26a

by Evans, Diana.

Format: Print Book 2005
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction EVANS
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
 
Collection  Fiction
 
Call Number  EVANS
 
 
Penn Hills Library Fiction EVA
Location  Penn Hills Library
 
Collection  Fiction
 
Call Number  EVA
 
 
Pleasant Hills Public Library Adult Fiction Fic Eva
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
 
Collection  Adult Fiction
 
Call Number  Fic Eva
 
 
Wilkinsburg Public Library Urban FIC EVA URB
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
 
Collection  Urban
 
Call Number  FIC EVA URB
 
 
Summary
A hauntingly beautiful, wickedly funny and
devastatingly moving novel of innocence
and dreams that announces the arrival of
a major new talent to the literary scene

The attic room at 26a Waifer Avenue in the lower-middle-class London neighborhood of Neasden is a sanctuary for identical twins Georgia and Bessi Hunter. It is a private universe where fantasy reigns as well as an escape from the sadness and danger that inhabit the floors below. Here the girls share nectarines and forge their identities -- planning glorious success as the Famous Flapjack Twins -- well removed from their Nigerian mother, Ida, who, devastated by homesickness, speaks to the spirits of the family she left behind on another continent. On occasion Georgia and Bessi's older sister, Bel, and younger sister, Kemy, are admitted into their broad, bright and fanciful realm, but never their English father, who nightly bathes the wounds of his own upbringing in far too much drink.

But innocence lasts for only so long -- and dreams, no matter how vivid and powerful, cannot slow the relentless incursions of the real world. Bel's transition into womanhood brings a very grown-up problem into the house that cannot be pretended away. Kemy's entire existence is redefined overnight by seductive pop-star glitter. And a terrible secret begins to threaten the twins' utopia, setting them on divergent paths toward heartrending resolutions in a world of separateness and solitude.

A work of bold, lyrical beauty, telling detail and compelling characterization -- at once cheerful and thoughtful, playful and profound -- and written in a unique prose style that metamorphoses brilliantly with the passage of time, 26a will surely be one of the most-talked-about novels of this year and many years to come, and its remarkable author, Diana Evans, welcomed gratefully into the highest order of literary achievement.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In a noteworthy first novel that reads with the ease of respiration and recalls both Zadie Smith's White Teeth (2000) and Monica Ali's Brick Lane (2003), Evans applies sensitive, lyrical writing to the tug-of-war between dueling identities. Numerous variations on the theme (think geographical, cultural, marital, even biological) occur among the Hunters, a biracial family in suburban London: there's Ida, a Nigerian who fled her village to avoid being married off for two goats, some money, and an English portable TV ; Aubrey, an alcoholic Englishman; and four daughters whose personalities, like their afro hair, travel the realms of texture between soft and supple, coarse and resilient. Of particular prominence are twins Bessie and Georgie, whose blissful oneness in twoness in childhood little prepares them for the complication, even terror, of forging individual lives. Georgie, the clingier, more withdrawn twin, slowly descends into insanity, eventually forcing the twins' separation to a violent extreme. Evans' telling wheels in smooth orbits through past and present; suburban London and Lagos, Nigeria; through spot-on domestic dialogue and the giddy, disjointed, internal narratives of mental collapse; through the gritty realities of growing up and supernatural realms that spring from Nigerian tradition. Evans should earn accolades for this trenchant debut, which speaks eloquently about identity, displacement, the most anguished of losses, and bone-deep love. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "From the very beginning of Evan's first novel (winner of Britain's inaugural Orange Award for New Writers), readers know they're in for something rich and strange. Two small furry creatures scurry through the night to their deathsAand are reborn as twins Georgia and Bessi. The middle daughters of Aubrey Hunter and his Nigerian wife, Ida, they occupy the attic room at 26a Waifer Avenue in London. When the twins are eight, the family takes a three-year sojourn in Nigeria, where they live a relatively grander life ("We had servants," Bessi later brags), but where Georgia has a terrifying run-in with a "ju-ju man" that changes her. The novel meanders as the girls grow, pausing to explore an intricate weave of childhood fantasy, African religion, nightmare, pop mythology and the intense inner world of identical twins. All the Hunters are drawn with care: hard-working Ida, who misses her mother so desperately that she converses with her daily in her head; hard-drinking Aubrey, whom liquor transforms into a Mr. Hyde; older sister Bel, rushing into adult sexuality; little Kemy, in love with Michael Jackson; and the twins, with their jokes, adventures and plans for a flapjack empire. This is a funny, haunting, marvelous debut. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Twins -- Fiction.
Sisters -- Fiction.
Young women -- Fiction.
Identity (Psychology) -- Fiction.
Racially mixed people -- Fiction.
Separation (Psychology) -- Fiction.
Nigerians -- England -- Fiction.
London (England) -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :William Morrow,2005
Edition 1st ed.
Other Titles 26-a
Twenty-six a
Language English
Description viii, 277 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 0060820918 (acid-free paper)
Other Classic View