Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik

By (author): Carolyn Marie Souaid

A 23-year-old woman enters a whole new world of attraction in a community struggling with generations of loss of land and culture. Yasmeen’s tradition-bound mother wants her to stay in Montreal, get married, and have babies. But the young Syrian-Canadian wants more. Her appetite for adventure leads her to a teaching job in the northern Quebec village of Saqijuvik. Eager to adopt her new home and its Inuit inhabitants, Yasmeen embraces every experience that comes her way: camping on the tundra, hunting for ptarmigan, sewing with the local ladies. She plunges into her northern adventure, no holds barred. But it’s 1983 and instead of the ideal, pristine Arctic Yasmeen imagined, she uncovers a contradictory world of igloos and pool halls, Sedna and Jesus, raw caribou and alcohol. In the middle of everything is Joanasi, a beautiful but volatile man who leads her into territory that is almost as unsettling as the land itself.


Carolyn Marie Souaid

Carolyn Marie Souaid has been writing and publishing poetry for over 20 years. The author of six books and the winner of the David McKeen Award for her first collection, Swimming into the Light, she has also been shortlisted for the A.M. Klein Prize and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Much of her work deals with the bridging of worlds; the difficulty, perhaps the impossibility of it, but the necessity of the struggle. She has toured her work across Canada and in France. Since the 1990s, she has been a key figure on the Montreal literary scene, having co-produced two major local events, Poetry in Motion (the poetry-on-the-buses project) and the Circus of Words / Cirque des mots, a multidisciplinary, multilingual cabaret focusing on the “theatre” of poetry. Souaid is a founding member and editor of Poetry Quebec, an online magazine focusing on the English language poets and poetry of Quebec.

Endre Farkas was born in Hungary and is a child of Holocaust survivors. He and his parents escaped during the 1956 uprising and settled in Montreal. His work has always had a political consciousness and has always pushed the boundaries of poetry. Since the 1970s, he has collaborated with dancers, musicians and actors to move the poem from page to stage. Still at the forefront of the Quebec English language literary scene-writing, editing, publishing and performing-Farkas is the author of eleven books, including Quotidian Fever: New and Selected Poems (1974-2007). He is the two-time regional winner of the CBC Poetry “Face Off” Competition. His play, Haunted House, based on the life and work of the poet A.M. Klein, was produced in Montreal 2009. Farkas has given readings throughout Canada, USA, Europe and Latin America. His poems have been translated into French and Spanish, Hungarian, Italian, Slovenian and Turkish.


About her poetry: “Montreal-based Carolyn Marie Souaid has written a gorgeous book of poetry celebrating life and, in particular, a life dedicated to the arts. Deeply meditative, insightful and moving—and delightfully inflected by visual and other art techniques (…) Souaid is particularly adept at portraiture, shading in characters in light of their surroundings.” —Mariianne Mays’ review of This World We Invented.

“Souaid’s sentences are straightforward and remarkably clear in their depictions. Her language naturally pairs with the physicality of the story . . . Indeed, dualities and contrasts are the driving force of the novel. Unsettling realism is enhanced by Souaid’s understanding of the complications of race and complicity.” —Constance Augusta A. Zaber, Foreword Reviews

“I have been telling my friends about your book. I want to say ‘bravo’ and thank you. You have a keen eye on spirit and culture. Yasmeen exists in many forms and Joanasi’s treatment of her evokes memories of my own personal journey in a sadly unsuccessful marriage. Her inevitable realization of the nature of her relationship with Joanasi is agonizingly sharp. Even Pasha, Joanasi’s mother, made me reflect on women I have met and known in my life. She does what many a mother of a Joanasi would do in real life. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed your book.” —Ida L. Saunders, Reader from Kuujjuaq

“Carolyn Marie Souaid’s first novel is rooted in a deep engagement with Inuit culture . . . . Souaid’s layered portrait of [Joanasi] is crucial to the book’s ultimate effectiveness . . . Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik is the lyrical and absorbing result of a sincere mission to come to grips with another culture. That it took decades to commit to the writing is a tale in itself.” —Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews



300 Pages
215.9mm * 8.5in * 5.5in * 139.7mm * 0.7in17.78mm


November 15, 2017


Baraka Books



Book Subjects:

FICTION / General

Featured In:

All Books



Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.