Do you have an issue with/on Canadian Literature?

 

An issue on Canadian Literature has been on the cards for a long time. Here it is, and…… here is to bemused looks, neutral shrugs, crinkled foreheads, and other intense Canadian-isms.

Oh! Don’t get me wrong! We love grovelling in the multi-culti-interculti-stewpot-goulash-curry-prairie-east-coast-big-city-rez-dopey-sex-crazed-iconoclastic-we-are-different-ist mishmash that is CanLit,  which is now taught, researched, admired, funded, trashed, heavily quoted and equally heavily ignored all over the world, so to speak. But Canadians are writing away with ferocious sagacity (another deeply held Canadian bipolarity), unknown in recent times. Every time you turn a corner, there is a new author popping up from behind a lamppost. Ambush! There is a Canadian writer from Montreal, who is now unfolding an entire novel Tweet by Tweet! We are unstoppable!

In the past, Montreal Serai has published Shyam Selvadurai, Rawi Hage, Jaspreet Singh and several others before they scored (Canadians like to) and hit some major targets! But this time we have the full metal jacket, or more like both barrels locked and loaded, to use a not so peaceful analogy…

We have contributions from Linda Leith, the founding Director of the renowned Montreal Blue Met Literary festival; Cyril Dabydeen, much published novelist and frequent essayist from Ottawa; Canadian novelist and Montreal’s Rover Arts Magazine founder, Marianne Ackerman; Julian Samuel, Montreal writer, painter and filmmaker on a new exhibition in New York by ex-Montrealer and Guggenheim scholarship holder (and also a past contributor to Montreal Serai) Abouali Farmanfarmaian.  And to boot, there is an interview with Montreal filmmaker and writer Merrily Weisbord, whose book Love Queen of Malabar is doing very well in readers’ and writers’ forums and on bookstands; and a rising new Toronto poet who has chosen to write Ghazals in English, Sheniz Janmohamed. If that were not enough, we have our perennial reviewer Maya Khankhoje on Ondaatje’s new Book The Cat’s Table, Rosalind Hampton with a powerful interview of the artist Theodore Harris and several more essays, book and film reviews (by Ann Cimon and Prasun Lala) and Ilona Martonfi on the legendary Montreal Literary Space, The Yellow Door. And then there are short stories by Montreal composer Antoine Bustros and as well as others. In short, this is a power-packed, bullet-proof edition for the year ending 2011. Enjoy or be Canadian!

 

  • I am so happy to see this issue and so glad for Montreal Serai’s salute to Canadian literature. Just a quick note, here, for anyone who’d like to step down into the belly of the beast next door, you may well want to read a new, progressive, very “un-American” novel out, as of January 1, about a Holocaust survivor’s daughter who helps a wounded fugitive and discovers he is the half-Syrian suspect in the lethal bombing of a U.S.Army truck. This is my own The Rescuer’s Path (Plain View Press, 2012, trade pb, US$15.95), available around mid-January on amazon and the like or through the publisher. Montreal Serai readers who’ve liked my poems and essays, and others too, should find the book very sympathique, and I particularly look forward to sharing it with people like yourselves.
    Meanwhile, let us continue to Occupy publishing!

  • The Rescuer’s Path is now out and available through the usual corporate suspects such as amazon, barnesandnoble, etc.