House of Anansi Press

Bone and Bread

Written by Saleema Nawaz

Published March 15, 2013 | ISBN 9781770892439
FICTION / Literary

Cover of Bone and Bread

Regular price $4.99 CAD

456 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

Bone and Bread

Saleema Nawaz

Winner of the Quebec Writers' Federation Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction

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.

Saleema Nawaz's characters compel us, intrigue us, and delight us with their raw, complicated humanity, and her sentences sing in the gorgeous cadences of a writer who chooses every word with the utmost care. 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.

About the Author

Saleema Nawaz

Saleema Nawaz is the author of the short story collection Mother Superior and winner of the prestigious Writers' Trust of Canada / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, she currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Awards and Praise
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.
  • Short-listed Quebec Writers' Federation Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, 2013
  • Winner Quebec Writers' Federation Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, 2013