"The Amazing Absorbing Boy is the journey through Toronto of a seventeen-year-old Trinidadian boy sent to live with his estranged father in Canada following the death of his mother. In the absence of parental supervision and even interest this optimistic teen immigrant sets out from his Regent Park home to discover the wonders of the City. The characters he meets along the way, including relatives who visit from Trinidad and Toronto denizens that he encounters around the city are colourful, often funny and invariably also struggling to cope with life and isolation. With his fourth novel, writer Rabindranath Maharaj creates a complex, witty and hopeful portrait of an imaginative youth determined to forge his own path in multi-cultural Toronto."
Seventeen-year-old Samuel, naïve and inexperienced, leaves his home in Trinidad for Canada following the death of his mother. He hasn't seen his father since he was six and now, thrust into a new life together, Samuel soon realizes that he is considered a burden. Undaunted, though still wide-eyed, and propelled by a comic-book sensibility, Samuel begins to explore the vast foreign landscape that is Toronto. With his fourth novel, Rabindranath Maharaj gives us a powerful and funny story of a naïve young immigrant who is wise in the culture of comic books, and a unique portrait of big-city Canada.
(photo by Vicky Maharaj)
Rabindranath Maharaj is the author of five novels and three short story collections. His books have been nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize , The Rogers Fiction Prize, The Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Bocas Literature Award. His most recent novel won the 2011 Trillium English Language Fiction Prize. Maharaj was born in Trinidad and migrated to Canada in the early nineties. Since then he has been a mentor for young writers with Diaspora Dialogues, and an instructor with both the Humber School for Writers and the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. In 2006, he was the Writer in Residence at the Toronto Reference Library.
Excerpt from The Amazing Absorbing Boy
Chapter One The Nowhereian
When my mother died four months after my sixteenth birthday, I felt I had already received glimpses of all that would follow. Like if I was once again sitting on a dusty, silvery asteroid and could see through lanes of swirling space dust and dark, puffed-up clouds, right through the samaan tree in our front yard where the shadows of our Mayaro neighbours cast a crooked picket fence on the coffin. I could even make out Uncle Boysie still looking funny in his black suit, staring again at the road as if in this replay my father would suddenly appear in a big puff of sulphurous smoke. But my father was not Nightcrawler the teleporter, and I was not Doctor Manhattan who could see into the future.