You may also be interested in the following books:
- Bitter Medicine
A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness
- Buying Cigarettes for the Dog
- Here Is Where We Disembark
- It's Hard Being Queen
The Dusty Springfield Poems
- Mother Superior
- Open Arms
- Pathologies: A Life in Essays
- Suburban Legends
- Tangles- A Story about Alzheimer's, my mother, and me
- The Doctrine of Affections
and other stories
Yasmin Ladha's experimental and provocative novel weaves story, essay, and poem together in an exquisite exploration of the ways in which one can love a country.
Ladha playfully flirts with the idea of "home" in two geographically distinct sections. The first section follows an unnamed narrator of Indian descent as she comes of age in Dodoma, Tanzania during the politically tumultuous and ethnically divisive 1960s. She struggles to carve out an identity in the cultural and religious melting pot that is Dodoma: she attends Muslim prayers rich with Hindu allegory; she notices her grandfather's itchy, wool pants from London in the closet; she is ordered to learn Swahili in school. As tension builds between long-settled Indian merchants and native Africans in the years following independence, her ideas about belonging and home begin to crumble.
In the second section, the young woman and her family immigrate to Calgary, Alberta and she begins a lifelong love affair with the prairies. Yet the relationship is a fraught one, underlined by her anxiety about never having "proved up," or paid her dues, like the pioneer ancestors of her countrymen. Unwilling to settle for geographical monogamy, she plays hard to get, traveling to Delhi, India for trysts with her Kashmiri lover and to Chonju, Korea where she works as a language teacher. Yet always, she is distracted by thoughts of "home"—a fantasized Canadian West of barn dances and blueberry muffins—and imagines not only a place that she can return to, but a place that beckons her return.
Blue Sunflower Startle offers the reader select mementoes of a childhood stubbornly affixed to place and an adulthood spent often in the air. Written in unusual, intoxicating, and poetic prose, Ladha has written a modern day Romance for frequent travellers and restless, rootless spirits.
Yasmin Ladha is a Canadian fiction writer, currently working in Muscat, Oman. She completed her BA and MA in English at the University of Calgary. Her published works include the collection of short stories, Lion’s Granddaughter and Other Stories (NeWest Press, 1992); the chapbook Bridal Hands on the Maple (Second Wednesday Press, 1992); and Women Dancing on Rooftops: Bring your Belly Close, a book of short stories, documentary-fiction, personal essays and poetry (TSAR, 1997).
Academics teaching relevant courses may request examination copies of titles to consider for text adoption. We ask that you limit your examination copy requests to three or fewer at a time; if you are not confident that you will adopt the book, please help us keep costs down by ordering it instead. If in the future you do decide to assign as a course text a book you have previously ordered personally, Broadview Press will be happy to refund your money.
Blue Sunflower Startle
2010 • 168pp • Paperback • 9781554810161 / 1554810161