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Michael Ondaatje with Liz Calder on Divisadero
www.bloomsbury.com Michael Ondaatje discusses his novel Divisadero with his editor, Liz Calder. It is the 1970s in Northern California. A farmer and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work the land with the help of Coop, the enigmatic young man who lives with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until they are riven by an incident of violence -- of both hand and heart -- that 'sets fire to the rest of their lives'. Anna will come to rest in the calming landscape of south-central France. There, she delves into the story of a writer who, decades earlier, lived in the isolated house she now occupies -- a story that circles around the 'raw truth' of her own life, the one she's left behind but can never truly leave. And while Anna's story lies at the heart of the novel, the narrative sweeps across the terrain of the lives of Coop and Claire as well, each of them managing to find some foothold in a present rough-hewn from the past. This is a story of possession and loss, about the often discordant demands of family, love, and memory. Written in the sensuous prose for which Michael Ondaatje's fiction is celebrated, Divisadero is the work of a master story-teller.