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Tessa McWatt - Author

About the Author

Tessa McWatt was born in Guyana, and moved to Canada with her family when she was three. She is the author of five earlier novels; her second, Dragons Cry, was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the City of Toronto Book Award. She developed and leads the MA in Writing: Imaginative Practice programme at the University of East London. She divides her time between London and Toronto.

Featured books by Tessa McWatt

Vital Signs

Vital Signs

Author: Tessa McWatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2013

When Anna, Mike's beautiful and self-possessed wife, begins to mangle her sentences as a result of a brain aneurysm that could kill her at any moment, it's as if Mike has woken from a long dream in which he was only thinking about himself. Or is he still only thinking about himself? In his panic to show his wife that she has been his entire universe, will he finally confess all the ways in which he rebelled against her power over him, the way he betrayed her? Incoherent with guilt, he uses his talent as a graphic artist to draw his way closer to his wife, trying to communicate with her, and himself too, through signs and symbols. Mike is deeply flawed, hovering on the knife-edge of a confession, selfishly looking to the woman he loves for absolution even as she faces the possibility of her own death. And through this portrait of a marriage in crisis, Tessa McWatt leads us deftly and deeply into the workings of a relationship that blooms and withers and reblooms over time, and into the lies and the truths necessary to sustain it.

ebook of the month

Other books by Tessa McWatt

Shame On Me an anatomy of race and belonging

Shame On Me an anatomy of race and belonging

Author: Tessa McWatt Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/10/2019

`What are you?' Tessa McWatt knows first-hand that the answer to this question, often asked of people of colour by white people, is always more complicated than it seems. Is the answer English, Scottish, British, Caribbean, Portuguese, Indian, Amerindian, French, African, Chinese, Canadian? Like most families, hers is steeped in myth and the anecdotes of grandparents and parents who view their histories through the lens of desire, aspiration, loss, and shame. In Shame On Me she unspools all the interwoven strands of her inheritance, and knits them back together using additional fibres from literature and history to strengthen the weave of her refabricated tale. She dismantles her own body and examines it piece by piece to build a devastating and incisively subtle analysis of the race debate as it now stands, in this stunningly written exploration of who and what we truly are.

Higher Ed

Higher Ed

Author: Tessa McWatt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/08/2015

London. Now. And here come the new Londoners. Francine would prefer to be thinner, but is happy enough to suffer her boss' manhandling of her ample hips if it helps her survive the next cull in Quality Assurance. She just wishes she could get the dead biker's crushed face out of her mind's eye. Robin is having a baby with the wrong woman, wishes he were with the perfect Polish waitress instead, leans hard on Deleuze for understanding, and wonders if his work in film will continue to be valued by the university management. Olivia is angry - angry with her layabout mother, with her too-casual BFF, and with her own timidity and anxiety. Perhaps the wisest of her lecturers will help? Knowledge is power, right? And she's beautiful when she's angry. Ed wishes he'd never gone back to Guyana to help his rass brother as it lost him his mini-Marilyn wife and the possibility of watching his only child grow up - until someone surprising crops up at the crematorium. Katrin is starting not to miss Gdansk or Mamunia so much, and starting to understand London living. But if she works and hopes harder, maybe she'll secure a full British future for herself and her mother with the Good Englishman. The five of them cross paths and cross swords to bring London living unforgettably to life. Real London lives.

Higher Ed

Higher Ed

Author: Tessa McWatt Format: eBook Release Date: 27/05/2015

London. Now. And here come the new Londoners.Francine would prefer to be thinner, but is happy enough to suffer her boss' manhandling of her ample hips if it helps her survive the next cull in Quality Assurance. She just wishes she could get the dead biker's crushed face out of her mind's eye.Robin is having a baby with the wrong woman, wishes he were with the perfect Polish waitress instead, leans hard on Deleuze for understanding, and wonders if his work in film will continue to be valued by the university management.Olivia is angry - angry with her layabout mother, with her too-casual BFF, and with her own timidity and anxiety. Perhaps the wisest of her lecturers will help? Knowledge is power, right? And she's beautiful when she's angry.Ed wishes he'd never gone back to Guyana to help his rass brother as it lost him his mini-Marilyn wife and the possibility of watching his only child grow up - until someone surprising crops up at the crematorium.Katrin is starting not to miss Gdansk or Mamunia so much, and starting to understand London living. But if she works and hopes harder, maybe she'll secure a full British future for herself and her mother with the Good Englishman.The five of them cross paths and cross swords to bring London living unforgettably to life. Real London lives.PRAISE FOR TESSA MCWATT'[C]ombines campus novel (historically a distinctly white-male genre) with a Zadie Smith-like sense of a thoroughly multicultural London satirises with sharp wit the precariousness of academic life.' The Age'Tessa McWatt brings the traditional campus novel bang up to date This polyphonic novel owes an obvious debt to Zadie Smith's White Teeth, but nevertheless [McWatt] manages to make this exuberant but bittersweet tale something all of her own.' The Observer

Vital Signs

Vital Signs

Author: Tessa McWatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2013

When Anna, Mike's beautiful and self-possessed wife, begins to mangle her sentences as a result of a brain aneurysm that could kill her at any moment, it's as if Mike has woken from a long dream in which he was only thinking about himself. Or is he still only thinking about himself? In his panic to show his wife that she has been his entire universe, will he finally confess all the ways in which he rebelled against her power over him, the way he betrayed her? Incoherent with guilt, he uses his talent as a graphic artist to draw his way closer to his wife, trying to communicate with her, and himself too, through signs and symbols. Mike is deeply flawed, hovering on the knife-edge of a confession, selfishly looking to the woman he loves for absolution even as she faces the possibility of her own death. And through this portrait of a marriage in crisis, Tessa McWatt leads us deftly and deeply into the workings of a relationship that blooms and withers and reblooms over time, and into the lies and the truths necessary to sustain it.

ebook of the month
Macmillan Caribbean Writers; This Body

Macmillan Caribbean Writers; This Body

Author: Tessa McWatt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/05/2007

Set in London, Toronto and Guyana, this title conveys secrets that usually remain untold - those of desire, loss, identity, and of love lost and found.

Macmillan Caribbean Writers; There's No Place Like

Macmillan Caribbean Writers; There's No Place Like

Author: Tessa McWatt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2004

Beatrice dreams of being discovered in Hollywood. And, when her Aunt Mavis leaves her enough money to kick off Guyana's dust and fly to foreign places, it's to California she plans to go. But, her beloved Aunt knew her fantasizing teenage niece better than Beatrice knows herself, and California is the one place she may not visit. Instead, Beatrice finds herself on an increasingly incredible trip around the world, discovering both the strange and the familiar wherever she goes, Miami, Mexico City, London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi or Nairobi.

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