Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring envisions a twenty-first century Toronto that has suffered political and economic crises of such proportions that it has been barricaded off and abandoned by its moneyed, predominantly White suburbs. Cut off from modern material resources and left helpless to defend itself against the domination and depredations of a ruthless drug lord, the city has become a post-apocalyptic urban landscape reminiscent, at times, of Samuel R. Delany's Dahlgren. While Brown Girl in the Ring takes its name from a scene of voudon that occurs late in the novel, this title aptly characterizes the protagonist, Ti-Jeanne, and her role in her world as unintentional and initially unwitting fulcrum for a number of tensions and forces in conflict.
|Published (Last):||22 August 2005|
|PDF File Size:||18.18 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||1.76 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson. The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble.
The inner city has had to rediscover old ways-farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother.
She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Toronto, Ontario Canada. Award Nominee Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Brown Girl in the Ring , please sign up. You can watch a movie or read a book with exactly that message in just about every language, with just about every ethnicity as a protagonist. Heck, the 90s "Oddworld" video game series has that message but substitutes extraterrestrial aliens for both groups. See 1 question about Brown Girl in the Ring…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Brown Girl in the Ring. Jun 03, Beverly rated it really liked it. A story so original, Brown Girl In the Ring is hard to classify.
I have never heard of Caribbean magic realism. To me this is more sci-fi with a twist of magic. The bleak Toronto hellscape of the future is completely believable, as are the characters who have a complex outer and inner life.
None are more complicated than our heroine, Ti-Jeanne. She is a strong girl, devoted to her new baby and her grandmother, but also resentful of them some times.
The made up language flows and sounds right to A story so original, Brown Girl In the Ring is hard to classify. The made up language flows and sounds right to the ear. It is as if you can hear its cadence and musicality.
Family ties are important to the story, and also family cruelty. There is quite a bit of brutal violence, so I would not recommend this for young teens. View all 17 comments. I originally read this book many years ago because the story premise intrigued me: a dystopian Toronto with a young, black woman as its protagonist. This was the first speculative fiction story I had found actually situated in a Canadian city, naming buildings and things I knew of.
Well, I am now suitably impressed by Nalo Hopkinson's early novel. Ti-Jeanne is biding time, not thrilled with where she is, still wanting Tony, and not doing much with herself. I can now see how wonderful the premise was of Hopkinson's protagonist, a young woman who was a person of colour, who was also a nursing mother, and who was the central figure in this story that wove Caribbean stories, tales and spirits in throughout the tale, and that examined the complicated relationships between different generations of women.
I am so glad I decided to reread this book. I now have to read Hopkinson's other stories. View all 8 comments. I have to decide what I want to do for myself. Spoilers follow, and a discussion of abuse.
So What's It About? The inner city has had to rediscover old ways--farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so "I can't keep giving my will into other people's hands no more, ain't?
The jumbies that featured in the former story are also present in the latter, from La Diablesse to the Soucouyants, and the fascinating and vivid lore is certainly one of the book's greatest strengths. She rose smoothly to her feet and began to dance with an eerie, stalking motion that made her legs seem longer than they were, thin and bony. Shadows clung to the hollows of her eyes and cheekbones, turning her face into a cruel mask.
She laughed again. She kept her rhythm going, but even softer. She pranced on long legs over to Mami, bent down, down, down; ran a bony forefinger over the old woman's cheek. The duppy that is Ti-Jeanne's imprisoned mother ends up being able to help Ti-Jeanne because of a loophole in the villain Rudy's instructions for her. What I don't understand is why an evil mastermind like Rudy would be so lax in his instructions, allowing for a loophole in the duppy's behavior towards Ti-Jeanne.
The F Word In addition to its rich cultural heritage, another of this book's strengths is its post-apocalyptic vision. I've read a couple of reviews stating that her depiction of Toronto post-economic collapse would never actually come to be, but I think the worldbuilding is a kind of thought exercise demonstrating the lengths of abandonment and irresponsible behavior that city leaders could potentially go to if the management of a city was no longer profitable to them.
It's a class and race based dystopia, to be sure, where the rich escape to the suburbs while the poor largely people of color are stuck in a city that has collapsed in on itself.
Even though it's a bleak world, there is a lot of hope in Hopkinson's vision, shown in the ways that people continue to try to do good and help each other in spite of how desperate their lives are.
Ultimately, Hopkinson ties this sense of community back to the book's themes of religion and spirituality: "Anybody who try to live good, who try to help people who need it, who try to have respect for life, and age, and those who go before, them all doing the same thing: serving the spirits.
This is particularly hard to swallow because we also get Tony's point of view and know the evil that he is planning towards Ti-Jeanne and her family. Eventually Ti-Jeanne grows past this and comes into her own as a character, and I appreciated the book's emphasis on the struggles of being a young mother who is ambivalent about the thought of motherhood.
Mami Gros-Jeanne is the most dynamic character in the story - she is gruff and terse and strict but fiercely loving and protective of her family. There is some discussion of the way that cycles of abuse may be perpetuated: Mami was abused by Rudy and went on to perpetuate the same wrongs against her daughter and granddaughter. You hear me? I do wrong. There are ways to make statements about masculinity and femininity that feel a little more nuanced, I think.
Overall, though, I'm extremely impressed that this was Hopkinson's first novel and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. My brother Keita came in My birth family has lived in Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, the U. S, and Canada. I began reading at age 3, and was reading Homer's Iliad and Kurt Vonnegut by age My favourite fiction has always been the various forms of fantastical fiction; everything from Caribbean folklore to Ursula K.
Le Guin's science fiction and fantasy. I've written and published nine books of fiction and a number of short stories, and I've won some literary awards. I now live in Southern California in the U.
S, and am a professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside, where I'm a member of a faculty research cluster in Science Fiction. I sew, craft objects in whichever media strike my fancy, design fabric, and cook food that mostly turns out pretty well.
I have fibromyalgia, and was diagnosed relatively late in life with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, which explained a lot. I like moderate sunshine, love bopping around in the surf, and dream of one day living in a converted church, fire station or library. Or in a superadobe monolithic dome home.
Brown Girl in the Ring
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
Brown girl in the ring
Delany, was black, she cried. This was back in the early s, when Hopkinson first considered embarking upon a writing career. Also, a man who in the Caribbean we would call mad. Yet, the novel valued his life.
The novel contains Afro-Caribbean culture with themes of folklore and magical realism. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In , the actress and singer Jemeni defended this novel in Canada Reads , an annual literary competition broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The setting of Brown Girl in The Ring is dystopic in nature.