5 CARIBBEAN CANADIAN AUTHORS TO KNOW Continue reading...

5 CARIBBEAN CANADIAN AUTHORS TO KNOW February 25, 2021 – Posted in: Highlights

Olive Senior is the Toronto-based Jamaican author of 18 works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s literature. Her widely taught, widely translated works have won her many awards, including the Matt Cohen Award, the Musgrave Medal, and the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. Her stories, set in rural and urban Jamaica, are celebrated for their humour and musicality, haunting use of history and folklore, and rich characters, many of them children coming to terms with…

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5 AFRICAN CANADIAN AUTHORS TO KNOW Continue reading...

5 AFRICAN CANADIAN AUTHORS TO KNOW February 20, 2021 – Posted in: Highlights

Kagiso Lesego Molope is a South African writer who lives in Ottawa. Her novels, set in the South Africa of the 1990s and afterwards, bear witness to the legacies of apartheid and are studied in schools across South Africa. Her best-known book, the young adult novel This Book Betrays My Brother, won a Percy FitzPatrick Award and an Ottawa Book Award. and was named to best-of lists by Kirkus Reviews, the Globe and Mail, CBC, and the Chicago Public Library. WHAT TO READ: Awumey is a Togolese-Canadian writer…

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A Mawenzi House Holiday Gift Guide December 4, 2020 – Posted in: Gift Guides

With so many family members to love on, friends to delight, and colleagues to impress during the gift-gifting season, many of us find ourselves overwhelmed by the endless browsing and comparing and guessing and shortlisting that goes into holiday shopping. Thankfully, we know that books remain evergreen gifts—they are wonderfully aesthetic, provide long hours of enjoyment, and have lasting significance for those who receive them. Here at Mawenzi House, we’ve put together a gift guide for you so that finding that memorable book for…

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Reflections on Keepers of the Faith by Sumaiya Hamdani May 14, 2020 – Posted in: Guest Post, Reviews

Sumaiya Hamdani, an Associate Professor of History at George Mason University, comes from a long line of Islamic scholars and academics from the Hamdani family. From their origins in Yemen they have over the generations made important contributions to Ismaili thought and literature. Sumaiya’s father, the late Abbas Hamdani, was a scholar of Ismaili history and in particular of a volume of the philosophical work the Rasa’il-e-Ikhwan al-Safa(Epistles of Brethren of Purity). The Hamdani family had…

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Keepers of the Faith by Shaukat Ajmeri April 11, 2020 – Posted in: Readings & Excerpts

Keepers of the Faith is set within a small Muslim sect of India, ruled by an avaricious priesthood that demands absolute submission while enforcing archaic social customs. When a section of the community rebels, it is summarily excommunicated, shunned by friends and family and denied religious rites. The peaceful community is split into two. The novel follows the fates of two blissful young lovers, Akbar and Rukhsana, in the historic city of Udaipur. When the communal…

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Q&A With Shaukat Ajmeri March 25, 2020 – Posted in: Interviews

Shaukat Ajmeri is the author of Keepers of the Faith. This is his debut novel, due to be published in April. We asked him a few questions about the novel and some of the challenges he faced in writing it. Was there any special research required for Keepers of the Faith? Not a lot, but I had to read up on Islamic history and philosophy especially pertaining to the various Ismaili communities. Farhad Daftary’s tome The Ismailis…

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Black History Month 2020 Highlight: Part 3 February 20, 2020 – Posted in: Highlights, Readings & Excerpts

You might recognize The Youth of God by Hassan Ghedi Santur from Canada Reads Longlist! In its telling, this novel reveals the alienated lives of Somali youth in an environment riddled with crime and unemployment, while still in the grip of bitter memories of a home left behind. Hassan emigrated from Somalia to Canada at age thirteen. He has a BA in English Literature and an MFA from York University, and an MA from Columbia…

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Black History Month 2020 Highlight: Part 2 February 11, 2020 – Posted in: Highlights, Readings & Excerpts

Nur Abdi’s debut novel, The Somali Camel Boy, tells the story of Ali who is a simple but self-willed camel boy arrested by the Duki clan. He later escapes for Toronto, where he dreams of revenge on his father’s death.  Nur grew up in the territory now known as Somaliland. In the 1980s, when a civil war was raging in Somalia, he sought refuge in Canada and became a citizen in 1994. Opposing the repressive…

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Black History Month 2020 Highlight: Part 1 February 3, 2020 – Posted in: Highlights, Readings & Excerpts

Kagiso Lesego Molope just recently won the Ottawa Book Award (English Fiction) for her YA release of This Book Betrays My Brother, which was originally published in South Africa …where it won the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize by the English Academy of Southern Africa! For her latest novel, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road, which is a story about two men coming out in South Africa, she became the inaugural winner of the Pius Adesanmi Memorial Award…

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Happy Lunar New Year! January 25, 2020 – Posted in: Holidays & Observances

Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐!  Last year, we celebrated some of our authors who were born in the Year of the Pig, and this year, we have no one from the Year of the Rat! What we did find out though, were the lucky colours for whoever will be celebrating the Rat, and we compiled a list of some blue, green and gold books for you! Fun fact: one of the lucky numbers for rats…

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