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Bina by Anakana Schofield
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Bina by Anakana Schofield
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May 14, 2019 | ISBN 9780735277557 | 329 Minutes

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“Anakana Schofield’s Bina is a fiction of the rarest and darkest kind, a work whose pleasures must be taken measure for measure with its pains. Few writers operate the scales of justice with more precision, and Schofield is no less exacting in what she chooses to weigh. The novel’s themes—male violence, the nature of moral courage, the contemporary problems of truth and individuality, the status of the female voice—could hardly be more timely or germane. Schofield’s sense of injustice is unblinking and without illusion, yet her writing is so vivacious, so full of interest and lust for life: she is the most compassionate of storytellers, wearing the guise of the blackest comedian.” —Rachel Cusk, Giller Prize–shortlisted author of Outline and Transit
“Intimate, disarming, and riotous, Bina is a searing exploration of one woman’s soul that unwinds like a reluctant confession.  Whether Bina is rescuing a ne’er-do-well from a ditch, taking a hammer to a plane or considering the dark request of her best friend, Schofield has created a compelling, practical everywoman—someone who has had enough and is ready to make a spectacle.” —Eden Robinson, Giller Prize–shortlisted author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach

“Insightful. Inventive. Hilarious. Genius.” —Eimear McBride, author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, winner of the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction

“Anakana Schofield’s new novel Bina zapped itself into my brain from the get-go and refuses to leave, or sit still, which is what you would expect from a book that chronicles a seventy-four-year-old woman who has had enough, is unafraid to tell everyone, and is struggling with grief and guilt over the loss of her best friend. I thought Malarky (its prequel) and Martin John (in the same universe) were both very good, but Bina is in a separate league. I’ve been recommending it to anyone who loved and admired Anna Burns’s Booker Prize winner Milkman.” —Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World

“Schofield pulls off such a virtuosic feat of voice that Bina’s utterances, by turns aphoristic and rambling, grief-soaked and mordantly funny, haul the reader through the book, as immersive as being trapped inside her rural kitchen with the kettle on. A masterwork that should cement Bina (and Schofield) as one of the great voices in recent fiction.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Candid, abrasive, selectively compassionate, and intermittently forgetful, the homespun philosopher first glimpsed in Malarky . . . is a weathered cabinet chock full of revelations, opinions, maxims, and hard-earned wisdom for us, her presumed readers. . . . With her superbly realized and delightfully contradictory ‘practical woman’ at the centre of an artful tale, Vancouver’s Schofield never fails to captivate, entertain, and provoke. Maith thú!” —Toronto Star


Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award WINNER 2021

Goldsmiths Book Prize SHORTLIST 2020

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