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Synopsis

At the age of twenty-three, the narrator hurriedly packed his bags and left behind the stifling heat of Port-au-Prince for the unending winter of Montreal. It was 1976, and Baby Doc Duvalier's regime had just killed a journalist colleague. But thirty-three years later, after his father's death, he decides to return him to Baradères, the village where he was born.

How does one return from exile? In Dany's case, he grounds himself in a hotel room in Port-au-Prince, afraid to see the city he has dreamed of in Montreal. Every time he ventures out of this safety zone, the past and present collide in dizzying ways - the rhythm of the language, the faces of the people, the dust on the roads. How is it that we are undeniably born of a particular place? Why are we always our father's son?

The Return captures the tension between being from a place but not of it and the subtle ways in which the sights and sounds of memory can seduce. This is at once a novel that is new and original, that melds haiku and narration. A serious book, yet poetic, oneiric, realist. It is the novel of a great writer.

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