Imatge de l'autor

Saleema Nawaz

Autor/a de Bone and Bread

3 obres 252 Membres 18 Ressenyes

Obres de Saleema Nawaz

Bone and Bread (2013) 135 exemplars
Songs for the End of the World (2020) 104 exemplars
Mother Superior (2008) 13 exemplars


Coneixement comú




This is a book that does make me proud to be Canadian. Canada has been so fortunate to have talented writers immigrate to the country. But this book wasn't written by one of them; Saleema Nawaz was born and raised in our country's capital, Ottawa. Her father was an immigrant to Canada from India but he was absent when she was growing up so he couldn't have been much of an influence. Perhaps Saleema was just born with a writing gene because Wikipedia says she was interested in writing fiction as early as first grade. Whatever the reason she is a gifted fiction writer.

This is the story of two sisters, Beena and Sadhana. Their Sikh father ran a bagel shop in the middle of a Hasidic neighbourhood in Montreal. When he died of a heart attack when the girls were young they stayed on above the bagel shop with their mother who was Irish. Their father's brother took over running the shop and supported the girls and their mother. Then their mother died of choking and Uncle had to move into the apartment. Beena fell in love with one of the young lads that worked in the bagel shop and got pregnant. The sperm donor absented himself as soon as he learned about the pregnancy. Beena kept the child, a boy named Quinn, and raised him with Sadhana's help. Sadhana had her own problems as she was anorexic. She frequently had to be hospitalized but she was devoted to Beena and Quinn. We learn all this from an adult Beena who is trying to come to terms with Sadhana's death. Beena and Quinn now live in Ottawa while Sadhana stayed in Montreal. Quinn will be returning to Montreal for university and Beena has to clean out Sadhana's apartment. While doing this she learns things about Sadhana that she hadn't known but now she thinks she understands her sister a little better. Perhaps that all we can hope for with our family members.

I am glad I read the Wikipedia article on the author because I learned she has a connection to Winnipeg. She attended the University of Manitoba for her M.A. and she won the Robert Kroesch award for Best Creative Thesis in 2006 for her novella The White Dress. It would have been nice if this information had been included in the author bio in the book.
… (més)
gypsysmom | Hi ha 11 ressenyes més | Jul 3, 2022 |
between 2 and 2.5 stars. it's pretty incredible to me that she wrote this before covid; her research was impeccable because the coronavirus she created and the world reaction to it mirrors, in so many little and big ways, what happened when covid came. that alone is impressive. (it also makes me think that if a nonscientist could predict what she did, we should have - as a world - been more prepared and more anticipatory.)

this is well written and realistic but i had some trouble keeping the connections between the people clear in my mind. which social circles intersected and how, which people were related and how. maybe it's reading it during an actual pandemic, but i wasn't as interested in the stories of the people themselves and just found myself comparing how our covid pandemic related to their aramis pandemic. this is a book, though, less about the actual pandemic and the way the coronavirus affects people, and more about the relationships between people and how people respond and react to outside changes that they can't do much about.

"He wonders if he has only forgotten what it's like to be a child - how not to see at a glance the shape of an ending before you begin."

"All the countries she'd visited while always feeling from nowhere. Or from a place more of the mind than real, half remembered, half described. And everywhere along the way picking up a phrase, a food, a new favorite thing, markers and souvenirs. They might have been affectations. But maybe that was all character was, anyway, an accumulation of affectations."
… (més)
overlycriticalelisa | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Apr 2, 2022 |
This is the kind of book I can really get into....great characters, lots of intersecting or tangential stories, all very well written. This is the story centering on six people living at the time of a pandemic, and it affects their lives in different ways. While the pandemic is an important aspect of the story, it is really a story about resilience and hope as fundamental aspects of human life. Recommended.
LynnB | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Dec 28, 2020 |
As strange as this might sound, it was actually quite enjoyable to read (I actually listened) a book set during a pandemic during this COVID pandemic. This is the second one that I’ve read - the first was The End of October by Lawrence Wright.
There were many passages in Songs for the end of the world where I found myself thinking, Yes, that’s it exactly. Nawaz also does a wonderful job of creating characters whose lives intersect in engaging ways. My favourite book quote came from an observation made by Elliot as he was returning to the city:
“The closer you got to the heart of a calamity, the more resilience there was to be found.”
Although sections of her book are quite sad, overall I found the book left me satisfied and hopeful.
… (més)
JRlibrary | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Oct 27, 2020 |



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