Thursday, September 09, 2010
Over at the Rover, Neil MacRae reviews Mauricio Segura's Black Alley. Interestingly, this is the first review by a Montreal english language journal/newspaper of this novel, which is about racial tensions and the immigrant experience in Montreal. What is it with that? The book certainly gained plenty attention among francophones when it was published in 1998. Does the anglophone media just not give a shit? Anyone have an answer out there?
MacRae writes, in part:
Mauricio Segura is an established journalist specializing in issues of multiculturalism. Black Alley is his first novel, originally published in French in 1998, and it is primarily an examination of those same issues. But while its thematic concentration and narrative focus are sharp and specific, its scope is much broader. It is certainly a valuable glimpse into the life and nature of conglomerate immigrant neighbourhoods, racial animosities and street violence. It is also a universal coming-of-age story. Marcelo becomes Flaco, leader of the Latino Power gang, and Cléo grows into CB, head of the Haitian gang The Bad Boys, and the tragedy of violent racial conflict between two childhood friends is what the novel is about. But it is as much a story of the need to belong, and the choice that every maturing human is given and must make: will we define ourselves by what is inside us, or who stands beside us? By what we are not, or by what we are?
For the rest of the review, please go here.