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Light Light

Book*hug Press


Shortlisted for the 2014 Governor General's Award for Poetry

Shortlisted for the 2014 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for Poetry.

Moving from the Enlightenment science of natural history to the contemporary science of global warming, Light Light is a provocative engagement with the technologies and languages that shape discourses of knowing. It bridges the histories of botany, empire, and mind to take up the claim of "objectivity" as the dissolution of a discrete self and thus explores the mind's movement toward and with the world. The poems in Light Light range from the epigrammatic to the experimental, from the narrative to the lyric, consistently exploring the way language captures the undulation of a mind's working, how that rhythm becomes the embodiment of thought, and how that embodiment forms a politics engaged with the environment and its increasing alterations.

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Priase for Light Light

The 19th-century Romantic poets, who are cited in Light Light, rhapsodized about nature as separate from humankind; in this era of climate change, Joosten reminds us there is no separation.Light Light puts the hive back in the archive, the source in the resource.

- The Toronto Star

To get to the heart of Light Light is to ask whether these poems work, do they entertain, do they excite, do they teach, do they illuminate? Yes, yes, yes and yes again.

- Michael Dennis

Light Light is not light, but light-filled. Philosophical, lyrical, inventive, and erudite, precise and startlingly perceptive, it invites the reader to attend to wonder.

Gerald Lampert Memorial Award Jury Citation

Through Joosten's miraculous mode of attending, through this mind that "grounds sound to seed," we are elemented - "The mind is a mood of electricity, warmth, water, and wind." We are given a mode of attending that is precarious, is an enactment of the precariousness we are and, with consequence, institute. Each thing this attention falls upon "is a source of thought, not its object." So everything is light once we learn to see by it. To honor the field we should "leave the field," but this book we should never leave.

- Jane Gregory

A concordance that emerges as material, thought, and material thought, Julie Joosten's Light Light is a most beautiful and rare breed: as if H.D.'s Sea Garden mated with Erasmus Darwin's The Loves of the Plants. "I was to guard the valley, name it, speak to it by name," Joosten writes. Hers is a haunting lament. It is what love is. What could be more necessary at this time on this planet?

- Cara Benson

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Julie Joosten lives in Toronto. Her poems and reviews can be read in Jacket 2, Tarpaulin Sky, the Malahat Review, and The Fiddlehead. Light Light is her first book.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Branches«

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Branches

Book*hug Press


Winner of the 2020 Nelson Ball Prize

Careful attention reveals that, even in moments that seem insignificant, our minds are constantly navigating disjunctions among registers of experience. Our intellect silently reminds our eyes that the car that appears to be moving between leaves is actually behind them and much larger. The sound of the vacuum cleaner in the next room is noise to be ignored. The phrase that arises in mind belongs to a conversation earlier in the day. Clear thinking demands that these navigations remain unconscious. But what if they're meaningful, or productive, in themselves? What if they're necessary to help us find a more meaningful place in the world? Branches explores these questions.

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"Branches will change you, and for that, at the very least, it deserves your full attention." —Robin Richardson, author of Knife Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis and Sit How You Want

"Mark Truscott's Branches is a unique and assured meditative work, at once ancient and wholly contemporary, a space where Stevens, Ashbery, and Basho might mingle and discover some as-yet unnoticed path. 'There are smooth surfaces it seems one can only buy,' Truscott adroitly observes. Branches is full of lines ready to take root and reward, allowing perception all its richness but also changing and transforming it with a graceful and almost natural pressure. Reader, these poems are the furthest thing from those surfaces." —Jeff Latosik, author of Dreampad

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Mark Truscott is the author of two previous books of poetry: Said Like Reeds or Things (2004) and Nature (2010), which was shortlisted for the ReLit Award for Poetry. Poems from Branches have appeared in Event, The Walrus and on the Cultural Society website (culturalsociety.org). Truscott was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and grew up in Burlington, ON. He lives in Toronto.

