Marta has grown up in the midst of loss, and has learned to adapt and thrive. But when her young daughter and alcoholic husband die in a car wreck, there is no way to cope. She flees her small Ontario town, her home, her memories...and finds herself on the doorstep of a church in downtown Toronto, with no place else to turn.
She develops tentative relationships at the margins of this community, growing close to an old woman who is preparing to die and to a young girl her own daughter's age. But there is no escaping the past. Memories insinuate themselves into her new life. The struggle between memory and experience, between life and death, begins to dominate her thoughts. Only by reliving her own story can she find the means and the strength to shape a future.
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Ania Szado ’s novel Beginning of Was was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean). She lives in Toronto and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Visit her website at www.aniaszado.com.Review:
“A beautiful book, honest, unflinching and sometimes almost unbearable in its intensity, yet in the end also hopeful and oddly buoyant.” - Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints and The Origin of Species
“Rich with observations about the twists and turns in life ... Szado’s tale comes in a refreshing new voice.” - Toronto Star
“Szado’s prose is restrained and powerful ... It isn’t just the story, compelling as it is. Szado evokes our own history of grief and loss and opens us to the fears that haunt our dreams. Ultimately, it is through her fiction that we come to understand how to proceed.” - Ottawa Citizen
“A lyrical evocation of grief, Beginning of Was explores the nature of the human heart with elegance and compassion.” - Helen Humphreys
“Szado’s debut novel, Beginning of Was, tells an emotionally taut tale of trauma without clichés or sentimentality ... She also knows how to ratchet up the tension ... The surprise book of the year.” - NOW magazine
“This is an auspicious debut and a welcome addition to the range of contemporary Canadian novels that explore survival in the face of despair and loss.” - National Post
“A sparingly written, subtle exploration of personal tragedy and how to survive it, how to cling on, as onto a rock face—slowly inching towards the possibility of a future.” - D.M. Thomas
“Beginning of Was is all touch. Ania Szado communicates the feeling of contact and makes a beautiful ache.” - Gord Downie, author of Coke Machine Glow
“Ania Szado shows once again how Canadian writers can portray with stunning virtuosity the telling details and little events that make a life.” - The Hamilton Spectator
“Szado shows an immense talent for resonant and surprising imagery.” - Quill & Quire
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Book Description Penguin Canada, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0143017292
Book Description Penguin Books Canada, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0143017292
Book Description Penguin Canada, Toronto, 2004. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st Edition. Fiction. Signed by author on title page. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 19707
Book Description Penguin Canada. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0143017292 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # XM-0143017292