Viewing 1 to 10 (191 Total)
Sort by:


*
*

"And Neither Have I Wings to Fly": Labelled and Locked Up in Canada's Oldest Institution

 

2014 Finalist for the Wales Book of the Year Award for Creative Non-Fiction

2014 Finalist for the MARTY People's Choice Award for Literary Arts

2013 IPPY Bronze Medal Winner for Psychology/Mental Health

The shocking true story of the institutionalization and abuse of children and adults with intellectual and physical handicaps in Canada's oldest provincial institution in Orillia, Ontario. Daisy Lumsden and her family were such victims, along with over ten thousand children, including infants, and adults with intellectual disabilities committed over the last century to the institution now known as Huronia Regional Centre, formerly the Asylum for Idiots and Feeble-Minded.

The time frame of the book, 1900-1966, covers the most controversial decades in its history, a time of over-crowding and abuses that reached a crux in the 1950s and 1960s when the inmate population was nearly 3000. Victims of the rising eugenic ideology of the early 1900s that infiltrated Canada from United States and Britain, advocating segregation and involuntary sterilization of the "feeble-minded," Daisy's family — uneducated, ignorant, unemployed, incestuous, poor — were easily identifiable as "feeble-minded" and "unfit," unwittingly caught up in a genetic "survival of the fittest." But who are the "unfit" in our society? And who decides?

Powerful exposé of a part of Canadian history kept secret — the book exposes the role of psychiatrists and leading eugenicists in Canada in the abuse of intellectual and physically handicapped children's civil rights in Canada. A true story, it is highly readable and includes full historical data, endnotes, historical sources, photographs, and a bibliography. Readers will experience what it is like being locked up in an institution through the first-hand experiences of heroine Daisy Lumsden and members of her family. Original patient records and psychiatrists reports are incorporated throughout the story providing integrity. The book brings to light a shameful part of Canada's history too long swept under the table.

Of note: A current $1-billion class-action lawsuit is underway against the government of Ontario and the institution for failure to provide proper care and protection for those living within its walls. This book is at the heart of it.

And Neither Have I Wings to Fly: Labelled and Locked Up in Canada's Oldest Institution
 
 
 
Dimensions
9x6x0.5 in
 
*
*

A Bedroom of Searchlights

 

The poems in this collection explore the life of the poet’s mother who divorced in 1939, at a time when a woman divorcing was still frowned upon by society. This collection draws a picture of the artist and single mother who struggled with poverty, war, and the realities of daily life, yet still found beauty and comfort in her garden, and her art.

“Joanna M. Weston's A Bedroom of Searchlights brings to vivid, eidetic life wartime Britain and an artist mother's gentle but indomitable grace and pluck as a divorced, single mother in an unforgiving era. Weston movingly weaves the Kentish countryside, paintings and sculptures, childcare and courage into a tapestry of flowers and aromas that enliven the reader's sensory memories. Memorable metaphors conflate war trauma, poverty, mothering and painting: “to shoot bouquets through/ a magnitude of armies” (Background of Flowers); “she laid children/ beside hawthorn hedges/ pulled them through/ with lavender lacing.” (Missing Children); (she) ate gesso/ and layers of colour/ before she turned pages/ sang a picture into dinner.” (Necessities). Grief is eloquently and sometimes obliquely expressed: “all of us/ loosing our motherhood/ into future wombs/ because we can/ no longer/ knit children” (Thread of Motherhood) and synaesthetically: “sunflower   tulip/ hang over her palette/waiting for red and gold/to cut grief in half.” (Two Ghosts). This poignant, soulful and tender extended elegy plays the heart like a harp and lingers long afterwards.”

—Katerina Vaughan Fretwell, author and artist of Dancing on a Pin

“In Joanna M. Weston's A Bedroom of Searchlights we meet Mother who painted in oils, played a spinet and sang, embroidered her daughter's dresses and fulfilled all her domestic duties single-handedly after her divorce at the outbreak of war. Weston's masterfully measured poems, create, piece by piece, a picture of Mother as intricate and strongly coloured as the paintings on her easel. Part lament, part love song, part celebration of a woman's heroism in the face of heartbreak … these haunting poems lead us back to Mother's life but also show us the way women's lives forge links to future generations. This is a beautiful collection which I enjoyed reading very much.”

