Canada Reads·Canadian

Bone and Bread

Bone and Bread is Saleema Nawaz's debut novel. The book was a finalist on Canada Reads 2016.

Saleema Nawaz

In Bone and Bread, a women struggles to come to terms with the death of her sister, a tragedy that leaves her with an unsettling sense of guilt and forces her to examine her past. Beena and her sister Sadhana were orphaned as teens and raised in Montreal's Hasidic community by their traditional Sikh uncle, where they struggled to understand their cultural heritage and faced intense personal struggles. Beena's search for answers reopens old wounds and disrupts the quiet life she has painstakingly built for herself and her son.

Bone and Bread was defended by Farah Mohamed on Canada Reads 2016.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews | More about this book

From the book

If you listen, you can almost hear the sound of my son's heart breaking. In the backyard, under the drone of the lawnmower, there's a dull clanking, a sick rasp of metal like iron on bone, the chafing of something serrated. It could be a fallen branch from the lilac bush or a stray rock caught against the blade, but from where I sit looking out the kitchen window, the muted noise of the mowing comes through like a throbbing ache.

From Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz ©2013. Published by House of Anansi Press.

Author interviews

The Montreal novelist talks about her 2013 novel, a contender for Canada Reads 2016.

More about this book

Canada Reads 2016 authors dissect their first sentences

6 years ago
Duration 3:33
The authors in this year's competition — Anita Rau Badami, Lawrence Hill, Tracey Lindberg, Saleema Nawaz and Michael Winter — read their books' crucial first sentences