Shani Mootoo: Cereus Blooms at Night (1875 words)


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In her debut novel Cereus Blooms at Night (1996), Shani Mootoo bravely examines non-traditional relationships still considered taboo across the Caribbean. Through the lens of contemporary queer theory, the novel explores the tenuous nature of identity construction, providing a greater awareness of a spectrum of lives of Caribbean people, regardless of race, gender, class or ethnicity. Set in the fictional island of Lantanacamara, Mootoo’s text presents a cast of “differently othered” characters, with Tyler, the male homosexual nurse as narrator and mouth-piece for the newest resident of the Paradise Alms House, the elderly Mala Ramchandin. It is through Tyler that the truth of Mala’s traumatic past is revealed – years …

Citation: Adams, Caryn Rae. "Cereus Blooms at Night". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 August 2016 [, accessed 26 October 2020.]

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