- Paperback: 256 pages
- Published: 10/18/16
- IBSN: 9781617755453
- e-IBSN: 9781617755460
- IBSN: 9781617755491
- Genre: Fiction
Elizabeth Nunez’s reissued fourth novel is a haunting, mesmerizing exploration into the often destructive price of passion.
* A main selection of the Black Expressions Book Club
“Refreshingly ambitious in its intellectual scope.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A captivating tale of Oufoula Sindede, an African diplomat in a passionless marriage who falls madly in love with Marguerite, a New York City artist.”
“Right from the start of this haunting novel, Nunez adopts the mesmerizing myth-spinning voice of an oral storyteller . . . In unaffected prose, Nunez explores self-deception, envy, Christian monogamy vs. African polygamy, and the very real dilemma of loving two people at once . . . . This rich, multilayered narrative is powerful in its sweep and moving in its insight.”
“A complex portrait of a love triangle by a gifted writer.”
“A richly woven, multilayered work that is riveting from the opening paragraph.”
—Black Issues Book Review
“A provocative new love story . . . Discretion delivers two memorable characters whose personal cultural clashes, both shared and internalized, are as telling as those of the world they inhabit.”
“Elizabeth Nunez’s writing is lush and dense, like a rain forest letting in light. Her imagery is so rich, and her mastery of storytelling so compelling and fluid, it’s hard to believe a woman is actually telling this story from a man’s point of view. Ms. Nunez has managed to capture the complexities of political responsibility and the burdens that come with it which interfere with passion and unfiltered love. I applaud her for helping me appreciate the dichotomy between pride and social obligation. A tough one. But she’s pulled it off. I recommend this novel ten-times over. I was due for a smart, well-written novel with depth of breadth and scope, and I got it in Discretion.”
—Terry McMillan, author of I Almost Forgot About You
“A complicated story to be relished and enjoyed by complicated people, Discretion is a journey, no, a pilgrimage to the gulf between love and honor.”
—Colin Channer, author of Providential
“Wonderful . . . It’s so rare to read anything that deals with the Caribbean, Africa, and the United States in such a seamless way.”
—Caryl Phillips, author of The Lost Child
Set amongst the struggles of American, Caribbean, and African diplomacy in the late 1980s, Discretion follows the harrowing journey of Oufoula Sindede, a diplomat of rough beginnings, who discovers his desires may be out of his control.
Dutifully married to lovely Nerida, Oufoula goes through the motions of marriage, formally keeping his distance from the woman with whom he shares his bed. And yet there is a deeper, buried passion within him that will lead him to question which values he holds sacred and which can be sacrificed.
Despite his quiet marriage, the memory of a fiery love affair triggers Oufoula to entangle himself in the life of another woman, a Jamaican-born painter named Marguerite. Soon he discovers that Marguerite is nothing like any of his quick old flames or his gentle wife, Nerida—Marguerite is much more.
And so begins a whirlwind affair, spanning over twenty years, between a young woman who wants order and love and a man who is torn between the honors of his profession and his dishonorable love life; the old African customs of polygamy and the American dream; and the passion for a mistress and the duty to his wife. Nunez’s heartbreaking fourth novel questions the customs we think we know with the truths that passion and love reveal about ourselves.
ELIZABETH NUNEZ is the award-winning author of nine novels and a memoir. Kirkus Reviews in a starred review calls Even in Paradise, her most recent novel, “A dazzling epic triumph.” The novel was an O, The Oprah Magazine and Essence selection. Nunez’s other novels are: Boundaries, Anna In-Between, Prospero’s Daughter, Bruised Hibiscus, Grace, Discretion, Beyond the Limbo Silence, and When Rocks Dance. Her awards include a PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award, an American Book Award, and an Independent Publishers Book Award. Four of her novels were selected as New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her memoir Not for Everyday Use won the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Nunez received a Lifetime Literary Achievement Award from Trinidad and Tobago National Library Systems and her novel Anna In-Between was long-listed for an IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award. Nunez has also written several monographs of literary criticism and is coeditor of the anthology Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad. She is the cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference and executive producer of the NY Emmy-nominated CUNYTV series Black Writers in America. She holds a PhD degree from NYU and is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York.