Natives and Exotics

  • Title: Natives and Exotics
  • Author: Jane Alison
  • ISBN: 9780156032476
  • Page: 308
  • Format: Paperback
  • Natives and Exotics In the manner of W G Sebald s The Emigrants Natives and Exotics follows three characters linked by blood and legacy as they wander a world scarred by colonialism Transplanted halfway around the glo
    In the manner of W G Sebald s The Emigrants, Natives and Exotics follows three characters, linked by blood and legacy, as they wander a world scarred by colonialism Transplanted halfway around the globe in 1970, nine year old Alice, the child of diplomats, is ravished by the beauty of Ecuador, a country her parents are helping to despoil Forty years earlier, Alice s neIn the manner of W G Sebald s The Emigrants, Natives and Exotics follows three characters, linked by blood and legacy, as they wander a world scarred by colonialism Transplanted halfway around the globe in 1970, nine year old Alice, the child of diplomats, is ravished by the beauty of Ecuador, a country her parents are helping to despoil Forty years earlier, Alice s newlywed grandmother Violet confronts troubling traces of her country s past as she makes a home in the wilds of Australia And before that, in early nineteenth century Scotland, Violet s great great grandfather George flees the violence of the Clearances for the Portuguese Azores, unaware that he will have a hand in destroying the earthly paradise there The third novel by the author of the critically acclaimed The Marriage of the Sea and The Love Artist, Natives and Exotics is a hypnotic meditation on our passionate, uneasy affair with nature, in which we restlessly search for home.

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      Published :2019-06-13T04:36:03+00:00

    About Jane Alison


    1. Jane Alison was born in Canberra, Australia, and grew up in the Australian and U.S foreign services She attended public schools in Washington, D.C and earned a B.A in classics from Princeton University Before writing fiction, she worked as an administrator for the National Endowment for the Humanities, as a production artist for the Washington City Paper, as an editor for the Miami New Times, and as a proposal and speechwriter for Tulane University She also worked as a freelance editor and illustrator before attending Columbia University to study creative writing Her first novel, The Love Artist, was published in 2001 by Farrar, Straus Giroux and has been translated into seven languages It was followed by The Marriage of the Sea, a New York Times Notable Book of 2003 Her novel, Natives and Exotics, appeared in 2005 and was one of that summer s recommended readings by Alan Cheuse of National Public Radio Her short fiction and critical writing have recently appeared in Seed Five Points Postscript Essays on Film and the Humanities and The Germanic Review She has also written several biographies for children and co edited with Harold Bloom a critical series on women writers She has taught writing and literature at Columbia, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, and for writers groups in Geneva, Switzerland Jane Alison s most recent book, Nine Island, is an autobiographical novel forthcoming from Catapult in Sept 2016.She is currently Professor and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, and lives in Charlottesville, VA.


    771 Comments


    1. Anyone who is living in a country not their own should read this.

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    2. Not bad, exactly, just couldn't get into this. It's three different stories (and continents) packed into a relatively short novel, and the characters suffer for it. The author's love for the natural world does come through nicely, but the theme of humanity despoiling nature is heavy-handed. Might have worked better as an environmental nonfiction book.

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    3. From September 2005 School Library Journal:Man’s attempts to subdue nature are at the heart of this novel about one multi-generational family’s experiences with “civilizing” the world. The novel opens with 9-year-old Alice traveling to Ecuador with her mother and stepfather, one of a slew of families who congregate there in the 1970s to help American oil companies reap the benefits of that country’s oil exports. Largely undeveloped until that time, Ecuador is thrown into political and [...]

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    4. Alison weaves together three disparate storylines from the same family, dealing with themes of alienation, home, and origination. All of her characters express a profound love for nature, and this love is reflected in Alison’s rich descriptions and imagery. Because the storylines only tangentially intersect, I initially had some trouble connecting to the characters. Shifting between parts of the story was jarring, sending the reader catapulting across time and space, essentially restarting the [...]

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    5. A to Z project, book 9I suspect that when I was younger I might have been wowed by this book. It follows several generations of a family as they are transplanted to locations around the world: Scotland, the Azores, Australia, and Ecuador. They're all connected to the land: its geological changes and the movement of plants. It's elegantly written and laden with symbols. If I were to be so crass as to sum it all up (and I shall be) it reminds the reader that we are just a species like any other in [...]

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    6. I have found some gems on the New Fiction shelves in my local library. This is one of them. Alison describes three generations of a family, each living in a different situation and part of the world and each loving and exploiting the part of the world in which they live and travel. Her descriptions of characters and surroundings are vivid and the stories are engaging. By the end of the book only one of the stories felt completed. The reader is left to intuit or create the lives of the other two [...]

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    7. This was a really quick read. I only gave it three stars for three reasons: 1) there was an immense sadness that traveled throughout the this book. While I think the author tried to amend that in the end, it didn't make me feel any better. 2) I didn't like the way it jumped back and forth with strong divisions between lives. They were all intertwined. I would have liked that to be more strongly shown. 3) It wasn't nearly long enough!Overall, a good book, but definitely not one that will go on my [...]

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    8. lovely book! quite enjoyed it. tells the story of three different generations of a colonialist family in different periods of time. great-great grandfather in the azores, the grandmother in australia, and the grand-daughter in equador. particularly enjoyed the narrative and narrative voice of the great-great grandfather (wept, in fact) but all the voices of all three were engaging and interesting. i think it is really cool that my professor chose to teach it -- not an easy book to teach but so m [...]

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    9. More a collection of novellas, linked by a multi-generational story and a meditation on colonialism of various sorts and how the natural world has been altered by human migration. The writing is lyrical and a pleasure to experience, and the exotic locales in which the human narratives unfold are surprising and places worth spending one's time in. The characters, especially the women, are also worth spending time with.

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    10. This one of the best books I ever read. I loved the exploration of how people and land belong to each other (or vice versa), and how that relationship extends or doesn't to immigrants-- like can a person from Australia adopt a Latin American country? Can that country adopt her? Wasn't bothered by the generational jumping-- each generation presented different allegories on everything from the battle between man and God to what is home.

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    11. This book was pretty good It started out really great, but kind of petered-out. There were several loosely connected stories. I think I would have liked it better if it was just one big tightly woven story. I did like the writing and the topics: global travel, exotic plants, transgenerational stories.

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    12. I read this for my book club. I finished it only because it was a book club pick. The beginning was engaging, a young girl is uprooted from Austrailia with her mother and step father to South America. She falls in love with her new location. The author then leaves her completely to start what seems to be a completely new book idea that I just couldn't get into.

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    13. A bit dry in places, slightly uneven in storytelling, but overall a good adult fiction choice.

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    14. I adore this author.

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    15. It's a novel with a lot of gardening. I don't like plants. But I do like latin america, so that was neat.

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