Today's chat is with Eufemia Fantetti, author of the brand new memoir My Father, Fortune-tellers, & Me, out now with Mother Tongue Publishing. It shares the story of the author’s experience growing up with a mother with severe mental health issues, and charts her lifelong relationship with her mother and father, both first generation Italian-Canadians.
Eufemia Fantetti, a graduate of SFU’s Writer’s Studio and the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing master’s program, is a three-time winner of Accenti Magazine’s annual writing competition. Her work appears in Event Magazine, The New Quarterly and the Globe and Mail and is listed as notable by the Best American Essays Series. Fantetti is also an award-winning playwright and former stand-up comic. She teaches writing at Humber College and edits for the Humber Literary Review. Her debut book, A Recipe for Disaster & Other Unlikely Tales of Love, runner-up for the 2013 Danuta Gleed Literary Award and winner of the 2014 F.G. Bressani Literary Prize for short fiction, is also available from Mother Tongue Publishing.
Books can take you places, and sometimes those places aren't even metaphorical. Travel to Spain, New Mexico, Mozambique, Vietnam, Italy, India, Goa, Israel, Lebanon, Lithuania, and Nepal through the pages of these remarkable works of fiction.
Proof I Was Here, by Becky Blake
About the book: What's the point of trying to leave a mark when everything disappears? This question is at the heart of Proof I Was Here, a novel that tells the picaresque coming-of-age story of a young thief and aspiring artist who attempts to reboot her life on the streets of Barcelona after an unexpected breakup. Hailing from Toronto, where she has criminal charges waiting, Niki is outside of Canada for the first time. The pickpockets, squatters and graffiti artists she meets challenge her to reassess her ideas about luck and art. With the help of a passionate Catalan separatist who dreams of building a new country from the ground up, Niki realizes that starting her life over from scratch could be an opportunity—if she can just find a way to clear her name.
Why we're taking notice: This is Barcelona like you've never seen it in a tourist guidebook. In her debut novel, Blake paints a rich and colourful view of the city.
In most parts of the country, August is peak-delicious. The peaches are ripe and dripping, corn-on-the-cob is beautiful golden, and the tomatoes are huge and full of flavour. Give your Canadian summer a mediterranean twist with this recipe for roasted tomatoes from Emily Richards' Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking, setting aside some extra to be enjoyed down the line when the August sun is just a hazy memory.
It is a family tradition to buy bushels of tomatoes to make pasta sauce each year. It is an easy way to save money and enjoy the in-season flavour of tomatoes year round. I always take away about half a bushel to make roasted tomatoes to store away in the freezer. Sweet, dark roasted tomatoes retain a slight juiciness to them. On their own, sit them atop a sliced baguette that has been spread with ricotta or goat cheese for an easy appetizer or add them to soups, stews or pasta dishes.
2 lb (1 kg) plum tomatoes, about 20 (all about the same size)
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh basil
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh oregano
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and …