Amanda Hale
   
 

Amanda Hale is an award-winning writer who has published three novels, two poetry chapbooks, and now her second collection of linked fictions set in the Cuban town of Baracoa. She is currently collaborating as librettist on Pomegranate — an opera set in ancient Pompeii. A fourth novel, Mad Hatter, is forthcoming.

www.amandahale.com 

 


Books


 

 SHORT FICTION

256 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

ISBN: 978-1-77187-165-5
List Price: $19.95

Amanda Hale

The remnants of the Revolution in Cuban life

“All of Cuba is a museum now. We live off our old Revolution,” laments Gertrudis, one in a cast of characters teetering on the verge of political change while held in the grip of the past. Cuba is the place where the grandchildren of peasants become consultant surgeons, but also the place where necessity as the mother of invention is put into extreme practise. In Havana, the buildings like the peoples’ dreams, are constantly being restored. But so too in the rural districts, in towns like Baracoa, you will find boisterous people who idolised the Fidel past and continue to mourn his passing while those like Godofredo, born in January 1959 as a victorious Fidel marched into Havana, limps along the streets of Baracoa where he encounters tourists and townspeople while maintaining his anonymity as the peanut vendor. In Amanda Hale’s stories, Cuba comes alive with a gentle humour and through the richly detailed portraits of the families of Baracoa as they struggle with the political changes that are reshaping Cuba.

Meet Daniela who flies from the roof into the arms of her unfaithful husband; Sonia who marvels at the new world of her cell-phone crazy teenagers; Tito, a world away in Miami, who rants about Obama’s handshake with Raúl Castro; and witness a corpse that travels the length of Cuba and back in a nightmare of bureaucracy, all while Ángela huddles for the night on her bench in Parque Central.

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short fiction
226 pages / paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-897235-87-4
List Price: $18.95

Amanda Hale

 

In this series of linked fictions, unified by place and a cast of overlapping characters, Karina travels the length of El Caimán, the alligator which is Cuba, sweeping from Havana to the reptilian eye of Baracoa, where she meets Onaldo, an Afro-Cuban writer who becomes her lover. Their affair inadvertently reveals more than she could ever have imagined of the mysteries of Cuba as she learns on the streets, between the sheets, and in the kitchens of Baracoa the real story behind the smiles and the music.

 

Pedro Iván tumbles from his balcony in a moment of disbelief; Mirian Zelda guides the souls of the dead until the mysterious disappearance of Marek Svoboda; Yolanda waits for her posting to Venezuela with a mixture of longing and dread; Mario, a gay man, serves a seven year sentence for dancing with his foreign lover; Linancia falls into the necessity of life as a jinetera; Lorenzo grins as he remembers his life behind the wall in Leipzig. As the veils fall one by one Karina falls deeply in love with the true and hidden life of El Caimán.

 

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NOVEL

328 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-897235-61-4
List Price: $19.95

Amanda Hale

My Sweet Curiosity tells the story of Natalya, a young medical student, too smart for her own good, who twists an already complicated genetic background rooted in the Romanov family into an impossible fantasy of reproductive technology which ultimately reveals its own strange truth. Talya falls in love with Dai Ling, a cello student of extraordinary talent, and daughter of Jia Song Xiang, doctor of traditional Chinese medicine.

Set in modern day Toronto, the story ventures into Renaissance Europe, looking over the shoulder of Andreas Vesalius as he opens the body and maps it accurately for the first time; to Beijing where Dai Ling’s parents meet and emigrate before the Tianenmen Square massacre; to Palestine, following Vesalius on his pilgrimage; to the deathbed of Talya’s mother in a Geneva cancer clinic.

My Sweet Curiosity explores the border between fact and fiction, the relation between medical science and music, and the enduring mysteries of the human body.

  • Long-listed for the 2010 ReLit Award for Fiction

 

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NOVEL

368 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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ISBN: 978-1-897235-26-3
List Price: $18.95

Amanda Hale

The Reddening Path is the story of Paméla who, adopted as an infant by Hannah & Fern, a Toronto lesbian couple, travels to Guatamala to search for her birth mother. Her quest uncovers a tangle of political and romantic intrigue as Paméla discovers her Mayan heritage and learns about the complexities of life in Guatemala. Resonating throughout is an account of Malintzín, the Mayan slave who became Cortes’ mistress. These details of the Spanish conquest weave throughout the narrative, colouring the lives of everyone she encounters in her birthland. Paméla’s journey casts light on the struggle between conqueror and conquered within the Guatemalan people and the spiritual and emotional complexities facing those of mixed blood, a reality which challenges her expectations for an easy resolution to her question of identity.

The Reddening Path is cleverly structured, with a style that fluctuates between dreamlike poetic imagery and a traditional quest-for-identity narrative...Hale's novel is an intriguing look at post-colonial biculturalism set against a moving backdrop of familial love and personal enlightenment.— Laurel Smith, Quill & Quire (June 2007)

A powerful and well-written novel.
— George Szanto

If you wish to know the tragic history of Guatemala and of Latin America from the time of the conquistadores, read this compelling novel.
— Rosemary Sullivan

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