Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Literary

Blue Sunflower Startle

by (author) Yasmin Ladha

Freehand Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2010
Literary, Biographical
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


In the early 1960s, a young girl and her brother move to their grandparents’ flourmill in Dodoma in newly-independent Tanzania. Her grandfather bellows his love for East Africa, where he and other Indian merchants have thrived. But the ground is shifting. President Nyerere is calling for the widespread nationalization of property. The hum of the mill has quieted. The young girl prays at the jamatkhana and spends evenings at the cinema watching cowboy films—grief and grievances, if only momentarily, disappear. Years later, the girl and her family immigrate to Calgary, Alberta and she begins a love affair with the prairies. Wary that her grandfather’s passion for his country consumed him, she is unwilling to settle for geographical monogamy. She travels to Chonju, South Korea to work as a language teacher, and Delhi, India for trysts with her Kashmiri lover. Frequently, she is startled by the appearance of things that remind her of the prairies, but show up in other countries. She aches for a home that beckons her return: the Canadian West, the hero that pulls a U-turn for its beloved. Yasmin Ladha offers readers an exquisite exploration of the ways in which one can love a country. Written in unusual, intoxicating, and poetic prose, Blue Sunflower Startle is a modern day Romance for frequent travellers and nomadic spirits.

About the author

Yasmin Ladha is a Canadian fiction writer, currently working in Muscat, Oman. She completed her BA and MA in English at the University of Calgary. Her published works include the collection of short stories, Lion's Granddaughter and Other Stories (NeWest Press, 1992); the chapbook Bridal Hands on the Maple (Second Wednesday Press, 1992); and Women Dancing on Rooftops: Bring your Belly Close, a book of short stories, documentary-fiction, personal essays and poetry (TSAR, 1997).

Yasmin Ladha's profile page

Related lists