“Nawaz draws the core relationships with immaculately rendered delicacy; she gives the narrative time and space to unfold and evolve in a way that carries uncanny emotional punch.” — Montreal Gazette
Bone & Bread by Saleema Nawaz is offically a contender in the 15th annual edition of CBC’s Canada Reads, and we couldn’t be more excited! Team Nawaz is lucky to have Farah Mohamed, CEO and founder of Girls 20, as the book’s mighty defender during the debates that take place in March. To hear why Farah fell in love with Bone & Bread, click here.
This year, Canada Reads is all about new beginnings. The books are all about transformation and second chances, including stories of migrants, immigrants and others who are choosing – or forced – to make major changes in their lives. For the full list of contenders, click here.
Beena and Sadhana are sisters who share a bond that could only have been shaped by the most unusual of childhoods — and by shared tragedy. Orphaned as teenagers, they have grown up under the exasperated watch of their Sikh uncle, who runs a bagel shop in Montreal’s Hasidic community of Mile End. Together, they try to make sense of the rich, confusing brew of values, rituals, and beliefs that form their inheritance. Yet as they grow towards adulthood, their paths begin to diverge. Beena catches the attention of one of the “bagel boys” and finds herself pregnant at sixteen, while Sadhana drives herself to perfectionism and anorexia.
When we first meet the adult Beena, she is grappling with a fresh grief: Sadhana has died suddenly and strangely, her body lying undiscovered for a week before anyone realizes what has happened. Beena is left with a burden of guilt and an unsettled feeling about the circumstances of her sister’s death, which she sets about to uncover. Her search stirs memories and opens wounds, threatening to undo the safe, orderly existence she has painstakingly created for herself and her son.
Heralded across Canada for the power and promise of her debut collection, Mother Superior, Nawaz proves with Bone and Bread that she is one of our most talented and unique storytellers.