Canada Reads·Canadian

Brown Girl in the Ring

Set in Toronto, Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring is a story of survival in a city overrun by poverty and violence after an economic collapse.

Nalo Hopkinson

In Nalo Hopkinson's enthralling debut novel, Ti-Jeanne survives in a post-apocalyptic urban wasteland where survivors are left to fend for themselves — re-learning how to harvest, barter and forage. And when the wealthy are in need of organs they turn to the poor, who do whatever it takes to stay alive. It's a mesmerizing tale filled with magic, mystery and folklore and featuring an unforgettable protagonist.

Brown Girl in the Ring was a Canada Reads 2008 finalist, when it was defended by Jemeni.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

As soon as he entered the room, Baines blurted out, "We want you to find us a viable human heart, fast."

"Bloodfire!" Rudy cursed, surprised. "Is that what you a-say?"

He stared at the scared-looking man from the Angel of Mercy transplant hospital up by the Burn. Douglas Baines had obviously never ventured into Rudy's neighbourhood before. The pudgy man had shown up in a cheap, off-the-rack bulletproof that dragged along the flood, his barrel chest straining at its burst buttons. He looked foolish, and he looked like he knew it.

From Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson ©2007. Published by Grand Central Publishing.

Author interviews

The worlds created by Homer, Kurt Vonnegut, and Michael Crichton were a refuge for young Nalo Hopkinson. The science fiction author shares her love for the genre and talks about the ways she's fighting to keep it growing.
Jamaica 50: Nalo Hopkinson