In honour of Canada Day, we invite you to reflect on the diversity of contemporary Canadian literature with debut #CanLit author Uzma Jalaluddin. Jalaluddin’s novel, Ayesha At Last, has been called a remix of Pride and Prejudice, as it offers a unique take on the romance genre. We asked Jalaluddin about her foray into the genre, how she approached it from a non-mainstream perspective and her experience as a debut novelist.
We started at the beginning: why romance? For Jalaluddin, it began with her mother:
(L to R) Maxime Raymond Bock, Deputy Director Christine Saratsiotis, Alissa York and Shari Lapena
“From the taxi that brought me from the airport to Thessaloniki, I looked into the distance, in the heat, at dark, undulating mountains, at stocky houses under ochre sandstone shingles, wondering what surprises awaited me in a country of which I knew only a few philosophers, and the somewhat intricate families of its mythical gods. I looked for points of reference that might draw me closer to these unfamiliar parts, and I was excited to come speak about a literature that, I suspected, would be equally as unfamiliar.”
—Maxime Raymond Bock
This past May, our director, Geoffrey E. Taylor and deputy director, Christine Saratsiotis, took three Canadian authors to Thessaloniki, Greece for the Thessaloniki International Book Fair as part of our International Touring programme. Upon their return, we asked Maxime Raymond Bock, Alissa York and Shari Lapena about their most surprising travel experiences and general perceptions of Canadian literature in Greece.