 
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Giving Up

Book*hug Press


At times funny, at other times sad, and more than often a mixture of the two, Giving Up by Mike Steeves is a deeply felt account of what goes on in the inner sanctum of the modern couple's apartment.

In grappling with the line between what happened and what might have happened, Steeves gives voice to the anguish of a generation of people who grew up with great expectations, and are now settling into their own personal failures and compromises: James is obsessed with completing his life's work. Mary is worried about their problems starting a family, and is scared that their future might not turn out as she'd planned. In the span of a few hours on an ordinary night in a non-descript city, two relatively small events will have enormous consequences on James' and Mary's lives, both together and apart.

With an unrelenting prose style and pitch-black humour, Giving Up addresses difficult topics--James's ruinous ambition, and Mary's quiet anguish--in a funny and relatable way.

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Priase for Giving Up:

"Mike Steeves is a brilliant, singular voice in Can Lit: funny and fresh and fast! Giving Up burns and glows with the intensity of a blue flame and all the pathos and obsessiveness and truth and absurdity of modern coupledom." —Miriam Towes, author of All My Puny Sorrows

"Few first novels in recent memory are as consistently charming, smart, entertaining and incisive as Giving Up. Somehow Mike Steeves has written a page-turner about stray cats and trips to the bank, and a story that treads through the banalities of everyday life with such precision to cast each detail, every gesture and object and silence, with great meaning. —Pasha Malla

"Mike Steeves' Giving Up is in places like a Facebook-era version of Paula Fox's 1970s New York classic Desperate Characters: a lucid micro-portrait of an apartment-bound couple facing childlessness, marital landlock and a malevolent feline presence. But its pulse is faster, warmer, more irregular—a chamber piece for two voices sharing disappointingly overhyped takeout. It is a woozily funny yet deeply decent view of adult love that finds the whole rigamarole preposterous but, in that, somehow the more worthwhile. It broke the shit out of my heart. Read it with someone you adore who you fear half the time can't stand the sight of you." —Carl Wilson, author of Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste

"This is a novel of unrelenting relatability, truth, contravention, hope, loss, and usefulness. Within these 208 pages, the reader may be forced to accept the dark side of her/himself, and the society from which s/he was contrived. I can see myself returning to this book once a year, every year, for the rest of my life." —James Bonner for Nomadic Press

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Mike Steeves was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia and lives in Montreal, Quebec. His first novel, Giving Up, was published by Book*hug in 2015 and was a finalist for the Concordia University First Book Award. His work has appeared in The Globe & Mail, Matrix Magazine, The Shore and others.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »A«

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A

Book*hug Press


A is a work of fiction in which André Alexis presents the compelling narrative of Alexander Baddeley, a Toronto book reviewer obsessed with the work of the elusive and mythical poet Avery Andrews. Baddeley is in awe of Andrews's ability as a poet—more than anything he wants to understand the inspiration behind his work—so much so that, following in the footsteps of countless pilgrims throughout literary history, Baddeley tracks Andrews down thinking that meeting his literary hero will provide some answers. Their meeting results in a meditation and a revelation about the creative act itself that generates more and more questions about what it means to be "inspired"

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Praise for André Alexis:

"A propulsive read, effortless and a little addictive...it is genuinely fascinating, a work whose rich complexities belie its brevity." —The Winnipeg Review

"André Alexis is a genuine talent." —Richard Bachmann, A Different Drummer Books

"Alexis [has an] astute understanding of the madly shimmering, beautifully weaving patterns created by what we have agreed to call memory." —Ottawa Citizen

"Although Canada boasts many promising young writers, the most promising of all may be André Alexis." —The London Free Press

"Alexis already knows what it takes many grey wise men a lifetime to realize: that neither memory nor history is a straight line." —Edmonton Journal

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André Alexis is the author of two novels (Childhood and Asylum), two books of short stories (Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa and Beauty and Sadness), a children's book (Ingrid and the Wolf) and a number of plays (Lambton Kent, Name in Vain, Fidelity). He was a contributing book reviewer for the Globe and Mail, and has worked extensively in radio, having been the host/writer of CBC Radio One's Radio Nomad, and CBC Radio 2's Skylarking.

