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Countdown to Mother's Day: Daughters of Silence and "Mom Types"

Goose Lane’s countdown to Mother’s Day continues, and we have more mom-themed excerpts for you to enjoy. We’re also offering 20% off our special mom-themed collection with discount code MOM20 until May 10th.

Don’t forget, we’re offering free shipping on orders over $25 in Canada until the end of June!

Today, we have a double feature! Our first excerpt comes from Rebecca Fisseha’s debut novel, Daughters of Silence.

Everything that had ever been between us landed on me in one solid mass of sorrow and regret over words said and unsaid, actions taken and abandoned — but at the core, unscathed, constant, was a simple, timeless kernel of love that obliterated the petty clutter of our history. I burst into tears, suddenly walloped by a desire for a daughter of my own. I cried for a child who might never exist. I needed to create a her who would love me as only a daughter can love a mother, whether she told me all the time, or never.

In Daughters of Silence, Dessie, a cosmopolitan flight attendant from Canada, finds herself stranded in Addis Ababa — her birthplace.

Grieving her mother's recent death, Dessie heads to see her grandfather, the Shaleqa — compelled as much by duty as her own will. But Dessie's conflicted past stands in her way. Just as a volcano's eruption disordered Dessie's work life, so too does her mother's death cause seismic disruptions in the fine balance of self-deceptions and false histories that uphold her family.

Rebecca Fisseha is the author of Daughters of Silence, chosen by CBC Books and 49th Shelf as one of the most anticipated books of fiction of the year and by Quill and Quire as one of the Best Books for 2019. Fisseha's stories, personal essays, and articles explore the unique and universal aspects of the Ethiopian diaspora and have appeared in literary journals and anthologies such as Room MagazineJoylandLithubZora, and Addis Ababa Noir. Born in Addis Ababa, Fisseha now lives in Toronto.


Our next excerpt comes from These are not the potatoes of my youth, the debut collection by poet Matthew Walsh. 

“Mom types”

I swear my mom is just one of those regular mom types who has eyes
on the back of her head. Her husband left her on New Year’s Eve —
not kidding. It was perfect timing. It just so happened most wives
in the area were changing
the locks on their homes so their husbands, I assume, would return
to the forest. She savours now the full-time loneliness of just being
one of those Maritime divorcees, big on bingo and trying
to see if chances come in seconds like dinner. She has all my childhood
drawings and moments stored away
and they come out sometimes when she has too many Labatt Blues.

My mother is like any mother — knows when the salmon are running
just by looking at the ocean. She has healing powers
which I believe came from drinking so much
Pepsi. She is a Pisces but more crab-like, left arm stronger
than its twin from pulling gold, pulling cherries on the VLT.

She still has all her dresses from the ’80s, it’s magical
because teal and lace are never seen together in nature.
I love her fantasy, her drunk Guitar Hero and real guitar
capabilities. She comes from a line of musicians
and a grandfather who once played fiddle for Snow —
Hank Snow but that could be rumours.

Her hair is silver, yet she still does midnight Zumba,
has seen so much in terms of deaths, figurative and literal.
She is something like a phenomenon,
yet so little, and describes herself as the last thing people see
before they die. She is so grim and not an angel
of death. She has done so much and I don’t
know everything about her, yet when I look
in her closet I see my entire life. 

In These are not the potatoes of my youth, Matthew Walsh meanders through their childhood in rural Nova Scotia, later roaming across the prairies and through the railway cafés of Alberta to the love letters and graffiti of Vancouver. In this nomadic journey, Walsh explores queer identity set against an ever-changing landscape of what we want, and who we are, were, and came to be.

Matthew Walsh hails from the eastern shore of Nova Scotia and has twice travelled by bus across Canada. Their poems may be found in the Malahat ReviewArcExistereMatrixCarousel, and Geist. Walsh now lives in Toronto.

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