And the Walls Came Down

By (author): Denise Da Costa

  • A debut novel following in the footsteps of authors Catherine Hernandez, David Chariandy, and Zalika Reid-Benta taking readers to Toronto’s low-income neighbourhood Don Mount Court, now called Rivertowne
  • Seeking answers to family secrets and her immigrant parents? failed marriage, a woman goes back to the low-income Toronto neighbourhood where she was raised, and she rediscovers the importance of community, home, and finding one?s own voice
  • Author worked with novelist Alyssa York during her mentorship at Disapora Dialogues to develop this novel
  • Author hometown: Toronto; Author residence: St. Catharines, Ontario
AUTHOR

Denise Da Costa

Denise Da Costa is an author and visual artist. Born in Toronto, she spent her early years in Jamaica. She is a graduate of York University and Seneca College School of Communication Arts, and is an alumni of the Humber Creative Writing program. Her work explores the complications of love and the impact of class, gender, and race on identity. And the Walls Came Down is her first novel. She lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.


Reviews

A scintillating debut full of nuanced and achingly human characters. Denise Da Costa?s ability to write poetic yet economical sentences that pack a profound emotional punch makes for a compelling and rich reading experience. This novel is a beautiful exploration of memory and perception and will linger in the minds of readers long after they?ve finished.
– Zalika Reid-Benta, author of Frying Plantain

Denise Da Costa?s And the Walls Came Down is a stunning addition to the new novels about Toronto, written by immigrants or their children, that claim the city, rightfully, as their own. It is also a complex and poignant portrait of a mother, a family and a world all falling apart, and a child?s attempt to survive this.
– Shyam Selvadurai, author of Mansions of the Moon

An immersive and propulsive journey into adulthood that so piercingly questions pride, hope, and family. Don Mount Court comes alive in a collision of care, control, abuse, and love. What a privilege it is to share in Delia Ellis’s diary, and life.
– Derek Mascarenhas, author of Coconut Dreams

And the Walls Came Down charts a bright, heartbroken young woman?s return to the ruins of her past. Stuck on the threshold of the rest of her life, Delia must reclaim her story in order to move on. As she reckons with a childhood haunted by loss, the city around her crackles with danger and friendship ? not to mention the rush of first love. The result is a beautiful, necessary novel of resilience and renewal.
– Alissa York, author of Far Cry

A complicated dance of memory, identity and community. What a gift of a novel.
– Helen Walsh, author of Pull Focus

A moving and unflinching portrait of family life as told through Delia, a woman who revisits early memories through her childhood diary. This distinctly Toronto story catapults readers into her inner world where togetherness meets abandonment and hope rubs alongside deprivation.
– Tendisai Cromwell, writer and filmmaker

Chronicles an old soul and a young woman, both vying for belonging in a world that fights against them until they settle into one spirit. Striking and compelling, Da Costa weaves voices that are distinct yet inseparable.
– Victoria Abboud, author and educator

A moving glimpse into the immigrant experience through the eyes of an intelligent, independent teenager as she navigates growing up in face of family break-up and poverty. Seamlessly, Delia shares her pains and joys, sheds light into the harsh reality of Don Mount public housing in Toronto, and archives part of local and social history.
– Maria Sabaye Moghaddam, author and educator

A fascinating and quintessentially Toronto story, capturing the grit of the city?s east-end in the 1990s. An insightful account of how memory and family collide with the stories we create for ourselves.
– James D. Papoutsis, author and educator

Awards

There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
?A scintillating debut full of nuanced and achingly human characters.? ? Zalika Reid-Benta, author of Frying Plantain

Back in the low-income neighbourhood where she was raised, a young woman rediscovers the importance of community, home, and finding one?s voice.


Just before the demolition of her childhood home in east Toronto, Delia Ellis returns to retrieve her beloved diary. Using it as a compass, she rediscovers life as a precocious teen growing up in the nineties.

Delia?s writings reveal her anxieties following a move to Don Mount Court, a Toronto government housing complex, where she struggles to navigate life with an overprotective Jamaican mother and her father?s inept replacement, ?Neville the nuisance.? Delia?s troubles compound when she enlists her naive younger sister in a scheme to reunite their parents and recapture the idealistic life she yearns for.

Yet, through the lens of adulthood, Delia?s entries take a wrecking ball to the perception of her parents? love story she?d long built up in her mind, uncovering a child?s internalization of a failed marriage, poverty, and a mother come undone.
  • A debut novel following in the footsteps of authors Catherine Hernandez, David Chariandy, and Zalika Reid-Benta taking readers to Toronto’s low-income neighbourhood Don Mount Court, now called Rivertowne
  • Seeking answers to family secrets and her immigrant parents? failed marriage, a woman goes back to the low-income Toronto neighbourhood where she was raised, and she rediscovers the importance of community, home, and finding one?s own voice
  • Author worked with novelist Alyssa York during her mentorship at Disapora Dialogues to develop this novel
  • Author hometown: Toronto; Author residence: St. Catharines, Ontario

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

344 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 1in
300gr

Published:

June 06, 2023

City of Publication:

Toronto

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Dundurn Press

ISBN:

9781459750364

Book Subjects:

FICTION / African American & Black / Women

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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