By Yolanda T. Marshall
As May comes to an end, I would like to introduce you to a few of my favourite traditionally published Canadian female writers. Most of these books represent triumph over adversity. I included a special one which offers the delicious tastes of India.
The Most Beautiful Thing I Have Ever Seen
Written by Nadia Devi Umadat, a Canadian social worker of Indo-Guyanese heritage. Nadia holds a Master’s Degree in social work and a Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies. Christine Wei, a Taiwanese artist based in Vancouver, BC, beautifully illustrated this story.
“A journey through the strange but often magical experience of moving to a new land. A little girl sees her mother’s fear when war comes to their home. Fear is replaced with hope when they board a huge, shiny airplane. When it lands, they are somewhere new, and slowly, it comes to feel like home. There are many new experiences, like the beautiful, fluffy snow. And the shrill school bell reminds the little girl of the noises of war her family left behind. But with time and love, her family embraces their new life, and it is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen.” – Second Story Press, May 2023.
Nadia Devi Umadat’s book launch at the Blackhurst Cultural Centre, on Saturday, June 10, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
A History of Burning: A Novel
Written by Janika Oza, a Toronto-based author and winner of a 2022 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction and the 2020 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest. Her debut book was named one of the most anticipated books of 2023 by the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and OprahDaily.
“India, 1898. Pirbhai is the thirteen-year-old breadwinner for his family when he steps into a dhow on the promise of work, only to be taken across the ocean to labour on the East African Railway for the British. With no money or voice but a strong will to survive, he makes an impossible choice that will haunt him for the rest of his days and reverberate across generations. Forced to flee Uganda during Idi Amin’s brutal expulsion of South Asians in 1972, the family must start their lives over again in Toronto. Then one-day news arrives that makes each generation question how far they are willing to go, and who they are willing to defy, to secure a place of their own in the world. A masterful and breathtakingly intimate saga of colonialism and exile, complicity and resistance, A History of Burning is a radiant debut about the stories our families choose to share—and those that remain unspoken.” – McClelland & Stewart, May 2023.
: More Sweet And Spicy Recipes From India, Pakistan And East Africa
Written by Tahera Rawji, a Tanzanian-born author and chef based in British Columbia, Canada.
“Delicious recipes from Rawji`s renowned Indian cooking classes. With its exotic aromas and complex flavours, Indian cuisine is among the world`s most celebrated. Simply More Indian extends the success of Tahera Rawji`s first book, Simply Indian, with many more delicious and authentic Indian recipes collected during her world travels. Careful, detailed guidance, with ample information on staple ingredients and pantry basics, makes preparing an Indian meal stress-free and fun. Some of the fabulously authentic dishes included are Half moon chicken pastries Rajma (red kidney bean curry) Palak pakoras (spinach fritters) Kashmiri lamb curry in thick sauce Reshmi kebabs (barbecued chicken on skewers). With recipes for everything from naans and dosas to chutneys, desserts, and beverages, Simply More Indian is simply a superb cookbook for preparing authentic Indian dishes.” – Whitecap Books. 2011.
Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy
Written by Manjusha Pawaji is the author of the best-selling children’s book ‘The Girl Who Hated Books’ and a family and youth court judge in Toronto.
“Manjusha Pawagi, a successful family court judge, has written a not-so-typical memoir about her experience with cancer. Wryly funny and stubbornly hopeful, this is her quirky take on what it’s like to face your mortality when, to be honest, you thought you’d live forever. She describes how even the darkest moments of life can be made worse with roommates; details how much determination it takes to ignore the statistics; and answers the age-old question: what does it take to get a banana popsicle around here?” – – Second Story Press, 2017.