 
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Rich and Poor

Book*hug Press


Who hasn't, at one time or another, considered killing a billionaire?

Following on the critical success of his novel Polyamorous Love Song (BookThug, 2014; finalist for the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of The Globe and Mail's 100 best books of 2014), Canadian writer and performer Jacob Wren picks up the mantle of the politically and economically disenfranchised in Rich and Poor--the story of a middle-class, immigrant pianist who has fallen on hard times, and now finds himself washing dishes to make ends meet.

Wren capably balances personal reflections with real-time political events, as his protagonist awakens to the possibility of a solution to his troubles and begins to formulate a plan of attack, in which the only answer is to get rid of "the 1%."

Rich and Poor is rare work of literary fiction that cuts into the psychology of politics in ways that are off-kilter, unexpected, and unnerving. In drawing comparisons to fiction that focuses on "the personal as political" (including Chris Kraus's Summer of Hate and Roberto Bolano's The Savage Detectives), Rich and Poor is a compelling, fast-paced, and energizing read for adventure-seeking, politically active and/or interested readers who rowdily question their position among "the 99%."

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Praise for Rich and Poor:

"As with Wren's previous work, Rich and Poor is art in resistance, a work that dares to remind us of our capacity for revolutionary love despite the prevailing economic system's structural violence." --Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail

"Wren's new novel, Rich and Poor, is more than a critique of capitalism and profit-obsessed society. It's a parable examining corporate culture - the way it makes us calculating, unscrupulous and ultimately disposable." --The Toronto Star

"Rich and Poor is a populist parable for our polarized times." --Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette

"Stoic yet provocative, Rich and Poor plunges the reader into a deep psychology of activism, politics, business, and how they all mesh together." --Largehearted Boy

"Rich and Poor is a timely and well-considered story. There are plenty of surprising moments....as well as real insights into issues of wealth inequality that so often dominate the headlines." --Mark Sampson, Quill and Quire

"The dream of a Marxist revolution is alive and well in Rich and Poor." --Dan Twerdochlib, The Winnipeg Review

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Jacob Wren makes literature, performances, and exhibitions. His books include Families Are Formed Through Copulation (2007), Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (2010), and Polyamorous Love Song (BookThug, 2014; finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of The Globe and Mail's 100 best books of 2014). Wren's latest book, Rich and Poor, is forthcoming from BookThug in the spring of 2016. As co-artistic director of Montr�al-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART, Wren has co-created the performances: En fran�ais comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize (1998), Individualism Was A Mistake (2008), The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information (2011), and Every Song I've Ever Written (2012). Wren travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art. Connect with him on his blog (www.radicalcut.blogspot.com) or on Twitter @everySongIveEve.

 
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This Will Be Good

Book*hug Press


Mallory Tater's This Will Be Good tells the story of a young woman's burgeoning femininity as it brushes up against an emerging eating disorder. As the difficulties of her disease reveal themselves, they ultimately disrupt family relationships and friendships.

These poems deftly bear witness to the performance of femininity and gender construction to reveal the shrinking mind and body of a girl trying to find her place in the world, and whose overflowing adolescent hope for a future will not subside.

