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Brown girl in the ring
Nalo Hopkinson
Adult Fiction HOPKINS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The musical rhythms of Caribbean voices and the earthy spirit-magic of obeah knit together this unusual fantasy, the first winner of Warner Aspect's First Novel Contest. Toronto in the next century is a "doughnut hole city," its core collapsed into ruinous slums after much of the population left to escape rising urban crime and violence. Those who remain in the Burn are survivors like Ti-Jeanne and her grandmother Mami, who trade herbal cures and spells for necessities, or predators like drug-lord Rudy and the "posse" of men, including Ti-Jeanne's ex-lover Tony, who sell "buff" for him. Outside the Burn, Catherine Uttley, the premier of Ontario, needs a heart transplant and a boost in her approval ratings. To accomplish both, she announces support for a return to voluntary human organ donation, allegedly to prevent the spread of Virus Epsilon, sometimes found in the porcine organs grown for transplant. The heart she needs will have to come from someone in the Burn, and Rudy saddles Tony with the job of finding a donor. Tony has no stomach for the job, however, and goes to Ti-Jeanne and Mami for help, bringing the unpredictable and powerful spirits of Caribbean obeah into play. Though the story sometimes turns too easily on coincidence, Hopkinson's writing is smooth and assured, and her characters lively and believable. She has created a vivid world of urban decay and startling, dangerous magic, where the human heart is both a physical and metaphorical key. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In the ruined core of downtown 21st-century Toronto, a girl reluctantly embraces her heritage of spirit magic to save the lives of her child and her lover from a gang leader's evil sorcery. Hopkinson, winner of the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest for this work, draws upon Afro-Caribbean myths to provide a rich, evocative background for a classic tale of salvation and sacrifice. Smoothly written, with memorable characters, this top-quality debut belongs in most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Ti-Jeanne Baines
Female
Black
Herbalist in training.
Herbalist

Rudy Sheldon
Male
Black
Gang leader



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