Anthony De Sa makes his fiction debut with this stunning collection of interlinked stories that explore the innocent dreams and bitter disappointments of the immigrant experience. Hailed as “tender and raw, morbid and surprisingly gentle” by the Vancouver Sun, Barnacle Love was a finalist for Canada’s highly prestigious Giller Prize.
Moving from a small Portuguese fishing village in the Azores to the shores of Newfoundland, Barnacle Love then takes us into the dark alleys of Toronto’s Portuguese community in the 1970s. The first half of the book is told by Manuel Rebelo, who has fled his homeland—and the crushing weight of his mother’s expectations—to build a future for himself in a new land. Manuel struggles hard to adjust, but fulfilling the promise of his adopted home is not as simple as he had hoped. The second half of the book is told with candor by Manuel’s son Antonio, who—along with his sister and mother—lives in the shadows cast by Manuel’s failures.
With fantastic, sometimes magical details and passionate empathy, Anthony De Sa invites readers into the lives of the Rebelo family. The results are, in the words of writer Nino Ricci, “haunting and elegiac.”