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Since 1990, The Word On The Street has presented thousands of Canadian authors for readers of all ages and literary appetites. This year's schedule includes over 200 presenters on 14 stages.
Against the odds, these young female protagonists fight a history echoing through their present. With strength and power, Lilian Nattel and Valentina Gal build worlds for their characters to rise above expectations and flourish.
Philipovna: Daughter of Sorrow is a creative non-fiction based on the author’s mother’s surviving the holodomor [the Ukrainian starvation]. No one foresees the horrors that her family will have to face between the fall of 1930 and the spring of 1933. In the end, out of a healthy extended family, only Philipovna, a cousin and an aunt survive. The acts of real savagery that are perpetrated on the village are unflinchingly narrated by a pre-pubescent girl, who also gives us a good grasp of the beauty and richness of the Ukrainian culture with its superstitions, customs and celebrations. (Guernica (MiroLand))
Valentina Gal is the blind daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who settled in Hamilton Ontario after WWII. While at McMaster University, she discovered that her city was diverse and peopled by colourful characters. Her writing and storytelling explore both her mother’s tragic history and her family’s adventures in becoming first generation Canadians.
Lily Litvyak is no one’s idea of a fighter pilot: a tiny, dimpled teenager with golden curls who lied about her age in order to fly. But in the crucible of the air war against the German invaders, she becomes that rare thing–a flying ace, glorified at home and around the world as the White Lily of Stalingrad.
Girl at the Edge of Sky is a masterwork of the imagination, subtle and bold all at once, bringing us deep into the precarious life of a remarkable woman who lies to fight for the country that would disown her, and then lies to survive the enemy that would annihilate her. (Random House Canada)
Born in Montreal, Lilian Nattel now lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of The River Midnight, The Singing Fire and Web of Angels.