Books·Canadian

Ezra's Ghosts

A collection of stories that uses magical realism to explore the immigrant experience.

A collection of stories that uses magical realism to explore the immigrant experience.

Award-winning author Darcy Tamayose returns with Ezra's Ghosts, a collection of fantastical stories linked by a complex mingling of language and culture, as well as a deep understanding of grief and what it makes of us. Within these pages a scholar writes home from the Ryukyu islands, not knowing that his hometown will soon face a deadly calamity of its own. Another seeker of truth is trapped in Ezra after her violent death, and must watch how her family — and her killer — alter in her absence. The oldest man in town, an immigrant who came to Canada to escape imperial hardships, sprouts wings, and a wounded journalist bears witness to his transformation. Finally, past and present collide as a researcher reflects on the recent skinwars that have completely altered the world's topography. Binding the stories together is an intersect of arrival and departure — in a quiet prairie town called Ezra. (From NeWest Press)

Ezra's Ghosts is a finalist for the 2022 Atwood Gibson Writers's Trust Fiction Prize. The winner will be announced on Nov. 2, 2022.

Atwood Gibson Prize jury citation: "Darcy Tamayose writes from the other side. Each story in Ezra's Ghosts is unique and allows us to see life from beyond, exploring the aspects of grief from those who have moved on. Each character is placed inside our hearts, connecting us to the spirit of their loved one. She writes on 'the significance of the sacred,' treading on the possibility of even more life and purpose in the afterlife. Tamayose is a gifted writer whose every sentence is written with care and precision."

Tamayose is a gifted writer whose every sentence is written with care and precision.- 2022 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize jury

Darcy Tamayose is a writer and graphic designer from southern Alberta. Her work includes the novel, Odori, which received the Canada-Japan Literary Award, and the YA book, Katie Be Quiet. Tamayose lives in Lethbridge, Alta.

Why Darcy Tamayose wrote Ezra's Ghosts

"There's an element of magic realism, or urban fantastical, in each of the four stories. But I would define it as more of a genre variable collection. 

"With The Thesis, for example, it is written in real-time to look at how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted a student who travelled to China to do research during the beginnings of the pandemic. There's a very quiet and enveloping ghostly aspect about that story. I tried to make it as diaphanous as possible. Partially because there's a ghost in the story, and partially because the two stories that follow are pretty dense in their makeup.

There's an element of magic realism, or urban fantastical, in each of the four stories.- Darcy Tamayose

"It's a collection of four stories. I wanted to explore and experiment with storytelling pace, density and the nonlinear flow. With multiple pieces, multiple moving parts and being immersed in a liberal education system, I had a lot of things to draw upon.

"There's a lot of themes — that's probably why I like the short story format."

Read more in her interview with CBC Books.

 

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