The Next Chapter

Shelagh's feature interview with Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand is perhaps best known as a poet... with good reason.  In 2011 she won the Griffin Poetry Prize for her collection Ossuaries -- that's after winning the Governor General's Poetry Award and the Trilium Book Award for previous collections. She was also the Poet Laureate of Toronto for three years from 2009 to 2012.  But Dionne Brand doesn't...
Dionne Brand is perhaps best known as a poet... with good reason.  In 2011 she won the Griffin Poetry Prize for her collection Ossuaries -- that's after winning the Governor General's Poetry Award and the Trilium Book Award for previous collections. She was also the Poet Laureate of Toronto for three years from 2009 to 2012.  But Dionne Brand doesn't only write poetry...
Her latest book is a novel called Love Enough.  Like other poet-novelists - people like Michael Ondaatje and Michael Crummey - Dionne brings an exquisite mastery of language and crystalline precision to her prose.  As Love Enough begins, we meet three principle characters... June, a middle-aged woman who has had a string of lovers and whose current relationship is very rocky.  Bedri, a young man who has just beaten a man very badly and stolen his car.  And Lia, a young woman tormented by her decision to stay behind while her friend travels the world... and then disappears.

As the novel progresses, we meet the people in June, Bedri, and Lia's lives, their parents and siblings, their lovers and the random strangers they encounter in the course of their day.  Each glimpse we have into the lives of these characters is accompanied by an insight into love.  And every scene is inextricably linked to a neighbourhood or street corner in Toronto, the city where the novel is set.

Dionne Brand teaches at the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto.  Shelagh spoke with her recently about Love Enough.  We hope you enjoy their conversation.

Love Enough will be published on September 30, 2014.

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