—Pam Galloway, author of Passing Stranger

A Bedroom of Searchlights
 
 
 
Dimensions
6x7.5x0.2 in
 
*
*

A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change

 
A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change is a unique collection of narratives from women from all around the globe. These are stories of compassion and bravery, empowered by the vision of a better world for all life. It emphasizes the need to empower the feminine and assure gender balance and human rights for all. This accumulation of women’s stories reveals the role of women in creating needed changes in areas of health and nutrition, supporting efforts toward sustainable environments, promoting political and social rights, protecting women from the travesties of war and rape and promoting religious diversity and better conditions for all beings.
 
A very interesting and instructive manuscript that both gives one much needed hope and reveals some of how much needs to be done before both women and men can hope to live together in equality and harmony in a world at peace. An attempt to really pull together the voices of women activists from around the world revealing the particular context in which women live in their countries and the actions women have and are taking to improve the lives of women in particular, women and men more generally, in their countries. This anthology offers an introduction to women’s movements in parts of the world where we normally have little access to this kind of information, i.e., women’s activism in communist societies such as the ussr, and now Russia, and China, as well as women’s activism within spiritual traditions such as Islam and Buddhism, and forms of activism that women may not have previously considered (e.g. dance). The book makes an important contribution in filling the gap in knowledge about the status and activism of women in other cultures.
A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change
 
 
 
Dimensions
9x6x0.5 in
 
*
*

A Glittering Chaos

 

2014 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction

The adage about "what happens in Vegas" is funny precisely because we know it's wishful thinking. A Glittering Chaos is about what happens when "what happens in Vegas" comes home to haunt you. Melusine is a German librarian whose ho-hum world wobbles after she tags along when her husband Hans attends a Las Vegas optometry conference. A newly empty nester who speaks no English, Melusine's voyage of self-discovery is punctuated by the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann, nude photos in the desert, a black dildo named Kurt, autoerotic asphyxia, and the unravelling of her husband's sanity because of a secret from his youth. A smart, funny and incredibly wise novel about marriage, secrets and lies, and unusual sexual proclivities.

A Glittering Chaos

 
 
 
Dimensions
8.25x5.5x0.5 in
 
*
*

A Gut Reaction: A True Story About a Mother's Fight to Save her Son's Life and his Amazing Recovery from Crohn's Disease

 

Gut Reaction is an entertaining as well as informative true story about the author’s battle to save her son’s life—or at least his large intestine—from a very severe case of Crohn’s disease. With persistence, humour, much searching of the Internet and the help of two unusual doctors, one in Canada and the other in Australia, she and her son, who was in his early twenties, finally find a regime of fecal infusions that replaces the bacteria that had ulcerated his gut with a healthy flora donated by his mother. The manuscript details their adventures and then concludes with a helpful summary of how they did it. It includes a foreword by Dr. Thomas Borody, a globally recognized gastroenterologist and the Director of the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Australia, whose emails and phone conversations helped the author understand what, how, and why to do what was necessary. When the regime is only a partial success, she figures out on her own that she must eliminate many of the problems that are preventing the helpful bacteria from being able to colonize her son’s intestine. By talking to a helpful pharmacist and then with the support of a helpful doctor she begins the healing of the intestine walls and develops a more extensive regime of fecal infusions that cures her son. The proof is supported by a final colonoscopy and a forthcoming article in Lancet as well as by the by Dr. Borody’s foreword.  

Sky Curtis’s sometimes desperate, often hilarious, and always determined international quest for a treatment for her son’s life-threatening Crohn’s disease resulted in a new protocol for the treatment of this disease. Sky’s son is probably the first person in North America to be free of Crohn’s/Colitis because of fecal transplants. Her perseverance with this with this type of therapy for intestinal diseases means that sufferers of Crohn’s/Colitis now have hope that they can be completely well.
A Gut Reaction: A True Story about a Mother's Fight to Save Her Son's Life and His Amazing Recovery from Crohn's Disease
 
 
 
Dimensions
9x6x0.5 in
 

A Hero

 
 
 
*
*

A Hero

 

Finalist, 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (Fiction)

