough neighbourhood that they live in and the boys image as visible minorities. The story is told in both past and present time, and is split into only seven chapters. The plot hits a climax when one of the brothers is killed by the police. The reason I am giving it a four is because the ending was quite abrupt and I feel like it could have been fleshed out a bit.

Nov 27, 2017

Story of two brothers being raised by a single mother in Toronto and the constant struggle for the boys to survive the neighbourhood bullies and gangs. I don't know Toronto but the story seems to validate what we see on the news about gangs, shootings, and police interactions with these groups of young people, often with Jamaican backgrounds, and often with horrific outcomes.


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Jan 24, 2018

Sexual Content: sexual awakening and homosexuality

Jan 24, 2018

Violence: fight scene, and violence/ murder

Jan 24, 2018

Coarse Language: various swears

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Jan 24, 2018

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jan 24, 2018

Michael and his older brother Francis live in Toronto with their single mother. They are from Trinidadian decent. The story begins with a grown Michael welcoming a visting friend into their home, you can tell from the beginning that somthing is not right in the home. There are various stories relayed from the boys youth. Discussing when they used to play by the creek, a trip to the mall gone wrong, Michael going with his brother to the barber shop, fights and some abuse from their mother, the sexual awakening of Michael, two boys afraid of criminals, a one time trip to Trinidad, a failed reunion with their father, and a failed audition resulting in a brawl. There are also glimpses of the present. Michael talking with his friend Aisha, a rememberance party stopped abruptly, the injury of his mother and her hospitalization. The story comes to a close when the reader learns of Francis' death at the hands of the police. The death of her son causes the mother to have a mental break, and Michael to shut himself off from the world. The ending is quite abrupt as we dont see how the mother copes with the death and what happens to Michael.


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