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"This Will Be Good is a prayer, vicious and sweet. Tater's dexterous language shreds the pink ribbons of nostalgia to remind that girlhood is both 'sugared with fear' and 'diamond-hard.'" --Ad�le Barclay, author of If I Were In a Cage I'd Reach Out For You

"This Will Be Good details the truths of girlhood; how young women treat themselves with cruelty and tenderness, fend off and court desire, and brace themselves for a world that both expects too much of them and yet never enough. These poems unfold as stories girls tell each other as they make space to share, cope, grieve, and hopefully, heal." --Dina Del Bucchia, author of Coping with Emotions and Otters, Blind Items and Don't Tell Me What to Do"

Evocative and tactile as unearthed memory, This Will Be Good follows the history of a family through years, homes, seasons, and bodies. They're death and grief, sex and religion. A reckoning with womanhood, manhood, and memory, these stories have a feeling of being passed down, kept secret, and slipped in notes and gestures between intimates whose closeness is felt on the skin. Press these words to your breast." --Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star and Sunshine State

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Mallory Tater is a writer from the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg Nation (Ottawa). Mallory's poetry and fiction have been published in literary magazines across Canada such as Room, CV2, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, Carousel, Prism International and Arc Magazine. She was shortlisted for Arc Magazine's 2015 Poem of The Year Contest, The Malahat Review's 2016 Far Horizon's Contest and Room Magazine's 2016 Fiction and Poetry Prizes. She was the recipient of CV2's 2016 Young Buck Poetry Prize. She is the publisher of Rahila's Ghost Press, a poetry chapbook press slated to release their first print run Fall 2017.

 
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My Conversations With Canadians

Book*hug Press


Shortlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Award

Shortlisted for the First Nation Communities READ 2018-2019 Award

On her first book tour at the age of 26, Lee Maracle was asked a question from the audience, one she couldn't possibly answer at that moment. But she has been thinking about it ever since. As time has passed, she has been asked countless similar questions, all of them too big to answer, but not too large to contemplate. These questions, which touch upon subjects such as citizenship, segregation, labour, law, prejudice and reconciliation, to name a few, are the heart of My Conversations with Canadians.

In essays that are both conversational and direct, Maracle seeks not to provide any answers to these questions she has lived with for so long. Rather, she thinks through each one using a multitude of experiences she has had as a First Nations leader, a woman, a mother, and grandmother over the course of her life. Lee Maracle's My Conversations with Canadians presents a tour de force exploration into the writer's own history and a reimagining of the future of our nation.

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Praise for My Converstaions With Canadians:

"My Conversations With Canadians… offer[s] strength and solidarity to Indigenous readers, and a generous guide to allyship for non-Indigenous readers. For the latter, these books will unsettle, but to engage in allyship is to commit to being unsettled—all the time." —The Globe and Mail

"Maracle sets the record straight on a few of our beloved myths, including Canada's current narrative as a model multicultural society." —Kamal Al-Solaylee

"A very timely work in the era of the botched Canada 150 celebrations and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry… a powerful and thought provoking read. Highly recommended." —Vancouver Sun

"By inviting us into her home, Maracle reminds us that we inhabit someone else's space. We come to see that maybe we are the problem and that reconciliation is not a solution—not without restitution." —The UC Observer

"In these pages, Maracle develops a relationship with her audience that feels intuitive and intimate, yet weaves together something far more comprehensive than any interview or conversation could provide." —Maisonneuve

"As challenging as these "conversations" may be for some Canadians, the harshness pales in comparison to the abuses endured at residential schools. Readers will not be stripped naked, deloused, and then shaved bald on their first day of school. Only the readers' false notions will be stripped away." —Hamilton Review of Books

"Maracle, never one to hold back, is an unblinking observer of First Nations experience and seizes the moment—specifically the occasion of Canada's 150th birthday—to release this collection of essays…  A unique voice worth heeding." —Now Magazine

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North Vancouver–born Lee Maracle is the author of numerous critically acclaimed literary works, including Sundogs, Ravensong, Sojourner's Truth and Other Stories, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, Daughters Are Forever, Will’s Garden, Bent Box, Memory Serves, I Am Woman, and Talking to the Diaspora. She is the coeditor of a number of anthologies, including the award-winning My Home As I Remember. A member of the Sto: Loh nation, Maracle is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the JT Stewart Award, and the Ontario Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts for 2014. Maracle is currently an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Oral Tradition. She is also the Traditional Teacher for First Nation's House and an instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington, and received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University in 2009.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Authenticity is a Feeling«

