Cover image for Mr. Loverman : a novel
Title:
Mr. Loverman : a novel
Author:
Evaristo, Bernardine, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Akashic Books, [2014]
Physical Description:
284 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he's lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant character with a fondness for William Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather--and also secretly gay. With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves. His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves"--Amazon.com, viewed February 21, 2014.
General Note:
"Originally published in the United Kingdom by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin in 2013"--Title page verso.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781617752896

9781617752728
Format :
Book

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Summary

"Evaristo''s confident control of the language, her vibrant use of humor, rhythm and poetry, and the realistic mix of Caribbean patois with both street and the Queen''s English...fix characters in the reader''s mind."
-- New York Times Sunday Book Review

"As a writer at the Guardian once proclaimed, if you don''t know Evaristo''s work, you should...the novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men...and Evaristo''s writing is both intelligible and compelling."
-- Library Journal (starred review)

"Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity."
-- Publishers Weekly

"In this vibrant novel, Evaristo draws wonderful character portraits of complex individuals as well as the West Indian immigrant culture in Britain."
-- Booklist

"Although Evaristo has always been an innovative stylist, her latest novel, the critically acclaimed, award-winning smash, Mr. Loverman , is her chef d''oeuvre; a masterful dissection of the life of a 74-year-old, British-Caribbean gay man."
-- Huffington Post

Included in the Bay Area Reporter ''s "Pride Reading List: Prose & Poetry"

Included in Baltimore Out Loud ''s Pride Reading List

"If the novelist''s job is to make sense of the world, Bernardine Evaristo''s entire oeuvre attests to her desire to upend preconceived notions of what is and isn''t impossible and reflect that mirror right back at her readers. Mr. Loverman is a powerful, morally rigorous and joyful novel and Bernardine Evaristo is a writer at the height of her imaginative powers."
-- Huff Post Books

"Barrington Jedediah Walker lives in London, but he also lives a lie...As his marriage self-destructs, Barrington sees an opportunity to be with the man he loves, but after such protracted misery in this comic, touching book, happiness seems distant and frightening."
-- Village Voice

" Mr. Loverman is a brilliant portrayal of a life that is only lived fully during the twilight years and the struggle within to get there...This is a book for everyone, not to be shelved into a grouping for just one sector of society."
-- NEWZ4U.NET

"Barrington is the kind of character that is naturally likeable; from his love of Shakespeare down to the tips of his boots, he oozes charm and charisma."
-- Lit Reactor

"It takes you and shakes you silly, leaving you stunned...Of the many books I''ve read so far this year, Mr. Loverman is one of the best."
-- 1330v

" Mr. Loverman is beautifully written book that will leave readers wanting to discuss it with everyone they know."
-- Bloggers Recommend

"Delightful...a good read."
-- Book Reviews Given by Arlena

"Bernardine Evaristo uncovers characters lost to history and myth and with compassion, an original and brilliant voice, and an unparalleled craft--all tinged with humor--she restores them and thus us."
-- Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas

"Evaristo is extremely attentive to the function of language, the power of words to shape reality."
-- Ron Charles , Washington Post Book World

Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he''s lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant, wise-cracking character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather--and also secretly gay, lovers with his childhood friend, Morris.

His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.


Author Notes

Bernardine Evaristo was born in London to a Nigerian father and English mother. She is a former poet in residence at the Museum of London.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Barrington Walker is a 74-year-old transplanted Antiguan living in Hackney, London, and wrestling with a late-life crisis. For more than 20 years, he has pondered leaving his profoundly unhappy wife, Carmel, for his lover and childhood friend, Morris de la Roux. Barry is a dapper dresser, lover of Shakespeare, wise investor, and shrewd observer of the human condition. But he is unable to reconcile his own inner conflicts and come to account for what his actions and inactions have cost his wife and his lover. Can he do it this time, with his daughters more than grown up? Carmel herself is obviously dissatisfied with the marriage, giving Barry an ultimatum as she journeys back to Antigua to see her dying father. She is fed up with his weekends of drinking and carousing with, she thinks, women. He is fed up with her clutch of churchy, judgmental friends so critical of him. In this vibrant novel, Evaristo draws wonderful character portraits of complex individuals as well as the West Indian immigrant culture in Britain.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Evaristo's (Blonde Roots) enjoyable new novel follows Barrington Walker, a 74 year-old Antiguan man living in Hackney, London. A husband, father, and grandfather, Barry is a respectable elder with deep pockets and antiquated views of masculinity, but he's also a flamboyant character with deep affections for retro suits, highbrow literature, and his childhood friend and gay lover, Morris. In the twilight of life, Barry is out of patience with his bitter wife, Carmel, and their disintegrated marriage, and he longs to accept Morris's offer to move in together. Barry tells his story in a winning mix of patois and eloquent "speaky-spoky," that is insightful and often hilarious as he confronts his "scaredy-cat" fears and the probable ramifications of finally following his heart. Interspersed chapters from Carmel's point of view highlight her experiences in 10 year intervals, with poetic sentence fragments mixed with longing, self-talk, and prayer; these monologues lend balance to the narrative and trouble the reader's alliance. Barry's story parades a wide range of characters of varying depth and complication, and pivotal conflicts that don't always beget significant consequences. Despite an ending too neatly tied, Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

As a writer at the Guardian once proclaimed, if you don't know Evaristo's work, you should. The Royal Society of Literature Fellow, whose works have been named Book of the Year nine times by various British papers, writes of Barrington Walker, a 74-year-old Antiguan living in London with his wife of 50 years. Despite their long-standing union and their two daughters and grandson, Barrington is unhappy. He wants to leave his wife, who has long suspected his infidelity, for childhood friend Morris, with whom he has maintained an affair for nearly 60 years. As Evaristo details the love between Morris and Barrington while also introducing us to younger characters grappling with their identities, the novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men. Evaristo further reveals the barely known phenomenon of intrahomosexual discrimination and differences in how gays and lesbians have been portrayed in various nations and periods in history. The Walker family relationships are particularly intriguing, with no character appearing insensate, and Evaristo's writing is both intelligible and compelling. VERDICT Like James Baldwin's Another Country, this work will appeal to readers of gay and literary fiction.-Ashanti White, Yelm, WA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.