Polar Vortex: Book summary and reviews of Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo

Polar Vortex

by Shani Mootoo

Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo X
Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2020
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Polar Vortex is a seductive and tension-filled novel about a lesbian couple who left the big city, where they had both lived for many years, to relocate to a bucolic countryside community where they knew no one and no one knew them.

It seemed like a good idea to both Priya and Alex to cement their newish, later-in-life relationship by leaving the past behind to create a new life together. But there's leaving the past behind--and then there's running away from awkward histories.

Priya seems totally committed to her relationship with Alex, but she 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 it's a bit more complicated. And, she's 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, not least because Alex has her own secrets. And then there's Prakash, who has an agenda of his own, fueled by years of resentment about what he sees as Priya's slipperiness and duplicity. Things soon come to a head and the three must all reap the consequences of their choices.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Mootoo serves up a slow-burning examination of identity, gender, desire, and immigration...The precise prose outlines the factures of trust...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 powerful, fraught, and inventive exploration of the impossibility of ever really knowing the people we come to love. Told in urgent, incandescent prose and effortlessly spinning in and out of time, the book is an intimate and starkly honest examination of the complexities of sexual identity, lust, shame, regret, and how we, no matter where we come from or how we identify, are at our most complicated when it comes to the whims and failings of the human heart." - Joe Meno, author of Marvel and a Wonder

"How to know the shifting pieces of ourselves, how to acknowledge contradictory desires, as we are pulled into the maelstrom of desire and memory? Shani Mootoo's intimate new novel suspends us in the vortex between acts of betrayal and acts of love. It is a powerfully unsettling work from a brilliant artist." - Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

"The past isn't even past--and the present is tense with conflicting desires and untold stories. What brings clarity to this setting is Shani Mootoo's limpid prose, clean and bracing. Polar Vortex is an honest, but also moving, exploration of true intimacy." - Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana

"What a gorgeous and thrilling novel. Beautifully crafted, with perfect form and icy-clear tone--Shani Mootoo held me under her spell until the shock and release of the last page!" - Sarah Selecky, author of Radiant Shimmering Light

The information about Polar Vortex shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Shani Mootoo

Shani Mootoo is a novelist, poet, and visual artist. Her novels include Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award; Valmiki's Daughter, long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; He Drown She in the Sea, long-listed for the Dublin Impac Award, and Cereus Blooms at Night, short-listed for several prizes including the Giller Prize, and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. She is also a recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and the Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize.

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