Books·Canadian

You Are Not What We Expected

You Are Not What We Expected is a book by Sidura Ludwig.

Sidura Ludwig

When Uncle Isaac moves back from L.A. to help his sister, Elaine Levine, care for her suddenly motherless grandchildren, he finds himself embroiled in even more drama than he would like in their suburban neighbourhood. Meanwhile, a nanny miles from her own family in the Philippines, cares for a young boy who doesn't fit in at school. A woman in mid-life contends with the task of cleaning out the house in which she grew up, while her teenage son struggles with why his dad moved out. And down the street, a mother and her two daughters prepare for a wedding and transitions they didn't see coming.

Spanning fifteen years in the lives of a multi-generational family and their neighbours, this remarkable collection is an intimate portrait of a suburban Jewish community by a writer with a keen eye for detail, a gentle sense of humour, and an immense literary talent. (From House of Anansi Press)

Why Sidura Ludwig wrote You Are Not What We Expected

"Thornhill, Ont., is where I live now and where I'm going to be living for the foreseeable future. It's not where I thought I would end up. But for all kinds of reasons it was the right place for us to settle in and start our family. 

There's a large Jewish community in Thornhill. But it is a varied and diverse Jewish community.

"There's a large Jewish community in Thornhill. But it is a varied and diverse Jewish community. One of the reasons that I wanted to explore this place as the setting is that like outside of Thornhill, people don't necessarily recognise the diversity that exists here. There are a number of different factors and Jewish people that make up what this community is. 

"I'm interested in that. I was interested in having a character who comes back to this community  and finds himself in this place where he didn't think he would end up. How would he respond to this diverse community, one that's very different from what he had experienced?" 

Read more in her interview with CBC Books.

Interviews with Sidura Ludwig

Sidura Ludwig shares how she wrote the short story collection You Are Not What We Expected. 12:25

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