June 2020 Indie Next List
“I hardly know where to start with my need to talk about this book! Reproduction is a love story spanning three decades, from the early ’80s to the 2000s, starting in Toronto, a city of vast differences in wealth and cultures. The unlikely couple (Edgar, a rich, idle German, and Felicia, a poor 19-year-old immigrant from the West Indies) meet and start an unconventional relationship, with lifelong consequences for them both. Don’t let the 550-page count fool you: The writing style is the opposite of weighty and dense — it is mischievous, funny, moving, and full of stunning revelations about how strangers become family. Simply breathtaking!”
— Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA
WINNER OF THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE AND CBC'S BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR, this best-selling debut novel is an energetically told, funny, and moving book about how strangers become family.
Reproduction tells a crooked love story in which love takes strange, winding paths and grows in a context shaped by community, family, longstanding friendships, and fleeting interactions that leave their mark on us forever.
Felicia, a nineteen-year-old student from a West Indian family, and Edgar, the lazy-minded and impetuous heir of a wealthy German family, meet by chance when their ailing mothers are assigned the same hospital room. After the death of Felicia's mother and the recovery of Edgar's, Felicia drops out of high-school and takes a job as caregiver to Edgar's mother. The odd-couple relationship between Edgar and Felicia, ripe with miscommunications, misunderstandings, and reprisals for perceived and real offenses, has some unexpected results.
Years later, Felicia's son Armistice--"Army" for short--is a teenager fixated on a variety of get-rich-quick schemes that are as comic as they are indicative of the immigrant son's fear of falling through the cracks. When Edgar re-enters Felicia's life at a typically (for him) inopportune moment, the book's exhilarating final act is set in the motion and the full import of its title is revealed.
"This gorgeous novel vibrates with life...Stylistically inventive and narratively compelling, Reproduction is stunning."--Aminatta Forna, author of The Memory of Love
A JUNE 2020 INDIE NEXT GREAT READ
About the Author
Poet, short story writer, and novelist Ian Williams was named one of "ten Canadian writers to watch out for" by CBC in 2018. His poetry has been shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. He won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for his short stories. Williams holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Reproduction, his debut novel, was a finalist for the Amazon first novel prize, was a CBC Spring & Black History Month pick, and dubbed one of the "Buzziest Books of 2019" by Chatelaine Magazine.