As you pack your bags before a cottage long weekend or a family vacation, here are three Canadian books recommended by writers for the Amnesty International Book Club.
Carnival. In this novel, author Rawi Hage takes us into the world of Fly, a taxi driver in a crime-ridden apocalyptic city. The son of a trapeze artist and a flying-carpet man, Fly sees everything, taking in the city’s carnival beauty and ugliness as he roves through its dizzying streets in his taxi. Fly is also a reader, lounging at home with his huge labyrinth of books. His best friend is Otto, a political activist who is in and out of jails and asylums, mourning his wife and lost son. One night Fly meets Mary, a book-loving passenger. So begins a romance that is, for Fly, a brief glimmer of light amid the shadows of the carnival city.
419. It all begins with a single email: “Dear Sir, I am the son of an exiled Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help …” Written by Will Ferguson, 419 takes readers behind the scenes of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When her father gets caught up in a swindle and pays with his life, Laura is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous streets of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. What she finds there will change her life forever.
Monkey Beach. North of Vancouver is Kitamaat, an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people. Growing up a wild tomboy, swimming, fighting and fishing in a remote village where the land slips into the green ocean, Lisamarie has always been different. Visited by ghosts and shape-shifters and tormented by premonitions, she can’t escape the sense that something terrible is waiting for her. She recounts her enchanted yet scarred life as she journeys in her speedboat up the Douglas Channel. Lisamarie is searching for her brother, dead by drowning, and running as fast as she can toward danger. Haunting and poignant, Eden Robinson’s debut novel gives full scope to the writer’s ability to combine both comedy and life’s dark underside.
Find more recommendations at www.amnestybookclub.ca.