Toronto, Ontario

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

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Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Leah Bobet Recommends

The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson

The New Moon's Arms (2007)

(From Nalo Hopkinson's site)

First it's her mother's missing gold brooch. Then, a blue and white dish she hasn't seen in years. Followed by an entire grove of cashew trees. When objects begin appearing out of nowhere, Calamity knows that the special gift she has not felt since childhood has returned-her ability to find lost things. Calamity, a woman as contrary as the tides around her Caribbean island home, is confronting two of life's biggest dramas. First is the death of her father, who raised her alone until a pregnant Calamity rejected him when she was sixteen years old.

The second drama: she's starting menopause. Now when she has a hot flash and feels a tingling in her hands, she knows it's a lost object calling to her. Then she finds something unexpected: a four-year-old boy washes up on the shore, his dreadlocked hair matted with shells. Calamity decides to take the orphaned child into her care, which brings unexpected upheaval into her life and further strains her relationship with her adult daughter. Fostering this child will force her to confront all the memories of her own childhood-and the disappearance of her mother so many years before.

Nalo Hopkinson

(From Tachyon Publications)

World Fantasy Award-winning author Nalo Hopkinson was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and also spent her childhood in Trinidad and Guyana before her family moved to Toronto when she was sixteen. Her groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy features diverse characters and the mixing of folklore into her works. Hopkinson won the Warner Aspect First Novel contest for Brown Girl in the Ring, as well as the John W. Campbell and Locus Awards. Her novel  Midnight Robber was a New York Times Notable Book and she has also received the Spectrum, Sunburst, Campbell, and Prix Aurora awards.

Though she has published multiple works, Hopkinson has faced many obstacles, including suffering from anemia and fibromyalgia. She spent years too sick to read or write, and was sometimes homeless. Her view on these dark periods can be both realistic and humorous: “But every so often I’ll go through an old notebook or find a file I don’t recognize and open it up, and there’s a page or two of writing that I did during that time that I don not remember. At some level I was still writing. The cool part about it is, the writing is pretty good!” (Locus, September 2013)

Hopkinson currently teaches in the Creative Writing department at the University of California, Riverside.