Publication Date: 04/05/2023 ISBN: 9781784878320 Category:

Cereus Blooms at Night

Shani Mootoo

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 04/05/2023 ISBN: 9781784878320 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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‘A Caribbean classic’ Monique Roffey, author of The Mermaid of Black Conch


Everyone in Paradise thinks Mala Ramchandin is a murderer. But with no body, no evidence and no witnesses, Mala is sent to an Alms House as a madwoman instead of prison. Here she meets Tyler, the only openly queer person on the island of Lantanacamara with whom she feels an affinity as an outsider. Despite Mala’s muteness, she manages to communicate with Tyler about her missing sister, Asha.

This is Mala’s story, and an appeal to find Asha, told in Tyler’s words. He dives deeply into Mala’s family history, uncovering years of trauma passed down through generations and – staggeringly, beautifully – the love that has survived through it all.

With an introduction by Ingrid Persaud.

‘Visceral, sensual and heartbreakingly tender’ Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, author of When We Were Birds
‘A story of magical power’ Alice Munro, author of Dear Life
‘Will remind many readers of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things’ Kirkus
‘Clearly ahead of its time’ Bookseller


Publisher Review

'A novel about otherness, queerness, and hidden domestic crimes, Shani Mootoo was writing well ahead of her peers around taboo subjects. Cereus Blooms at Night is of Trinidad's finest novels, a portrait of how things really are on an island where there's been so much past hurt. A Caribbean classic' -- Monique Roffey * author of THE MERMAID OF BLACK CONCH * 'Visceral, sensual and heartbreakingly tender, Cereus Blooms at Night is that rare book which is not only critically acclaimed but has the devoted following of a cult classic. A generation of us in the Caribbean have held it close and pressed it into the hands and hearts of fellow readers knowing that it may never be returned, so strong was our desire to have others share in its wonder. It changed me, utterly, the first time I read it and there have been echoes of Mala Ramchandin and her teeming, crumbling house in everything I have written or tried to write since' -- Ayanna Lloyd Banwo * author of WHEN WE WERE BIRDS * 'A story of magical power' -- Alice Munro * author of DEAR LIFE * 'Vigorously inventive prose... The sinuous unwinding of Mootoo's clever plot will remind many readers of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things' * Kirkus * 'My first experience of reading this novel was at university. Revisiting it, the novel was clearly ahead of its time, dealing with the complex issues of racial identity, diaspora, colonialism, desire and trauma' * Bookseller *

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