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All the Lives We Never Lived
In my childhood, I was known as the boy whose mother had run off with an Englishman. The man was in fact German, but in small-town India in those days, all white foreigners were largely thought of as British.So begins the story of Myshkin and his mother, Gayatri, a rebellious, alluring artist who abandons parenthood and marriage to follow her primal desire for freedom.Though freedom may be stirring in the air of India, across the world the Nazis have risen to power in Germany. At this point of crisis, a German artist from Gayatri’s past seeks her out. His arrival ignites passions she has long been forced to suppress.What follows is her life as pieced together by her son, a journey that takes him through India and Dutch-held Bali. Excavating the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, he comes to understand his long-lost mother, and the connections between strife at home and a war-torn universe overtaken by patriotism.
Toby: A Man
Toby is a men's etiquette commentator on the top-rated television chain in Quebec and Eastern Ontario. He rises above Montreal on a series of billboards. He has it all. But in the days after his father has a startling accident, Toby makes a series of terrible, wincing choices. He is fired from his job and loses his superb condo, his beautiful girlfriend, and his black sapphire metallic BMW 335i sedan. Worse still, he is forced to move back to the grey Montreal suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeaux and live in the basement of his parents' bungalow. His Blackberry goes silent. He has no saviours. He has reached the limits of misery and humiliation. But his father's increasingly frightening behaviour is where the real trouble, and risk, lies. Who is this man? What can Toby do to help? Is there room for the lost arts of dignity and grace in his parents' basement? Then, in a moment of misplaced gallantry, Toby encounters an unstable Francophone mother who disappears and abandons her two-year-old son, Hugo, to his care. Trapped with a toddler and forced to deal with his father's tragedies, Toby emerges from the basement bungalow of his thirties -- muddy, broke, bruised, heartbroken -- but finally, a man.
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