A hilarious and poignant love story about the way families are invented, told with the savvy of a Zadie Smith and with an inventiveness all Ian Williams' own, Reproduction explores unconventional connections and brilliantly redefines family.
WINNER OF THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
An internationally bestselling debut novel: an energetically told, funny and moving book about how strangers become family.
Reproduction tells a crooked love story which takes strange, winding paths shaped by community, family and fleeting interactions that leave an inedible imprint.
Felicia, a nineteen-year-old West Indian student, and Edgar, an impetuous heir of a wealthy German family, meet when their ailing mothers are assigned the same hospital room. An odd-couple relationship blooms between Edgar and Felicia, ripe with miscommunications and reprisals for perceived and real offences that have some unexpected results.
Fast-forward, their son Armistice is a teenager fixated on a variety of get-rich-quick schemes that are as comic as they are indicative of the immigrant son's fear of falling through the cracks. When Edgar re-enters Felicia's life at a typically inopportune moment, the book's exhilarating final act is set in the motion and Reproduction is revealed.
Reproduction is many things at once. It's an engrossing story of disparate people brought together and also a masterful unfolding of unexpected connections and collisions between and across lives otherwise separated by race, class, gender and geography. It's a pointed and often playful plotting out of individual and shared stories in the close spaces of hospital rooms, garages, mansions and apartments, and a symphonic performance of resonant and dissonant voices, those of persons wanting to impress, persuade, deny, or beguile others, and always trying again
Witty, playful, and disarmingly offbeat - even as it hums with serious themes - Toronto Star
A sprawling novel that is both funny and poignant, powerful and playful - Calgary Herald
Reproduction is reminiscent of Miriam Toews's novel All My Puny Sorrows in its balance between grief and humour. It's an intergenerational story told in an unexpected way - Quill & Quire