Bloodknots was short-listed for the 2006 Re-Lit Awards, the national prize for the best literary work from the Independent publishers in Canada.
The stories in Bloodknots, ferocious and powerful, are about family, both present and absent: about the threads that bind people together and the ones that unravel without warning.
Stubbornly original, fiercely honest, and imbued with a sensibility that speaks to the author's Jewish heritage, Ami Sands Brodoff writes with authority, passion, and razor-sharp detail about identity and the longing for a connection in the face of loss, abandonment, and exclusion. Her characters are giants and orphans, society's marginalized who struggle to free themselves from lives spent hiding in shadows. They walk the tightrope of survival, balancing between remembering and forgetting.
A troubled father who builds a shrine to lessen the pain of murdered children; a gay dollmaker who finds more comfort in his tenderly carved porcelain creations than in his dynamic but abusive lover; and an African-American grandmother, who abandoned her own daughter, who gets a second chance with her grandbabe. Though the characters come from varied backgrounds, they share a common quest in times of uncertainty and terror.
Written close to the senses, Bloodknots penetrates to the core.
author of Ideas of Heaven, shortlisted for the National Book Award
"Bloodknots is a truly singular and remarkable book of stories. With consummate skill, Ami Sands Brodoff sets forth a domestic terrain marked by the fantastical-a landscape of desertions, treacheries, and devotions gone wrong, richly populated by a wildly imagined cast. Lyrical and disturbing, this is the work of a writer of unmistakable talent."
author of Blues From the Malibu Coast and winner, McAuslan Book Award
"In Bloodknots, Ami Sands Brodoff weaves through betrayal, loss, and triumph of normal people facing extraordinary challenges in prose rich and full of texture. Bloodknots is a marvelous collection peopled by unforgettable characters."
“Brodoff is enamoured of language, writing propulsively, forcefully, kinetically. Reading her, one is immediately reminded that good writing should perform.”
"Intense and challenging. A mind-map of psychology, a land-mine of characters living experiences almost too raw to put into words. Yet Ami Sands Brodoff has successfully compiled a collection that presents these psychologies, characters, and experiences as believable... The collection reflects intelligent perspectives on the ties, the "Bloodknots," between people, places and memories that aren’t necessarily easy to sever..."
Quill and Quire
“In these twelve ambitious stories, Brodoff probes and prods our most instinctive attractions and connections. The Bloodknots of the title come in all types and textures: they are the ties that bind family members; the body and the mind's perennial tangling and unravelling; and the viscera that accompany birth, sex, and death.“ “... stories rife with episodes of meaningful recollection ...gracefully accomplished... the past revealed .. in remnants woven delicately and deftly into the narrative of women's everyday lives.“
Montreal Review of Books
Spring & Summer 2005
“...The stories are penetrating and moving.“
“Brodoff is a genius at creating characters who are wholly original, yet strangely familiar ....And precisely because of their imperfections, they feel entirely real. Like the people in Pedro Almodovar's films, Brodoff's characters are so odd they seem true to life.“
“...the conflicts with which the characters struggle are uncomfortably deep, inelegant, never perfectly resolved--and therefore wholly realistic. Life, these stories remind us, is messy. To live is to face the inevitability of death, to love is to bear insecurity, cravings, and possible loss, and all we can do is muck our way through the best we can.“
“...these stories offer hope; in fact, the tangle is the saving grace. It is an assertion that family, despite everything, cannot be untied.“
The Montreal Gazette
“A thoughtful writer who has insights to convey. Montreal writer Ami Sands Brodoff is interested in the inescapable emotional ties that bind families, friends, and lovers. She explores the fundamental truism that relationships are as necesssary as they are paradoxical. They pull us in opposite directions, grounding as much as restricting. Memorable stories are like effective knots--simple, elegant, economical and tight.“