CanLit Rewind: Echoes from the Other Land by Ava Homa

October 21, 2015

Set in different regions of Iran including Tehran, the capital, Ava Homa's  Echoes from the Other Land (Mawenzi House) explores the gamut of women's experiences in this country of paradoxes. Patriarchal attitudes in conflict with progressive ones, questions of ability and body image, Kurdish-Iranian relations, love, and conversations of diaspora are all embodied in this collection of quiet, powerful stories. The book was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize, was one of the ten winners of the 2011 CBC Reader’s Choice Contest, running concurrently with the Giller Prize, and has been translated into Kurdish and Farsi.

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This year marks forty years of supporting and celebrating some of Canada's finest literary presses for our parent organization, the Literary Press Group of Canada. To help celebrate, for the entire month of October All Lit Up will be highlighting books from our publishers that either helped launch a new voice in CanLit or made an impact at the press it was published with. Go on a CanLit Rewind with us to rediscover some backlist gems!

Set in different regions of Iran including Tehran, the capital, Ava Homa's  Echoes from the Other Land (Mawenzi House) explores the gamut of women's experiences in this country of paradoxes. Patriarchal attitudes in conflict with progressive ones, questions of ability and body image, Kurdish-Iranian relations, love, and conversations of diaspora are all embodied in this collection of quiet, powerful stories. The book was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize, was one of the ten winners of the 2011 CBC Reader’s Choice Contest, running concurrently with the Giller Prize, and has been translated into Kurdish and Farsi.

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Echoes from the Other Land is a unique collection about the lives of women in Iran, told in minimalist language for an effect that has earned the author comparison to Raymond Carver. Her voice is compassionate and honest, and we get immediately immersed into the worlds of her female protagonists to emerge humbled by the lives she describes.

This was the first fiction title Mawenzi House published by a Canadian writer from Iran. The title fits into our mandate to publish new Canadian writing, and has added to the diversity of our list. Since its publication we have added to our list works by other authors who originate in that part of the world.

It is a strong example of the diversity of CanLit, and the types of stories that are introduced into our canon by the people who come to call Canada a second home.

Ava Homa speaks to being illiterate in her mother tongue of Kurdish, how literature became a haven for her, and reads her story "The Lullaby" at the New York State Writers' Institute.

 

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To see what other books we're shining the spotlight on, check out the full list of Rewind books  here.


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