Barnacle Love

Front Cover
Doubleday Canada, 2008 - Fiction - 216 pages
4 Reviews
Shortlisted for the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Like Wayson Choy and David Bezmozgis before him, Anthony De Sa captures, in stories brimming with life, the innocent dreams and bitter disappointments of the immigrant experience.

At the heart of this collection of intimately linked stories is the relationship between a father and his son. A young fisherman washes up nearly dead on the shores of Newfoundland. It is Manuel Rebelo who has tried to escape the suffocating smallness of his Portuguese village and the crushing weight of his mother’s expectations to build a future for himself in a terra nova. Manuel struggles to shed the traditions of a village frozen in time and to silence the brutal voice of Maria Theresa da Conceicao Rebelo, but embracing the promise of his adopted land is not as simple as he had hoped.

Manuel’s son, Antonio, is born into Toronto’s little Portugal, a world of colourful houses and labyrinthine back alleys. In the Rebelo home the Church looms large, men and women inhabit sharply divided space, pigs are slaughtered in the garage, and a family lives in the shadow cast by a father’s failures. Most days Antonio and his friends take to their bikes, pushing the boundaries of their neighbourhood street by street, but when they finally break through to the city beyond they confront dangers of a new sort.

With fantastic detail, larger-than-life characters and passionate empathy, Anthony De Sa invites readers into the lives of the Rebelos and finds there both the promise and the disappointment inherent in the choices made by the father and the expectations placed on the son.

What people are saying - Write a review

Barnacle Love

User Review  - Douglas Lord - Book Verdict

The only fitting description of this is "lyrical." Now, I like literary fiction, and I like occasional lyricism (by George Gershwin, for example), but I don't usually go full-out on the lyric front ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SalemAthenaeum - LibraryThing

In a touching view of the immigrant experience, the story of Manuel Rebelo and his flight from Portugal is told. Fleeing from his homeland and his mother, Manuel tries to build himself a successful ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2008)

\Anthony De Sa grew up in Toronto’s Portuguese community. His short fiction has been published in several North American literary magazines. He attended The Humber School for Writers and now heads the English department and directs the creative writing program at a high school for the arts. Barnacle Love is his first book and he is currently at work on a novel. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three sons.

Bibliographic information