David Chariandy: ‘To make sense of prejudice, tell the story of the past’

This post is by Kate Kellaway from Books | The Guardian

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Two acts of racism – one personal, one publicly violent – led David Chariandy to write a book, I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You, addressed to his daughter

It is breakfast time in Vancouver and David Chariandy and his 15-year-old daughter are sitting side by side on a sofa – he has warned that Skyping might have to be squeezed in, that the family tends to be hectic in the pre-school hours, but he knows it matters to include his daughter in the conversation. For she is the reason his new book exists. I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You – subtitled “a letter to my daughter” – is short (barely 90 pages) with a bright cover; there is, as you pick it up, nothing to prepare you for its power, unless you already know Chariandy’s fiction. He writes slender books that go straight to the heart. His most recent novel, ...