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list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Feb 2006
pages: 432
ISBN:9780385660181
publisher: Doubleday Canada
imprint: Anchor Canada

Sweetness in the Belly

by Camilla Gibb

tagged: literary, coming of age, contemporary women
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Feb 2006
pages: 432
ISBN:9780385660181
publisher: Doubleday Canada
imprint: Anchor Canada
Description

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

Set in Emperor Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia and the racially charged world of Thatcher’s London, Sweetness in the Belly is a richly detailed portrayal of one woman’s search for love and belonging. Lilly, born to British parents, eventually finds herself living as a devout, young, white Muslim woman in the ancient walled city of Harar in the years leading up to the deposition of the emperor. She is drawn to an idealistic young doctor, Aziz, but their love has only just begun to fulfil its promise when the convulsions of a new order wrench them apart, sending Lilly to an England she has never seen, and Aziz into the darkness of a radical revolution. Camilla Gibb brings to life characters facing extraordinary hardship and loss with the unblinking honesty and emotional generosity that have made her one of Canada’s most exciting literary talents.

Contributor Notes

CAMILLA GIBB was born in London, England, and grew up in Toronto. She is the author of four internationally acclaimed novels--Mouthing the WordsThe Petty Details of So-and-so's LifeSweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement--as well as the bestselling memoir This Is Happy. Camilla has been the recipient of the Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and the CBC Canadian Literary Award and has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the RBC Taylor Prize. She has a Ph.D. from Oxford University, has been writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Colombia, and is an adjunct faculty member of the graduate creative writing programs at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph-Humber. She is currently the June Callwood Professor in Social Justice at Victoria College, University of Toronto.

Awards
  • Winner, Trillium Book Award
  • , IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
  • , Scotiabank Giller Prize
Editorial Review

One of Amazon.ca's Best Books of 2005
National Bestseller
Winner of the Trillium Book Award
A Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist
A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of 2005

Sweetness in the Belly is a timely and compelling novel of ideas which explores the ethics of cultural identity in a multicultural era. . . . [It] is a sophisticated, ambitious and deeply affecting novel which is devastatingly relevant to our contemporary world.”
–2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury citation

“Gibb’s Africa is finely crafted, as is her delicate rendering of the complexities of Ethiopian society. . . . The book rings true.”
Time Magazine

“This complex tale about exile, romance and human rights combines the authority of Gibb’s scholarship on social anthropology with the lushness of her fictional vision.”
Elle Canada

"Ambitious . . . vivid and rich in detail, politically relevant and eminently readable."
The Globe and Mail

"This is a rarity, a novel that transforms expectations. A hugely ambitious work executed with deceptive ease, it is an unbelievably odd tale, yet utterly convincing, able to transport us behind closed borders and back again. . . . The back-and-forth structure succeeds brilliantly . . . With Sweetness in the Belly, you know something other than lived experience is at work, and that something is a roving mind, a questing heart. Watching them land like butterflies on raw truth is a marvellous sight to behold."
The Gazette (Montreal)

"A marvellous, highly absorbing read bound to strike up conversations at award time."
Ottawa Citizen

"Full of life and keen observation of women and how they rise above the terrible things that can happen to them, how they form communities, how they find strength to begin again. This may be Lilly’s story, but behind her stands the larger story of her Muslim friends. They are what make the novel so extraordinary, so rich."
National Post

"Camilla Gibb’s integration of history and fiction in Sweetness and the Belly is superb. . . . Gibb’s crowning achievement is a knack for creating believable historical characters. Characters whose credibility is anchored by the convincing commonplace of their lives."
Winnipeg Free Press

“A wonderful feat of imagination and empathy.  I had to suppress bitter feelings of literary envy, even as I couldn't stop devouring it.”
—Louis de Bernières

Sweetness in the Belly is a deeply imagined immersion into the lives of people for whom war, poverty, marginalization and exile are the commonplace trials. Gibb’s understanding of this world seems almost uncanny but it is her compassion for her characters that impressed me the most. Here is a novel that challenges and disturbs as it enlightens and uplifts. A really exceptional achievement.”
—Barbara Gowdy
“With Sweetness in the Belly, Camilla Gibb offers persuasive testimony about her ambition as a novelist. . . . This novel is impressive for its geographic and thematic broadness alone. Gibb makes it that much more remarkable with the careful attention she gives to the psychology of belonging.”
The Vancouver Sun
Praise for the work of Camilla Gibb:
"Camilla Gibb is surely one of the most talented writers around. . . . She can do funny, she can do sad, she can do sex. I suspect that there is little this wonderful woman cannot do."
The Times (London)

"If you love literature, but are feeling discouraged by mediocre books, here’s the cure. . . Camilla Gibb has released a startingly beautiful account of an ordinary life, showcasing her ability to transform the normal into the fantastic. The Petty Details of So-and-so’s Life secures Gibb’s status as an extraordinary talent."
Edmonton Journal

"The power of [Gibb’s] fiction is that one assumes nothing. Gibb is too intelligent an author to take the easy path."
National Post

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