A Casual Brutality
SynopsisNominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize, A Casual Brutality is a powerful, dark novel about the failure of a decent man to come to terms with the moral disintegration of the Caribbean island of his birth.
Casaquemada is a fragile West Indian republic divided by racial antagonism, lured into a spurious nationalism by impotent rulers, awash in a mindless consumerism fostered by easy money and a lust for an imported version of the good life. Raj Ramsingh is a Toronto doctor who returns to his native island only to leave it again, having paid a tragic price for his unwillingness to recognize the cruel imperatives of the men who will determine Casaquemada's fate.
A Casual Brutality takes the reader into a world of terrifying dualities: illusion has become destruction; decency had become helplessness; nationhood has become tribalism; and a violent future looks only towards a brutal past. A novel as timely now as when it was first published in 1988.
"Bissoondath handles his theme and his characters with such dexterity and aplomb that it's hard to remember this is a first novel...a powerful and troubling novel." — The Globe & Mail
“There is an extravagant talent evident in this work.”
“This is a book that can make a difference in the way we perceive the modern world ... A Casual Brutality heralds the arrival of a compassionate and humane new voice.”
— Publishers Weekly
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