14 May 2006

Anar Ali’s debut


This from Anar Ali's publicist.

“Anar Ali paints a loving and rich portrait of the Ismaili community in transition from East Africa to Canada. Her stories combine the realism of a Rohinton Mistry with the whimsy of a Barbara Gowdy: a baby grows wings and flies, a family flees Idi Amin’s Uganda, a pearl diver discovers a secret world under the sea, an old woman deals with her son’s lifelong coma in a Calgary hospital. A dazzling debut by a writer whose next book I can’t wait to read.” — Shyam Selvadurai

From an original young writer, Baby Khaki’s Wings is a stunning collection of richly imagined stories about the Ismaili community, a Muslim sect with its origins in India, and a history of upheaval and dislocation.

Set in Canada and East Africa, and by turns comic and tragic, these are magical tales of men and women displaced; caught between home and exile, between what is real and imaged. A baby with wings, a disappeared life savings, a pearl diver’s magical secrets. With these stories, Anar Ali makes a powerful departure from traditional post-colonial narratives and speaks in the contemporary voice of Canada’s new international community.

Anar was born in Tanzania, grew up in Alberta, and lives in Toronto. The South Asian Journalists Association was scheduled to present Anar Ali and Ahmad Saidullah at an event on 13 April in Toronto. Anar Ali, a graduate of the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia, read from her acclaimed short story collection. (Ahmad Saidullah who was due to speak on south Asian writing, the short story and The Village Green Rag was unable to attend the event which was hosted at Tarek Fatah's house in Cabbagetown, Toronto.)

1 comment:

J-Bar said...

Having read the extract from Baby Khaki's Wings inclines me to buy and read the book. But I am really responding to Anar Ali's editorial in the New York Times "Don't Ask Me about the Toronto Terrorists" in which she says she has lost her sense of belonging as a result of the current upheaval.

To all those from another culture and to my own offspring who is half-and-half I say Just claim your place and keep it. It's your human entitlement to belong: take it.