Finalist, 2016 International Book Awards
Fiction - General

The state war raging outside the home of the Al-Fakhoury extended family, who live in a border town buffeted by the turmoil of the Arab Spring, entwines with the familial conflict raging within. The patriarch of the family, Mohammed, is an aggressive, dominant man who bullies his wife and four children and wages paranoiac diatribes against his sister and her family. It is only when Mohammed leaves for work every morning that the house relaxes into the rich interconnectivity of familial relationships: between Mohammed’s gentle wife Fatima and his sister Rana, who yearns desperately to contribute to their country’s historic fight for freedom; between the twelve-year-old twins and Rana’s gentle son Mazin, whose effeminacy is a source of great anxiety to her. This formidable woman tends her chickens and her garden in the courtyard, sharing the produce with the neighbours and improving the lives of everybody around her, even though she cannot raise a placard with the men. Ahmed, Mohammed’s brother, is an active and passionate participant in the protests, demanding their country’s dictator step down and make way for democracy. When Ahmed is involved in a terrible incident during a demonstration, he wakes up in an underground cavern, surrounded by groaning, dying men stretched out on blankets on the floor, and is stunned by what he discovers there.

“With an ear for dialogue and a deep-seated understanding about the dynamics of a Middle Eastern family, Charlotte Mendel charts the challenging and heartfelt path of a family living during revolutionary times. A Hero is a poignant story of survival through a conflict that is raging not only at state level, but between family members as well. Mendel is a passionate writer.”

—Donna Morrissey

"Charlotte Mendel's tender look at an Arab family's passionate involvements takes us beyond headlines and into a nuanced and complicated world. If you're reading to understand the Middle East, A Hero is there to open your eyes and heart."

—Carole Giangrande, author of Midsummer and A Gardener on the Moon

A Hero

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Hero by Charlotte Mendel

A Hero

by Charlotte Mendel

Giveaway ends February 15, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 
Enter Giveaway
 
 
 
Dimensions
5.5x0.3x8.25 in
 
*

A Romani Women's Anthology: Spectrum of the Blue Water

 

A Romani Women’s Anthology: Spectrum of the Blue Water is grounded upon Romani women’s lived experiences, and confers epistemic privilege on critical insights that derive from their authentic and personal knowledge. Romani women are impressively diverse in their attachments, status, beliefs, and identities. The chapters in this book illustrate this multiplicity by traversing writing motifs. The book is a dynamic blend of life writing, creative work, research essays about identity, childhood, immigration, work, art, memory, love, spirituality, activism, advocacy, leadership, and other themes affecting the lives of Romani women. Visual art, as well as black and white portraits of Romani women complement the written text. Through incisive creativity, pragmatic action, and affective networks, this book consolidates these diverse expressions of agency and collectivity by activists, writers, artists, academics, community leaders, educators, professionals, and cultural and community workers.

“The voices of Romani women have too long been ignored in our struggle for recognition as Roma and I believe this collection of articles from a cross section of female activists and scholars will do much to redress this situation. I highly recommend this important anthology of  Romani women authors.”

—Ronald Lee, LL.D, author of The Living Fire

“A Romani Women’s Anthology: Spectrum of the Blue Water integrates various Romani women’s voices into a stimulating scholarly/artistic project. It exposes narratives from different locations and standpoints to illuminate the racialized and gendered positions of Romani women. This book is essential for anyone interested in the fragmented and disparate perspectives of Romani women. This is a unique book that will inspire us to learn more about Romani women. “

—Angéla Kóczé, Visiting Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University

Romani Women in Canada: Spectrum of the Blue Water

 

 
 
$29.95
 
Dimensions
6x9x0.725 in
 

A Samurai's Pink House

 
 
$18.95
 
*

A Samurai's Pink House

 

The poems in A Samurai’s Pink House are threaded with the transformation of the seasons from Matsuo Basho’s travels to a love affair between a kabuki cross-dresser and a lonely geisha and the struggles of women in ancient and modern-day Japan. The collection takes the reader on a journey through the fascinating culture of Japan with graceful and accessible language. A sensuous, powerful and beautiful collection that moves across rice fields, tea houses, cherry orchards and narrow alleys where characters, in different stages of life, strive to find identity, peace and love.

“The acuity of perception, empathetic sensibility and long imaginative reach behind these poems will authentically transport readers across historical and cultural distances into both the Japan of past centuries and the Japan of today.”

