Peacekeeper’s Daughter is the astonishing story of a French-Canadian military family stationed in Israel and Lebanon in 1982-1983. Told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old girl, Peacekeeper’s Daughter parchutes the reader into the Lebanese Civil War, the Palestinian crisis, and the wave of terrorism—including the bombing of the American Embassy—that ravaged Beirut at the height of the siege. This novelistic memoir moves from Jerusalem to Tiberius, from the disputed No-Man’s Land of the Golan Heights to Damascus, and on to Beirut by way of Tripoli, crossing borders that remain closed to this day.
In this list, Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt shares five works of fiction and five memoirs about terrorism and war.
Rue des Rosiers, by Rhea Trebegov
Winner of the Nancy Richler Award for fiction, Rue des Rosiers is an engrossing historical coming-of-age story with a timely examination of hatred’s long consequences. The novel is set in Toronto, Winnipeg and Paris in the spring and summer of 1982. Its 25-year-old protagonist, Sarah Levine, finds …
In Valhalla’s Shadows is a thrilling crime novel with an extraordinary cast of characters set on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. In it, W.D. Valgardson shapes a portrait of small-town living while masterfully weaving in threads of Icelandic mythology as well as discussions of contemporary issues such as systemic racism within the justice system and the lasting effects of PTSD on first responders.
In this recommended reading list, he shares other titles that explores these themes and ideas.
Ten Years in Winnipeg, 1870-79, by Alexander Begg and Walter R. Nursey
This journal written during the turbulent years of Winnipeg’s birth gives a raw chronology of the events that would determine the city’s future, presents characters determined to wrest fortunes from the land, and provides insights into the machinations that made some people fortunes. There is nothing polished about the narrative and that is what makes it valuable. It is available online.
What happens when a soldier goes AWOL and ends up meeting a lonely gardener at an isolated farm in small-town New Brunswick? That’s the premise of Pamela Mulloy’s gripping debut novel, The Deserters (Esplanade/Vehicule).
The Montreal Review of Books says “The Deserters feels sturdy, the narrative evenly paced with no sharp turns. It is a novel about a failing marriage, an affair, war, and complicated family dynamics, but it’s more about lonely people who choose to weather their sufferings solo instead of developing sustained closeness.”
Pamela Mulloy is the editor of The New Quarterly and the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She is also a writer with short fiction published in the UK and Canada. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with her husband and daughter.
Trevor Corkum: The Deserters is set largely in a remote, rural area of New Brunswick. The descriptions of this setting are both strangely expansive and incredibly claustrophobic at the same time. Did you have a particular location in mi …