Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017/2018 Algonquin Reads Book Reveal!

Recognized across Canada for the power and promise of her debut collection, Mother Superior, Saleema Nawaz proves with Bone and Bread that she is one of our most talented and uniquely Canadian storytellers. Nawaz charts new territory in this novel by merging complex themes such as racial tensions within a multi-cultural society mixed with teenage pregnancy, sibling rivalry, sexual identity, a life-threatening eating disorder and the rights of everyday citizens to protest. Nawaz has created a rich narrative of fascinating characters while simultaneously weaving in distinctly Canadian reference points like the 1995 Quebec referendum. When we first meet the main character, Beena, she is in Ottawa grappling with grief as her sister has died suddenly and strangely. Beena is left with a burden of guilt and an unsettled feeling about the circumstances of her sister's death, which she sets about to uncover. The present day is intermixed with flashbacks to their childhood in Montreal’s Hasidic community of Mile End. Born to a Sikh father and Caucasian mother, both sisters try to make sense of the rich, confusing brew of values, rituals, and beliefs that form their inheritance. Read it this summer, and you’ll be ready to participate in the Algonquin Reads events starting in the fall.