—Allan Briesmaster, author of Against the Flight of Spring and River Neither

“In A Samurai’s Pink House, Sonia Saikaley, author of The Lebanese Dishwasher and Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter, writes slender verses that incorporate spare narratives against an exotic background to explore gender and love in its many guises. Whether it is the girl who learns ‘the fine art of sword swinging’ who is raped by the man whom she must accept as her husband or Basho who shyly discovers attraction to his own sex, whether it is compassion for the victim of a nuclear explosion encountered at Hokkaido Hot Springs or a tender farewell to a Japanese friend after a stay in her country, Saikaley’s verses are sensual and  alive to all the finer emotions, including whimsy and humour (cf.‘Basho's Haiku Goes to the Frogs’).”

—Gillian Harding-Russell

“These are charming poems of ‘sweet, sweet Japan’, written by a well-versed foreigner not just a tourist, one who knows who Basho is and how to shape a haiku. Saikaley walks through Japan with her eyes wide open, noticing everything, writing of Kabuki, geishas, buddhas, cicadas, and the ever-present and ever-lovely cherry blossoms. In this delightful world, anything is possible – a pond on the temple grounds can be frothy green tea and fireflies can be tour guides.” 

—Mark Frutkin

“At times wistful and evocative, at other times a provocative exploration of femininity and female sexuality in Japan, this collection captured my imagination until the very end.”

—Leslie Shimotakahara, author of The Reading List and After the Bloom

“Sonia Saikaley’s brilliant new collection draws you on a haunting journey through time and Japanese culture. Cherry trees, rice fields, blossoms, moonlight, teardrops of rain and dew evoke a Zen beauty of discipline and quiet obedience. Sensuousness abounds: the scents of “spring and sea salt”, “sake and green / tea”, “seawater cologne”, “salmon and tuna”; the sounds of “shamisen strings”, “roar / of cicadas and fireflies”; even tastes “of seaweed and sake”, “a salty kiss”. But undercutting this deceptively tranquil surface are private suffering, as personified in poems recounting the passion and eventual subjugation of female samurai in the 17th century and the wanderings of master haiku poet Basho, the secret homosexual longings of a kabuki performer, a geisha’s loneliness, and the homesickness of a transplanted modern day teacher. Writing with a deft and delicate touch, throughout Saikaley skilfully balances the beautiful and the sad. Reading these seemingly quiet, yet so poignant depictions is like tasting exquisite confections with a surprise tang of bitters at the centre. A Samurai’s Pink House is a book I shall delight in returning to again and again.”

—Susan Ioannou

“In this collection of connected poems Sonia Saikaley navigates through the ancient traditions of Japan, still present in modern day, either via memory or expressed in all kinds of living materialities. Ancient and modern Japan appear intertwined with memories of Canada and also the world—and all that extends beyond the world, the vast cosmos.… As the title may anticipate, this collection is also about women trying to escape from the trappings of patriarchal entrenched networks of Japanese society (or any society) to reach a place, real or imaginary, where they are and can be warriors: the Samurais of a new world order where the colour “pink” has the same value as colour blue. A “Samurai’s Pink House” is that incubating sanctuary for a new and necessary order that calls for genders to be equalized, in their difference.…All of this, offered to us in a gentle bath of words, singing with persistence into our ear, into our soul, calling us to a higher order. We are invited to feel and feel and feel: the sorrow, the beauty and deep pain that life is, the great longing for what it could be. Immersed in the body with its calling carnal desires and the weight and pain of the material, we yearn to take off in flight, becoming, becoming, entering the Great Buddha state and exiting the body material. A Samurai’s Pink House speaks of a love—a beautiful love that demands. A love that knows we are beings of the universe and possess a spirit that calls.” 

—Irene Marques

“Sonia Saikaley’s “A Samurai’s Pink House” takes us on a trip through Japan and some of its history. The reader meets a woman Samurai, haiku legend Basho, a Geisha, a teacher, and more. The characters are finely woven into a subtle, cherry blossom silk billowing in a breeze. The narrator and a woman she regularly addresses are intriguing figures. Are they really two characters, or are they both the narrator herself, portrayed once in the first person and the next in the third? We may never know. We are, however, happily drawn into the lovely world Saikaley has laid before us. “A Samurai’s Pink House” is a compelling read, difficult to put down.”

