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Shani Mootoo’s haunting debut took the international literary world by storm. Set in the fictional Caribbean town of Paradise, Cereus Blooms at Night unveils the mystery surrounding Mala Ramchandin, an aging, notoriously crazy woman suspected of murdering her father. Bold and lyrical, sensual and highly charged, Cereus Blooms at Night is the beautifully written, much-talked-about first novel by Shani Mootoo, one of Canada's. Part magic realism, part psychological drama, Cereus Blooms at Night is as luscious as the cereus blossom whose scent can transport you to unimaginable.

Cereus Blooms At Night Ebook

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Cereus blooms at night by Shani Mootoo, , Press Gang Publishers edition, in English - 1st ed. Get this from a library! Cereus blooms at night. [Shani Mootoo]. Cereus Blooms at Night() is the first novel published by film-maker, artist, and writer Shani Mootoo. The novel recounts the story of an old lady named Mala .

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Cereus Blooms at Night

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Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: Preview this item Preview this item. Cereus blooms at night Author: Shani Mootoo Publisher: Press Gang Publishers, Find a copy online Links to this item Internet Archive. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private.

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Lavinia returns to Paradise, having broken off her engagement, and rekindles her relationship with Sarah. Chandin becomes increasingly jealous of Lavinia's closeness with Sarah and her love of the children.

Chandin's eldest daughter Pohpoh soon realizes that her mother Sarah and her Auntie Lavinia are lovers and, when Chandin begins to realize what has been going on under his nose all along, the two women plan their escape from the island with the children. The day of their departure, Pohpoh runs back to the house to retrieve a forgotten clipping from the cereus plant that Lavinia once transplanted for her and Asha, just as Chandin returns home to find them trying to flee.

Cereus Blooms at Night Summary & Study Guide

In the chaos, Sarah and Lavinia leave without Pohpoh and Asha--who refuses to be separated from her sister--abandoning the girls to the wrath of their father.

In his rage and paranoia, Chandin insists that his daughters sleep on either side of him for the first few nights after the abandonment, to assure that he will not be left again.

One night, Chandin rapes Pohpoh, and from then on, his daughters learn that one of them is expected to spend the night in his bed being raped. Pohpoh tries her best to protect her sister Asha, and begins to go in her sister's place whenever Asha is called for, knowing that their father is too drunk to ever spot the difference.

At school, Pohpoh is picked on by Walter Bissey, a schoolyard bully who torments insects and snails with his gang of friends. Pohpoh nurses a crush for Walter despite his harsh treatment of her.

As someone who is pitied and ostracized by the rest of the town, Pohpoh wants nothing more than for him and his friends to like her and for them to play together.

Changing the Boundaries of Identity: Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night

Boyie is Pohpoh's only true friend, yet he is often cowardly and shy, unable to help Pohpoh in moments of adversity. Pohpoh leads Boyie in the schoolyard on snail-saving missions, and one day, the two share an intimate moment in his bedroom, with Pohpoh calling the shots and leaving Boyie as soon as she feels sexually satisfied.

The reader is brought years later to Boyie, now called Ambrose, in his prime when he is given a theology scholarship in the Wetlands. His childhood experiences with Pohpoh have cleft him with a lifelong fascination for insects, and he returns to Paradise as a trained entomologist, full of ideas about insects, theology, and language, and about the possibilities afforded by the natural world.

He shares his ideas with Pohpoh now called Mala and begins to court her, with dreams of sharing a life together one day. As Mala and Ambrose's romance begins to flourish, so do Mala's feelings of guilt and worry that one day her father will find out about the whole affair.

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On the day that Ambrose and Mala finally consummate their love, Chandin feels a pain in his chest and comes home early to see Ambrose leaving out the back of their house. He rapes Mala more brutally than ever as punishment for her 'betrayal,' sexually assaulting her several times throughout the night and leaving her battered and bruised for Ambrose to find the next morning.

When Ambrose returns and discovers what has been happening all along to Mala, Chandin attacks his daughter's lover and Mala fights back.

In the scuffle, Chandin falls to the ground and is stunned when hit on the head by a swinging door. Ambrose runs away from the Ramchandin house in fear and shame, and Mala takes it upon herself to slam the door repeatedly on her father's head until he is quite lifeless.

She drags his body into the basement room of the house and locks the door on him, building a barricade of furniture between herself and the room beneath. Later, the police determine that Chandin was likely kept alive for some time in this room before finally expiring.

Back in the present day at the nursing home, Mala is visited by Ambrose, who is now elderly and has a grown-up son of his own named Otoh. Tyler takes to the beautiful Otoh right away, and Otoh begins to recount his own interactions with Mala in recent years along with the story of his parents, with his account added to Tyler's collection of flashback narratives. Years earlier, Ambrose, riddled with guilt about his inaction on the day of Chandin's attack, and cursing himself for being once more unable to help Mala in a moment of need, takes to sleeping through life, resolving to provide for Mala through monthly parcels.

His wife Elsie resents Ambrose's continued obsession with that old "Bird" up on the hill, yet she dutifully adds to the parcels every month.

Otoh begins to deliver them himself, and his curiosity around Mala grows and grows. One day, he dresses in his father's old clothes, carrying along a repaired gramophone that Ambrose had gifted Mala right before her father discovered them and which Ambrose retrieved from Mala's house a few days after the incident, when it seemed like Mala had gone mad and could not recognize Ambrose any longer.

The elderly Mala mistakes Otoh for Ambrose and leads him into the house, down to the basement, showing him why her father can no longer hurt them.

In a panic, Otoh flees Mala's house and nearly passes out on the street, feverishly telling the townspeople about the decaying body he has seen at Mala's house. The police arrive and, under the pretence of looking out for Mala's safety, they insist that she show them inside. She unlocks the doors and lead the police down to her father's body.

They plan to return the next day to gather evidence for a case against Mala for his murder.Last edited by ImportBot. The elderly Mala mistakes Otoh for Ambrose and leads him into the house, down to the basement, showing him why her father can no longer hurt them.

They plan to return the next day to gather evidence for a case against Mala for his murder. The novel is full of contrasts, moments of delight and anticipation alongside the growing recognition of impending horrors, abuse and neglect. Email Address: Tyler himself in the end openly expressed his affection with Otoh in front of the judgmental crowd of nurses.

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