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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > Jan/Feb 2018 > Non-fiction


A season of provocative stories and insights

Blood lines

Three authors celebrated for their fiction share insights into their familial relationships

David Chariandy, whose widely acclaimed second novel, Brother, won the 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, turns his attention to his real-life family with his new book, I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter (McClelland & Stewart, May). In the spirit of recent books by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chariandy connects stories of his ancestral past as the son of Trinidadian immigrants to his thoughts around identity and race.

Heather O’Neill’s debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, about 13-year-old Baby and her life with her childlike, heroin-addicted father, catapulted O’Neill to CanLit fame. In her first non-fiction book, Wisdom in Nonsense: Invaluable Lessons from My Father (University of Alberta Press, Feb.), O’Neill shares unconventional advice from her own father on the necessary thrills of shoplifting and playing the tuba.

Bill Gaston and his father had a volatile relationship, punctured by moments of peace while fishing together on the Pacific Ocean. But it was only after Gaston’s father died that the 2002 Giller nominee learned more about his dad’s dark past, and came to better understand the complexities of their connection. Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood (Penguin Canada, May) is a story of generational turmoil, cut with signature humour from one of our country’s most engaging storytellers.

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