Poor Ramya. A Hindu woman in her late 40’s finds herself out of work (due to downsizing), separated from her husband, childless and nearly friendless. Plus, she is suffering from depression. So much so that she cannot even motivate herself to fill out her papers to get EI assistance. This is the state we meet Ramya in at the beginning of Ramya’s Treasure, Pratap Reddy’s first novel, which follows on the heels of his captivating compilation of short stories, Weather Permitting and Other Stories, published in 2016.… Continue reading
Vic City Express is a fierce little book; tiny in size, but large in reach and impact. It will polarize readers with the message shouted out by one of the protagonists advocating the elimination of immigration, with not-so-subtle hints at the eradication of unwanted peoples. It takes place on a passenger train ride to Athens where an unfortunate man we’ll call the “reluctant listener” is seated across from a fellow Greek who has no trouble spewing virulent stories about his life growing up in Athens, his involvement in youth crimes, taking police beatings, how Greeks are outnumbered by non-Greeks in his building in Vic City (an area of Athens centered on the Victoria metro station) and so on.… Continue reading
Yalfani was born in Hamadan, Iran. She immigrated to Canada in 1987 with her family and has been writing and publishing ever since.
The Street of Butterflies (2017, Inanna Publications) goes well with another book of short fiction I recently reviewed (also from Inanna), Outside People. They are stories told from the point of view of those that have left their birth country for Canada, or have chosen to stay while others have left looking for more freedom and other opportunities.… Continue reading
, Newfoundland & Labrador has had a colourful history, from fishing to a strategic WWII port to today’s tourism business. However, a little-known slice of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) history (outside of the province, that is) is that of Premier Joey Smallwood’s attempt to diversify NL’s industrial base outside of fishing and logging by attracting post-WWII German industries and German immigrants to Canada’s newest province. Smallwood’s plan was an “escape hatch” for German industries fearing what Soviet Russia may have in store, by coming to Canada.… Continue reading