Set in 1958 in a small tobacco growing community near Windsor, Ontario, Smoke explores themes of identity and transformation. Fifteen year old Buster, has a promising future until he is severely burned in a tragic fire.
Throughout the painful healing process, John Gray, the town’s doctor distracts Buster with stories of The Purple Gang, Prohibition era mobsters who controlled liquor smuggling between Windsor and Detroit. While the scarred Buster tries to move forward, Doc John struggles to make peace with the past and both of these outsiders must learn to cope with the present. Elizabeth Ruth explores the themes of identity and transformation in this vibrant novel.
Midnight at the Dragon Café by Judy Fong Bates
Judy Fong Bates’ debut novel tells the story of a young Chinese girl and her family—the owners of the only Chinese restaurant in town. Through Su-Jen’s eyes, the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Café unfolds. As Su-Jen’s father works continually for a better future, her mother, a beautiful but embittered woman, settles uneasily into their new life. When Su-Jen’s half-brother arrives, smouldering under the responsibilities he must bear as the dutiful Chinese son, he forms an alliance with Su-Jen’s mother, one that will have devastating consequences.
Midnight at the Dragon Café is the 2011 Keep Toronto Reading One Book selection.
Live one hour chat
April 26, 7 pm.
Toronto Public Library acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for this program.
The Help by Katherine Stockett
Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup