A fresh take on the romance novel from the Giller Prize–winning author of Fifteen Dogs
From their very first meeting, it would seem that Gwen and Tancred were made for one another. Like all good romances, Ring will bring them together. There is, of course, a wrinkle.
Gwenhwyfar’s mother, Helen Odhiambo Lloyd, upon intuiting that her daughter is in love, gives her a ring. This ring has been passed down from endless generations of mothers to their daughters. And maybe the ring is magic. It grants the bearer the opportunity to change three things about her beloved. Like all blessings, this may also be a curse. Complete with a long narrative poem about Aphrodite, Ring turns the literary romance upside down and shakes out its pockets. It’s a playful meditation on the past, on magic, on honor, on faith, and yes, on love.
Following on the heels of Pastoral, Fifteen Dogs, The Hidden Keys, and Days by Moonlight, Ring completes Alexis’s Quincunx, a group of five genre-bending, philosophically sophisticated, and utterly delightful novels.
Ring, provoked by a reading of Harlequin romances, is a mash-up of romance novel conventions and a sunny meditation on the past, on language, on poetry, and yes, on love.
“A great novel doesn’t try to answer questions, but, like Days by Moonlight, complicates them. ” —The Globe and Mail on Days by Moonlight
“This imaginative travelogue will amuse readers even as it raises weightier issues. ” —Publishers Weekly on Days by Moonlight
“I’m far from being a dog person, but as a book person I loved this smart, exuberant fantasy from start to finish. ” —The Guardian on Fifteen Dogs
“A clever exploration of our essence, communication, and how our societies are organized. ” —Kirkus Reviews on Fifteen Dogs
If any book is highly anticipated this year, it’s Alexis’s “Ring,” the final in the quincunx, the series of five books he planned, each in a different genre — pastoral, apologue (“Fifteen Dogs,” for which he won the Giller Prize and other awards), travel narrative (“Days by Moonlight” won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize), mystery and, now, romance. “Ring” is a “meditation” on love that includes, naturally, a long narrative poem about Aphrodite, along with Alexis’s engaging, precise and funny writing. —Toronto Star (35 books you need to know about in fall 2021)
"Alexis churns up a consistent supply of wry, pithy lines ('People fall out of respect as easily as they fall out of love') while maintaining the tension between the threat and hope that the ring offers … [a] pleasantly unusual outing. " —Publishers Weekly
"Told with a sense of inevitability and fate, Ring is an enchanting and sophisticated fable in which love is transformative. " —Forward Reviews
"Ring raises questions about love, marriage, fidelity, and the divine. " —Canadian Writers Abroad
“André Alexis, the wildly inventive Canadian author who gives me very strong Percival Everett/ Colson Whitehead vibes. ” —Josh Cook (Porter Square Books)
". .. Alexis’ Quincunx sequence [is] one of the boldest, most audacious, and most satisfying achievements in recent literary memory. " —Toronto Star