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As Flies to Whatless Boys

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About the Author

Robert Antoni is the author of the landmark novel "Divina Trace, " for which he received a Commonwealth Writers' Prize and an NEA grant. His other books include "Blessed Is the Fruit, My Grandmother's Erotic Folktales, " and "Carnival." He was a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow (for his work on "As Flies to Whatless Boys"), and recently received the NALIS Lifetime Literary Award from the Trinidad & Tobago National Library. He now lives in Manhattan and teaches in the graduate writing program at the New School University.


"Antoni has a fine ear for cultural tensions and a wicked sense of humor."--"Ocean Drive Magazine" "As Flies to Whatless Boys" by Trinidadian Robert Antoni is a tragic historical novel, accented with West Indian cadence and captivating humour, and provides an unforgettable glimpse into 19th-century T&T."--"Trinidad Express Newspapers" "If you are a smart reader who likes something different, this will make you happy."--Spacebeer (Blog) "A pleasure of a read. A lovely artifact of a book. A delight on many levels, and a deeply felt, deeply moving novel."--Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud (Blog) "A marvel of a novel, layered in histories, Robert Antoni's unique and engaging "As Flies to Whatless Boys" is an unforgettable and matchless work of fiction. A crowning achievement in an exceptional body of work by this amazingly talented writer."--Edwidge Danticat, author of "Claire of the Sea Light" "As Flies to Whatless Boys" is an inventive, witty, comic romance that is as much about history and adventure as it is about language. With virtuosic attention to language, Robert Antoni delightfully explores the written word in all its forms--as letters, as e-mails, as reportage, as narration, as archives--to tell stories, to paint characters, to demonstrate the range and integrity of English and its dialects, and to edge us closer to ourselves as equally human beings."--Earl Lovelace, author of "Is Just a Movie" "As Flies to Whatless Boys" is a brilliant novel that is rivetingly localized in a distant time and an untouched place, and yet somehow speaks vibrantly to this present age and to the universal human condition. Robert Antoni is a treasure of our literary culture."--Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain" "Like the preserved hummingbirds at its center, this novel is a tender and strange object, referencing something no longer with us, but maintained in its beauty as art."--Tiphanie Yanique, author of "How to Escape from a Leper Colony" "Robert Antoni is one of the great comic writers of the New World--that sweaty, sun-blasted, eternally baroque, dystopia where our tears, issued from laughter or sorrow or more often both, have the potency of overproof rum. "As Flies to Whatless Boys" is a mishmash merriment of an adventure story, an island of luscious prose in a sea of delight."--Bob Shacochis, author of "The Woman Who Lost Her Soul" "Antoni is an audacious storyteller, mining his very own language and ways of telling from the linguistic cornucopia of Trinidad. His story is moving and is also hilarious."--Lawrence Scott, author of "Light Falling on Bamboo" "Robert Antoni doesn't make giant steps. He makes quantum--and sometimes hilarious--leaps past whatever we called metafiction to the same territory as Richard Powers and David Foster Wallace. But like those men and unlike nearly everybody else, he never forgets that at the core of it all you've still got to tell a rip-roaring story."--Marlon James, author of "The Book of Night Women"

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