Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.

In This Together
with Martha Baillie,
Ahmad Danny Ramadan
and Catherine Hernandez

Hosted by Rhonda Douglas
"Scarborough showcases a necessary shift from the singular voice novel to create space for many voices to be heard -- especially ones that are often forgotten.
— Vivek Shraya
Ahmad Danny Ramadan
Catherine Hernandez - Photo courtesy of Zahra Siddiqui Torres
Martha Baillie

Join us for a taste of three remarkable novels and a conversation on the connections and dissonances that define our experiences and our need for community.  

A mysterious manuscript falls into a bed-ridden writer's lap in this novel of

broken bones, Syrian folktales, and plummets of all varieties. In Martha Baillie’s  If Clara , nobody stands on firm ground. Daisy, an author confined to her home, her leg in a cast from hip to ankle, receives a parcel containing the manuscript of a novel about a Syrian refugee, and is asked to pose as its writer. Julia, a curator of installation art, has no idea that her sister, Clara, has written a novel. However, she does know that Clara suffers from a debilitating mental illness that renders her wildly unpredictable. And Maurice's life is changed by a pair of binoculars welded to the wall of Julia's gallery. These stories collide in a most unexpected way.

The Clothesline Swing is a journey through the troublesome aftermath of the Arab Spring. A former Syrian refugee himself, Ahmad Danny Ramadan unveils an enthralling tale of courage that weaves through the mountains of Syria, the valleys of Lebanon, the encircling seas of Turkey, the heat of Egypt and finally, the hope of a new home in Canada. Inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, it tells the epic story of two lovers anchored to the memory of a dying Syria.

Scarborough , by Catherine Hernandez , employs a multitude of voices to tell the story of a tight-knit neighbourhood under fire: among them, Victor, a black artist harassed by the police; Winsum, a West Indian restaurant owner struggling to keep it together; and Hina, a Muslim school worker who witnesses first-hand the impact of poverty on education. It offers a raw yet empathetic glimpse into a troubled community that locates its dignity in unexpected places: a neighbourhood that refuses to be undone.

Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs.

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