Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje

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Synopsis

From the celebrated author of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost comes a remarkable, intimate novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time. In the 1970s in Northern California a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is shattered by an incident of violence that sets fire to the rest of their lives. Divisadero takes us from San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada's casinos and eventually to the landscape of southern France. As the narrative moves back and forth through time and place, we find each of the characters trying to find some foothold in a present shadowed by the past.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Michael Ondaatje

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Michael Ondaatje is the author of eleven books of poetry, a memoir, and six novels, including The Cat's Table, coming in October 2011. He lives in Toronto. Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and seven works of nonfiction. His new book, The Man Within My Head, comes out in 2012.
 
Published May 29, 2007 by Vintage. 290 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Divisadero

Kirkus Reviews

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Poetic intensity trumps structural irregularity and storytelling opacity in the celebrated Ontario author's intense fifth novel (Anil's Ghost, 2000, etc.).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

Publishers Weekly

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Ondaatje's oddly structured but emotionally riveting fifth novel opens in the Northern California of the 1970s. Anna, who is 16 and whose mother died in childbirth, has formed a serene makeshif

Apr 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

Publishers Weekly

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Davis (American Splendor ) reads Ondaatje's puzzle of a novel delicately, as if hesitant to jostle a single piece out of place. Often playing emotionally fra

Jul 30 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

The New York Times

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“Divisadero” is a series of narratives that calls itself, perhaps for convenience’ sake, a novel.

Jun 17 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

The Guardian

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Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Damaged souls.

Aug 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

The Guardian

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Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Love and violence are inextricably tied in this elegant novel, which ...

Aug 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

The Guardian

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Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje Bloomsbury £17.99, pp288 There is a biblical quality to the stories to which Michael Ondaatje is drawn;

Sep 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

The Guardian

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Lodged skelf-like within Lucien Segura's life and art is one of those distressingly affecting love stories which Ondaatje handles so indefinably - Segura's "ruined love" for the woman on whom he originally modelled Claudile.

Sep 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

BC Books

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Crucially, when, through loss, Lucien writes, his family history becomes just that - history, a record, permanent in its re-creation.

May 07 2009 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

BC Books

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The maps reveal rumours of topography, routes for invasion and trade, and the dark mad mind of travellers’ tales [that] appears throughout Arab and Chinese medieval records.” "I believe in such cartography,” reflects the titular character in Ondaatje’s 1992 Booker Prize winning The English Patie...

May 14 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

Book Reporter

Whether he's describing the rugged farm country of northern California or the harsh beauty and occasional cruelty of life in a French village, his eye is fixed firmly on telling sensory details that bring his settings vividly to life.

Dec 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

AV Club

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Reckless experimentation characterizes the latest from the author of The English Patient.

Jun 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

AV Club

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Novelist Michael Ondaatje tipped his methodological hand three years ago, when he engaged film editor Walter Murch in the extended exploration of the art of the cut that became 2002's Conversations.

Jun 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

Suite 101

The latest novel from the acclaimed author of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost is a multilalyered, emotional journey through the lives of three interwoven characters.

Dec 30 2008 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

The Bookbag

Reviewing a good book is a pleasure but the hardest book is the one that you find exceptional.

Nov 09 2014 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

USA Today

The parallels of Segura's world and his story become a novel within the novel that leaves Anna, Claire and Coop's tale unfinished.

Mar 17 2013 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

BookPage

During these same years, Claire finds herself living two distinct lives: doing legal research in San Francisco during the week, then spending weekends with her father on the farm.

Jul 06 2015 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

About.com

Michael Ondaatje will always be known as the author of The English Patient, a hit as a novel and then as a movie.

Nov 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

PopMatters

Riding in a New York City cab to talk to Ondaatje recently, I thought again that he was able to plumb readers’ emotions this way in part because he was a poet first, novelist second—though it’s as a novelist that he’s better known and won his prizes, including the 1992 Booker Prize for The Englis...

Jul 09 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

The Millions

Contact Book and Reviews Book Lists Links Support the Millions Features Essays Reviews Lists Prizes The Future of the Book Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music Screening Room Columns Ask a Book Question Staff Picks Millions Quiz The Millions Interview ...

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Bookmarks Magazine

John Barron Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars "Ondaatje spends more than half of this novel following [Anna, Claire, and Coop], interlacing their stories, expertly shifting into different voices and tenses, disrupting the conventional chronology with the easy grace that has become his hallmark.

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

https://blogcritics.org

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Reviewing a novel often reveals things that were encountered only subliminally -- if at all -- durin...An enigmatic, complex novel that deals with how writing must filter experience to make sense of it.

May 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

Oprah.com

You need him the way you need ice water: a tight-lipped loner in a black T-shirt who wakes up your senses, then slips from your grasp.

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Red Room

She finds her soulmate in the past life of Lucien Segura, a poet whose writing and life story she explores as she settles into his house in the small village in Southern France and chooses his "adopted" son as companion.

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Fiction Writers Review

At the center of Michael Ondaatje’s novel Divisadero is a triangle of characters: Anna, whose mother does not survive childbirth;

Oct 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Divisadero

AARP

Enjoy three fun-filled days of activities — and don't-miss concerts by The Temptations, The Four Tops and Shania Twain.

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Reader Rating for Divisadero
70%

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