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Eva Stachniak in conversation with Andrew J. Borkowski

Posted by on Mar 17, 2012

This interview originally appeared on Open Book Toronto on March 17, 2011:

Andrew J. Borkowski was born and raised in Toronto’s Roncesvalles Village. He studied Journalism and English Literature at Carleton University. As a freelance journalist, he has published articles in the Globe and Mail, the Canadian ForumQuill & QuireTV Guide and the Los Angeles Times. His short fiction has appeared in Grain, The New Quarterly and in Storyteller magazine. His short story “Twelve Versions of Lech,” which appears in Copernicus Avenue, was nominated for the 2007 Writer’s Trust/McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize and published in Journey Prize Stories 19.

In April of 2011, Cormorant Books will publish Copernicus Avenue, Andrew Borkowski’s debut collection of short stories. In the publisher’s words:

Set primarily in the neighbourhood of fictional Copernicus Avenue … is a daring, modern take on life in Toronto’s Polish community in the years following World War II. Featuring a cast of young and old, artists and soldiers, visionaries and madmen, the forgotten and the unforgettable, Copernicus Avenue captures, with bold and striking prose, the spirit of a people who have travelled to a new land, not to escape old grudges and atrocities, but to conquer them.

Andrew Borkowski’s richly textured stories take us through the streets and backalleys of Toronto’s Little Poland into the hearts of characters caught between the memories of the European bloodlands and the temptations of the Canadian Dream. Passionate, intelligent, and impeccably crafted, Copernicus Avenue is — in its essence — a Toronto book.

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Eva Stachniak in conversation with Antanas Sileika

Eva Stachniak in conversation with Antanas Sileika

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011

Antanas Sileika, a Canadian novelist and critic, a son of Lithuanian-born parents, is the author of two novels and one collection of linked short stories Buying on Time(nominated for both the City of Toronto Book Award and the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour). Underground, his newest novel, will be published in March of 2011 by Thomas Allen. In the words of its publisher Underground “explores the narrow range of options open to men and women in desperate situations, when history crashes into personal desires and private life.” For me Underground is also one of the still rare Canadian novels which delve into the stories from behind the former Iron Curtain, a tempting topic of conversation with its author.

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Eva Stachniak in conversation with Caroline Adderson

Eva Stachniak in conversation with Caroline Adderson

Posted by on Nov 21, 2010

Eastern European characters rarely make it into Canadian fiction, thus the idea to present the novels and short stories which feature immigrants from behind the former Iron Curtain. In the near future, I’ll introduce Andrew Borkowski’s collection of short stories about growing up on Roncesvalles after World War II. Today, I am talking to Caroline Adderson. The heroine of her latest novel, The Sky is Falling, is a daughter of a Polish immigrant.

Caroline Adderson is one of the most interesting Canadian writers. She has written novels (A History of Forgetting, Sitting Practice), short stories (Bad Imaginings, Pleased to Meet You), and several books for young readers. Her books have been nominated for prestigious literary rewards. She is a winner of Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and CBC Literary Awards, and the recipient of the 2006 Marian Engel Award.

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