Where: Vancouver Public Library (Central Branch), 350 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1
When: Saturday September 23, 1:30pm–3:00pm
Moderated by Dr. Glenn Deer.
“Leanne Dunic’s meditative collection To Love the Coming End embodies Yukio Mishima’s characterization of Japan—her writing is at once elegant and brutal. In these fervent poems of disparate landscapes are catastrophic feelings of sadness, loss, and alienation.”
—Doretta Lau, author of How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?
In To Love the Coming End, a disillusioned author obsessed with natural disasters and ‘the curse of 11’ reflects on their own personal earthquake: the loss of a loved one. A lyric travelogue that moves between Singapore, Canada, and Japan, this debut from Leanne Dunic captures what it’s like to be united while simultaneously separated from the global experience of trauma, history, and loss that colour our everyday lives. About Leanne Dunic.
“A deep and beautiful story … Poetically told and laced with Japanese folklore, the novel takes cues from a more mythical narrative, parables abounding in its fiction but always with a point.”
Lily Takemitsu goes missing from her home in Toronto one luminous summer morning in the mid-1980s. Her daughter, Rita, knows her mother has a history of dissociation and memory problems, which have led her to wander off before. But never has she stayed away so long. Unconvinced the police are taking the case seriously, Rita begins to carry out her own investigation. In the course of searching for her mom, she is forced to confront a labyrinth of secrets surrounding the family’s internment at a camp in the California desert during the Second World War, their postwar immigration to Toronto, and the father she has never known.
Epic in scope, intimate in style, After the Bloom blurs between the present and the ever-present past, beautifully depicting one family’s struggle to face the darker side of its history and find some form of redemption. About Leslie Shimotakahara.
“Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell taps into a wonderful adventure filled with promise and peril. Honest and provocative, her narrative blends into an engaging read the diverse lives of Filipinos who have made Canada their new home.”
— Carlito Pablo, Staff Writer, The Georgia Straight
Stumbling Through Paradise: A Feast of Mercy for Manuel del Mundo follows the journey of one Filipino family, who leave everything behind in order to build a new life for themselves in Canada, and their struggle to find their way. Blocked from finding work in their respective fields despite their qualifications and skills, they must decide between pride and practicality, survival and surrender. The choices and concessions they make will impact their lives, and the lives of their children, in countless ways. And in the end, it will be up to the second and third generations to offer redemption, and help create the paradise their parents had hoped to find.
A story of determination and hope, Stumbling Through Paradise showcases the indomitable spirit of those willing to risk everything for the chance of a brighter future, and captures with great clarity, the bonds of familial love and loyalty, which may bend but never truly break. About Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell.
“Terry Watada’s literary tour de force, The Three Pleasures, lifts the Japanese Canadian internment experience beyond passive victimization by giving life to a host of historical figures – heroes, villians and tragic characters – in a fascinating yet little-known resistance movement within the camps. An absolute page-turner and worthy read.”
—Jim Wong-Chu, Asian Canadian Writers Workshop Founder
1940s Vancouver. The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbour and racial tension is building in Vancouver. The RCMP are rounding up “suspicious” young men, and fishing boats and property are soon seized from Steveston fishers; internment camps in BC’s interior are only months away.
Daniel Sugiura, a young reporter for the New Canadian, the only Japanese-Canadian newspaper allowed to keep publishing during the war, narrates The Three Pleasures. The story is told through three main characters in the Japanese community: Watanabe Etsuo, Morii Etsuji and Etsu Kaga, the Three Pleasures. Etsu in Japanese means “pleasure”; the term is well-suited to these three. Morii Etsuji, the Black Dragon boss, controls the kind of pleasure men pay for: gambling, drink and prostitution – the pleasures of the flesh.
Watanabe Etsuo, Secretary of the Steveston Fishermen’s Association, makes a deal with the devil to save his loved ones. In the end, he suffers for it and never regains the pleasures of family. And there is Etsu Kaga, a Ganbariya of the Yamato Damashii Group, a real Emperor worshipper. His obsession becomes destructive to himself and all involved with him. He enjoys the pleasure of patriotism until that patriotism becomes a curse.
The Three Pleasures is an intimate and passionate novel concerning an unsightly and painful period in Canada’s history.