A Convergence of Solitudes
by Anita Anand
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Pub Date 17 May 2022 | Archive Date 17 May 2022
A story of identity, connection and forgiveness, A Convergence of Solitudes shares the lives of two families across Partition of India, Operation Babylift in Vietnam, and two referendums in Quebec.
Sunil and Hima, teenage lovers, bravely defy taboos in pre-Partition India to come together as their country divides in two. They move across the world to Montreal and raise a family, but Sunil shows symptoms of schizophrenia, shattering their newfound peace. As a teenager, their daughter Rani becomes obsessed with Quebecois supergroup Sensibilité—and, in particular, the band's charismatic, nationalistic frontman, Serge Giglio—whose music connects Rani to the province's struggle for cultural freedom. A chance encounter leads Rani to babysit Mélanie, Serge's adopted daughter from Vietnam, bringing her fleetingly within his inner circle.
Years later, Rani, now a college guidance counselor, discovers that Mélanie has booked an appointment to discuss her future at the school. Unmoved by her father's staunch patriotism and her British mother's bourgeois ways, Mélanie is struggling with deep uncertainty about her identity and belonging. As the two women's lives become more and more intertwined, Rani's fascination with Mélanie's father's music becomes a strange shadow amidst their friendship.
Author is also an award-winning translator.
Explores the complexity of cultural identity and belonging from within the setting of Quebec sovereignty in the late 20th Century.
Debut novel from the author of Swing in the House and Other Stories, winner of the 2015 Concordia First Book Prize, and a finalist for the ReLit Award for Fiction.
Themes: Quebec sovereignty, Partition of India, family relationships, international adoption, cultural heritage, nationalism, Quebec referendum, identity
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