—Rod Pederson

“The key characteristics of Iaido, the Japanese art of drawing the long sword in response to sudden attack, best reflect Sonia Saikaley’s approach to writing: immediate, fluid, controlled, and devastatingly precise. Her collection, A Samurai’s Pink House, flicflacs effortlessly between ancient and contemporary Japan. As female warrior-poet, Saikaley draws a blade on custom, tradition and gender schemas. The outcome is both brutal and beautiful. Her precision cuts spill forth the ugly innards of patriarchal society across the ages. Yet, Saikaley is far from being the cold assassin. Her writing is heavy with the sensual pleasures of Japan: the scent of cherry blossom, sake and green tea. The outcome is a collection of poetry that is sharply perceived, with a deep sense of history, executed with the utmost skill and grace.”             

– Darren Richard Carlaw, Editor, StepAway Magazine

A Samurai's Pink House
 
 
$18.95
 
Dimensions
6x7.5x0.2 in
 

A Tilt

 
 
$18.95
 
*

A Tilt

 

The poet's many years as a practicing psychiatrist has given her the opportunity to look at, and experience, life with an acute intensity of joy and pain. Farideh de Bosset's poetic and cultural roots go back to Iran, where she was born. "Poetry was a part of everyday life for me," explains de Bosset, "while growing up in Iran, it was the language of our household. My parents often communicated by reciting poetry, one starting a line, the other continuing."

Each poem in this debut collection records the events of a woman's everyday life, as well as the poet's experiences of talking to, and healing with, patients, and friends and family, as well as the impact of literature and art, the countries she's lived in and visited, and, of course, her dreams and her understanding of those dreams on her work, her creation of art, and her life.

The title, A Tilt, refers to life being lived on a fine balance, or a tilt, and this experience is intensified as an immigrant. de Bosset says, "An immigrant is always between two languages, two cultures, like living on a "tilt" and being in danger of falling."

Aware of the everyday juggling between different structures of the psyche and the external world in each and every one of us contributes to the poet's awe and admiration for the enduring nature of the human spirit.

A Tilt
 
 
$18.95
 
Dimensions
7.5x6x0.3 in
 

After Drowning

 
 
 
*
*

After Drowning

 

Winner, IPPY Silver Medal for
Contemporary Fiction

Lake Erie was once home to a thriving inland fishery but the sad fortunes of the lake have decimated the industry, forcing those who live along the Lake Erie shore to adapt their expectations, or move on. On a summer’s day, Pen (Penelope) Beau and her four-year-old daughter Maddy are at the beach when they witness a drowning. The tragedy dredges up memories from Pen’s childhood – the death of her father in a boating mishap that may or may not have been an accident, and the subsequent disappearance of her brother Keaton, who fled the town after setting a deadly fire. Also involved in the events on the beach that day is Tom, a member of a biker gang, who is being inexorably drawn into a club-sanctioned bloody showdown. Eventually betrayed and abandoned, Tom must re-think the true nature of his relationships. Pen and Tom’s lives briefly intersect, two outsiders who must each find a way to reconcile the scattered threads of their lives.

After Drowning is a beautifully written and powerfully moving novel about a young mother’s journey of finding an anchor for her heart in the permanence of change. Valerie Mills-Milde vividly paints microscopic but telling details of complex emotions, thoughts, and descriptions with a deft use of imagery and metaphor. This book nimbly travels through relationships, grief, abandonment, trust, and hope all against the backdrop of a lake that has seeped into the souls of the main characters. This is a book to be felt, savoured, and loved.”

—Sky Curtis, author of Doctored, A Gut Reaction and the forthcoming, Flush

“In her debut novel, After Drowning, Valerie Mills-Milde has mined new territory in a Canadian setting we know little about with a cast of characters that will stay with the reader long after finishing the book, not the least of which is Lake Erie — a beautiful lake that used to provide bounty in the form of fish but can turn on a dime into a menacing adversary with a capacity to kill. Pen and her daughter, Maddie, have returned to Port to stay with her mother and stepfather while Pen sorts out the problems with her marriage. While playing on the beach with her daughter, Pen witnesses a drowning, which triggers memories that set her on a course of self-examination and, ultimately, of release from the constraints and insecurity she has felt all her life. What we learn about the past from Pen's memories and her internal life is inexorably linked with events that roll out to a surprising and satisfying climax. Love and relationships may fail us in life, but without them we are set adrift, as this author so beautifully demonstrates.”

—Renate Krakauer, author of Only by Blood

After Drowning
 
 
 
Dimensions
5.5x8.25x0.3 in
 
Copyright © 2012 Inanna Publications. Site development by In the Lost and Found & Nicole Chung.