Books·Canadian

Bina: A Novel in Warnings

Bina: A Novel in Warnings is a book by Anakana Schofield.

Anakana Schofield

"My name is Bina and I'm a very busy woman. That's Bye-na, not Beena. I don't know who Beena is but I expect she's having a happy life. I don't know who you are, or the state of your life. But if you've come this way to listen to me, your life will undoubtedly get worse. I'm here to warn you…"

So begins this "novel in warnings" — an unforgettable tour de force in the voice of an ordinary-extraordinary woman who has simply had enough. Through the character of Bina, who is writing out her story on the backs of discarded envelopes, Anakana Schofield filters a complex moral universe filled with humour and sadness, love and rage, and the consolations, obligations and mysteries of lifelong friendship. A work of great power, skill, and transformative empathy from a unique and astonishing writer, whose previous book, Martin John, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and whose debut, Malarky, won the Amazon First Novel Award. (From Knopf Canada)

What matters to Anakana Schofield

"These books become what they need to become. I'm not sitting here pretentiously plotting how I write. I'm not interested in pointless attention-seeking, even though I'm very loud and noisy. So, likewise, I'm not interested in pointless attention-seeking on the page.

The most important thing to me is the reader.- Anakana Schofield

"The most important thing to me is the reader. When you write work which is interested in pushing what the novel can become — and has a formal experimentation — you can historically meet resistance. I believe we vastly underestimate readers. The thing that I absolutely love about the process is talking to someone who teaches me something about the book that I didn't know."

Read more in Anakana Schofield's interview with CBC Books.

From the book

I always found fellas very difficult. I never got tangled up in them for that reason. I put my head down and lived a rea­sonable life. Or rather once I put the head down, I lived a reasonable life. 

Women are no easier. So don't be fooled thinking other­wise. 

They are all awful, awful, awful.

All humans are awful.

All of us are awful.

Be very suspicious.

Stick to cats or carp. 

Goats are less trouble than humans.

He's mad as a goat, they'll say. Yet I never met a goat as mad as a man.

Goats never caused me mounds of grief.

Goats never sat like a pile of rank mush in my kitchen.


From Bina by Anakana Schofield ©2019. Published by Penguin Random House Canada.

Other books by Anakana Schofield

 

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