Foreword by Michael Ignatieff
Preface by Rudyard Griffiths, The Dominion Institute
Without departure, there is no arrival -- this is the experience of some of Canada's best-known émigré authors and public figures, shared in Passages: Welcome Home to Canada.
In first-hand accounts, these celebrated writers explore the excitement and anguish of uprooting to a new country. Childhood memories, familiar streets, the aromas of local cooking, long-cherished plans -- to leave all this behind can only be traumatic. And yet, to find a haven from oppression and danger, a place to carve out a new identity and put down new roots -- this is a thrill only an emigrant can know. In Passages we see this terrible pain and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for growth in delicate balance.
Alberto Manguel discovers the quiet pleasure of citizenship after years of cosmopolitan wandering. Ken Wiwa looks for a fresh start, far from the shadow of his martyred father in Africa. Nino Ricci, having grown up in an old-world Italian community transplanted to rural Ontario, describes his passage into the larger world, where other families don't bake their own bread or slaughter their own pigs. Shyam Selvadurai tells of his flight from the intolerance of his native Sri Lanka, where, as a Tamil and a homosexual, he found himself unwelcome. Moses Znaimer describes his parents' hair-raising escape first from Hitler and then Stalin, a series of adventures through Eastern Europe and Central Asia and finally across the Atlantic.
Introduced by Michael Ignatieff, Passages explores what it means to be a foreigner, what it means to be a writer and what it means to be a Canadian -- and what it means to be all three at once.
Contributors: Michelle Berry Ying Chen Brian D. Johnson Dany Laferriere Alberto Manguel Anna Porter Nino Ricci Shyam Selvadurai M. G. Vassanji Ken Wiwa Moses Znaimer