The Legend of Baraffo by Moez Surani
A mythic work of sweeping literary imagination, The Legend of Baraffo speaks to our current social climate and the ingredients for progress.
In Baraffo, a town gripped by revolutionary fervour, a young boy is grappling with the motivations of an arsonist now imprisoned. Why, Mazzu asks, did Babello burn an empty building? Is the mayor, the chief aide, Giulietta—who the boy adores—the prisoner's supporters, or Babello himself to be believed?
When Mazzu decides for himself, and helps Babello to escape in a mesmerizing spectacle, it ignites in the townspeople a desire for more upheaval, and they push for revolution. Years later, now mayor himself, Mazzu toils to quell the roiling instability that Babello unleashed, failing to do so through politics, but succeeding through art and the enchantment of exalted love.
Within an extraordinary world, this coming-of-age story—of a boy and a town—asks prescient questions about the nature of social change: is it better accelerated by those who seek total transformation, or attained by those trying to work within the system? (From Book*Hug Press)
When you can read it: Sept. 26, 2023
Moez Surani is the author of four poetry books including Operations and Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real. His writing has been published internationally, namely in Harper's Magazine, Best Canadian Poetry and the Globe and Mail. Surani was longlisted for the 2015 CBC Poetry Prize for The Day We Lay in Bed Like John Lennon.