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Authenticity is a Feeling

Book*hug Press


Authenticity is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART is a compelling hybrid of history, memoir, and performance theory. It tells the story of the interdisciplinary performance group PME-ART and their ongoing endeavour to make a new kind of highly collaborative theatre dedicated to the fragile but essential act of "being yourself in a performance situation."

Written, among other things, to celebrate PME-ART's twentieth anniversary, the book begins when Jacob Wren meets Sylvie Lachance and Richard Ducharme, moves from Toronto to Montreal to make just one project, but instead ends up spending the next twenty years creating an eccentric, often bilingual, art. It is a book about being unable to learn French yet nonetheless remaining co-artistic director of a French-speaking performance group, about the Spinal Tap-like adventures of being continuously on tour, about the rewards and difficulties of intensive collaborations, about making performances that break the mold and confronting the repercussions of doing so. A book that aims to change the rules for how interdisciplinary performance can be written about today.

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Jacob Wren makes literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed, and Polyamorous Love Song (a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of the Globe and Mail's 100 best books of 2014). His most recent book Rich and Poor, was a finalist for the 2016 Quebec Writers' Federation Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created the performances: En fran�ais comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize, Individualism Was A Mistake, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and Every Song I've Ever Written. He travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art. Connect with him on his blog (www.radicalcut.blogspot.com) or on Twitter @everySongIveEve.

 
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Holy Wild

Book*hug Press


Winner of the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry

Finalist for the 2019 Trillium Book Award for Poetry

Finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Awards – Transgender Poetry Category

Finalist for the 2019 Publishing Triangle Awards – Trans and Gender-Variant Literature Category

Longlisted for the 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award

In her third collection of poetry, Holy Wild, Gwen Benaway explores the complexities of being an Indigenous trans women in expansive lyric poems. She holds up the Indigenous trans body as a site of struggle, liberation, and beauty. A confessional poet, Benaway narrates her sexual and romantic intimacies with partners as well as her work to navigate the daily burden of transphobia and violence. She examines the intersections of Indigenous and trans experience through autobiographical poems and continues to speak to the legacy of abuse, violence, and colonial erasure that defines Canada. Her sparse lines, interwoven with English and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), illustrate the wonder and power of Indigenous trans womanhood in motion. Holy Wild is not an easy book, as Benaway refuses to give any simple answers, but it is a profoundly vibrant and beautiful work filled with a transcendent grace.

Praise for Holy Wild:

"This is a heart wrenching, thought provoking, honest, and graceful walkthrough of trans realities both on the homeland and in urban settings." —Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Full-Metal Indigiqueer

"As the poet says, "they want one thing and I am many." This book is many things, and we are grateful." —Katherena Vermette, author of the award-winning novel The Break

"Benaway conjures trans life in a place that is both prior to and in excess of the violence that mires it. It is the emotional infrastructure for something like freedom. Let Benaway lead you there." —Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of This Wound is a World

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Praise for Holy Wild:

ninan�skomitin katawasisin k�ya �mac �cimowinak: I am so grateful for your beautiful stories, Gwen! Her narrator, like the phoenix she breathes life into, rises into a fully emblazoned piy�s�s that etches out space--in both the whiteness of queerness and the very muds and waters that birth us--for 2SQ and trans Indigenous livelihoods and literatures. This is a heart wrenching, thought provoking, honest, and graceful walkthrough of trans realities both on the homeland and in urban settings. As Benaway notes, "creation opens around [language]" in Holy Wild and as she holds our hands through story, she "wash[es] away layers" from stones ruddy with sediment; and she too "broke open the world to let [us] step into it." This book is a birthing of a body, in all of its varied meanings, which is always a promise "wild in [its] convergence[s]." ay-hay, nis�kihitowin awa. &mdashJoshua Whitehead, author of Full-Metal Indigiqueer and Johnny Appleseed

