Polar Vortex (MP3 CD)
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A novel reminiscent of the works of Herman Koch and Rachel Cusk, in which a lesbian couple attempts to escape the secrets of their pasts.
Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
"A tantalizing mix of psychological thriller and literary fiction.... Mootoo brilliantly explores white discourse about queer sexuality and identity, refugee experiences, the triple effects of sexism, racism, and homophobia on queer women of color, and more." (Autostraddle, included in 65 Queer and Feminist Books Coming Your Way in Fall 2020)
"A slow-burning examination of identity, gender, desire, and immigration.... Mootoo's subtle, thought-provoking tale stands out among stories of characters gripped by the past." (Publishers Weekly)
"Compellingly charts the complexity of human relationships, the illusions of memory, and the corrosive power of denial." (Kirkus Reviews)
Polar Vortex is a seductive and tension-filled novel about Priya and Alex, a lesbian couple who left the big city to relocate to a bucolic countryside community. It seemed like a good way to leave their past behind and cement their newish, later-in-life relationship. But there's leaving the past behind - and then there's running away from awkward histories.
Priya has a secret - a long-standing, on-again, off-again relationship with a man, Prakash. In Priya's mind, Prakash is little more than an old friend, but in reality things are a bit complicated. Why has she never told Alex about him? Prakash has tracked Priya down in her new life, and before she realizes what she's doing, she invites him to visit.
Alex is not pleased, and soon the existing cracks in their relationship widen, revealing secrets Alex herself would have preferred to keep. Into the fissure walks Prakash, whose own agenda forces all three to face the inevitable consequences of their choices.