A young man visits his half-brother in Vancouver and steals a book that changes his life. An archeology student is befriended and brought to Iraq by a brother and sister who need his help in assessing a family art collection. A man who fought for the British in South Africa’s Boer War enlists as an American to fight in WWI Germany. Spanning decades and continents, the stories in Béchard’s haunting novel A Song from Faraway (Milkweed Editions, 2020) slowly reveal themselves to be connected. In these pages, the lies of one generation are inherited by the next, homes are burnt to the ground, wives are abandoned, and innocent people suffer. With gripping portrayals of fathers and sons, mothers and siblings, passion and pain – this is a moving, non-linear novel about the relationships to family and society upon which all humanity rests.
Deni Ellis Béchard is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, including Vandal Love (Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book); Into the Sun (Midwest Book Award for Literary Fiction and chosen by CBC/Radio Canada as one of 2017’s Incontournables and one of the most important books of that year to be read by Canada’s political leadership); Of Bonobos and Men (Nautilus Book Award for investigative journalism and Nautilus Grand Prize winner); Cures for Hunger (an IndieNext pick and one of the best memoirs of 2012 by Amazon.ca); Kuei, my Friend: a Conversation on Racism and Reconciliation, (coauthored with First Nations poet Natasha Kanapé-Fontaine). A traveler by nature, Béchard has a habit of changing homes as often as every three months, and the place he has lived in the longest over the past ten years was a community circus.