"Holy Wild! Holy Gwen! I think of this collection with an exclamation point! "[T]he only word for this is love." And, this book is filled with love--stunning, beautiful, complicated love--love of language, love of bodies, love of love, the hard-won love of self, and more, so much more. As the poet says, "they want one thing and I am many." This book is many things, and we are grateful. --Katherena Vermette, author of the award-winning novel The Break

"In Holy Wild, Benaway sounds forth a chorus of pronouncements that look something like I am "x," where "x" is at once unavailable to some and ever-proliferating: "this is what makes us holy / even if we are the only ones / who know it." It is in this refusal of singularity that Benaway conjures trans life in a place that is both prior to and in excess of the violence that mires it. "[T]he first day of forever" is forever, is recursive, is softness, is an intimate life outside of the wrath of men who spoil the categories we install hope in, but, above all else, it is the emotional infrastructure for something like freedom. Let Benaway lead you there. --Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of This Wound is a World

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Gwen Benaway is the author of two previous poetry collections: Ceremonies for the Dead and Passage. She has received many distinctions and awards, including the Dayne Ogilvie Honour of Distinction for Emerging Queer Authors from the Writer's Trust of Canada. Her poetry and essays have been published in national publications and anthologies, including The Globe and Mail, Maclean's Magazine, CBC Arts, and many others. She was born in Wingham, Ontario and currently resides in Toronto.

 
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Coconut Dreams

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Coconut Dreams explores the lives of the Pinto family through seventeen linked short stories. Starting with a ghost story set in Goa, India in the 1950s, the collection weaves through various timelines and perspectives to focus on two children, Aiden and Ally Pinto. These siblings tackle their adventures in a predominantly white suburb with innocence, intelligence and a timid foot in two distinct cultures.

In these stories, Derek Mascarenhas takes a fresh look at the world of the new immigrant and the South Asian experience in Canada, as a daughter questions her father's love at an IKEA grand opening; an aunt remembers a safari-gone-wrong in Kenya; an uncle's unrequited love is confronted at a Goan Association picnic; a boy tests his faith amidst a school-yard brawl; and a childhood love letter is exchanged during the building of a backyard deck. Singularly and collectively, these stories will move the reader with their engaging narratives and authentic voices.

"This charming collection of stories resides between a suburban childhood in Canada and inherited, often mythic, tales from Goa that belong to the elders. Characters decide on love with rings lost at sea and soothe babies with stories of elephants in mountains. The voices in these stories are from people who seem far away and yet are inside us. Prepare to be delighted." —Kim Echlin, author of Under the Visible Life

"The stories in Derek Mascarenhas's Coconut Dreams remind one of the high stakes in a child's world, the way that danger looms just fractionally outside safety. Like all proper enchantments, these vignettes are dark, light, strange, and vivid such that they delight and charm in equal portions." —Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things, Perfecting, and The Nettle Spinner.

"In this evocative collection, Derek Mascarenhas takes up the fictional Pinto family and turns it gently in his hands, revealing new truths—and new questions—with every shift in point of view. A moving, multifaceted debut." —Alissa York, author of The Naturalist

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Derek Mascarenhas is a graduate of the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program, a finalist and runner up for the Penguin Random House of Canada Student Award for Fiction, and a nominee for the Marina Nemat Award. His fiction has been published in places such as Joyland, The Dalhousie Review, Switchback, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Cosmonauts Avenue, and The Antigonish Review. Derek is one of four children born to parents who emigrated from Goa, India, and settled in Burlington, Ontario. A backpacker who has traveled across six continents, Derek currently resides in Toronto. Coconut Dreams is his first book.

 
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