Here’s a piece I did for the Georgia Straight back in September. These few hundred words took me three months to write, but I number them among my best work this year. Thank you for Brian Lynch for allowing me the time……
Slave of the Huns by the Hungarian writer Géza Gárdonyi, first published in 1901, brought out in English by Corvina Press in the late ’60s: the book as mysterious object, to hold, to divine. A red cover, with ink drawings by Victor C. Ambrus, the novel sat on a shelf in my father’s library up at the manse in the town of towns…”
“Most of the families of those killed were clad in “western” dress—we were our own small units of grief, clothed in muted colours. Canada made me. Born in Pune, in the Indian state of Maharashtra, I’ve lived in this country since I was a baby. Raised to be “Canadian”, I don’t identify with any particular ethnic group. But on that day, in that place, sitting behind the families of the accused, an awareness seeped in—that I didn’t belong to a big family, that my cultural badges were invisible. What were these badges, really, except for this language in which I write, English, and my religious denomination, that quintessential element of “old Canada”, the United Church? I’m the daughter of one of its ministers.
Selected as Book of the Week by the Georgia Straight:
In children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections (Nightwood Editions), Saklikar offers a winding, elegiac “docu-poetic collection” filled with still-fresh echoes of the worst act of terrorism in Canadian history…”