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Fiction. Women's Studies. DARIA is a novel about a young immigrant girl trying to find her way in a new (but also very old) world, where patriarchal networks abound. DARIA's story is bound to multiple characters, their individual stories forcing the reader to see the world with different eyes: an Indo-Portuguese-Canadian sexual predator; an idealist and resilient Mozambican freedom fighter with an insatiable thirst for virgins; an exquisite Iberian Roma circus—Iberian Christianized Muslims and Jews; a Nubian master who knows how to capture black matter; a searching Caribbean-Canadian diversity director and wannabe African; a fascist dictator whose ruthless cousin delivers unthinkable punishments to anti-colonial combatants inside the closed walls of Tarrafal, the infamous Cape Verdean prison of the Portuguese colonial regime—and countless other characters, some wretched, some redeemable, some spiritually pristine, and some otherworldly, defending visions and ideals, fighting for dignity, power, fame, and recognition. The novel goes back and forth between Portugal, Canada, Mozambique, and Cape Verde to display and juxtapose specific cultural, historical and familial contexts, where the intimate and personal intermingle with the collective of the world at large. When Daria is subjected to a violent attack, the impact of colonialism, patriarchy, and who we choose to love are thrown into sharp relief.
Irene Marques is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and Lecturer at Ryerson University in the English Department where she teaches literature and creative writing. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University. Her literary publications include the poetry collections Wearing Glasses of (2007), THE PERFECT UNRAVELLING OF THE SPIRIT (Mawenzi House/TSAR Publishers, 2012), The Circular Incantation: An Exercise in Loss and Findings (2013), DIANA (Inanna Publications, 2021), the Portuguese language short story collection Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo: Crónicas Desejadas (2009) and the novel My House is a Mansion (2015). Her Portuguese language novel, Uma casa no mundo, won the 2019 Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira deCastro Prize and is forthcoming in 2021. She lives in Toronto.Author City: Toronto, ON CAN