Caroline is seven years old when her family flees Pinochet’s regime, leaving Chile for Montreal on Christmas Eve, 1986. She fears Santa won’t find them on the plane but wakes to find a new doll at her side, her mother preserving the holiday even amidst persecution and turmoil. This symbol of care is repeated throughout their relocation as her parents work tirelessly to provide the family with a new vision of the future.
Once in Canada, Caroline accompanies her parents as they clean banks at night. She experiences racist microaggressions at school, discovers Québécois popular culture, and explores her love of reading and writing in French. Slowly, the Andean peaks disappear from Caroline’s drawings and a fracture between her parents’ identity and her own begins to grow.
This expansive coming-of-age autobiographical novel probes the plurality of identity, elucidating the interwoven complexities of immigrating to a new country. As the Andes Disappeared tenderly reflects the journey of millions and is a beautiful ode to family commitment and the importance of home—however layered that may be.
About the authors
Caroline Dawson was born in Chile in 1979 and immigrated to Quebec with her family when she was seven. As the Andes Disappeared, originally published in French as Là où je me terre (2020), was a finalist for various prizes, including the Prix des libraires du Quebec and Radio Canada's Combat national des livres, and won the Prix littéraire des Collégiens and the Prix AIEQ. She is also the author of the poetry collection, Ce qui est tu (2023). Dawson teaches sociology and co-organizes the Montreal Youth Literature Festival. She lives in Montreal.
ANITA ANAND is an author, translator, and language teacher from Montreal. She is the author of Swing in the House and Other Stories, which won the 2015 Concordia University First Book Prize and was shortlisted for the 2016 Relit Award for Fiction and the Montreal Literary Diversity Prize. Her novel, A Convergence of Solitudes, was nominated for the 2022 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the 2023 Forest of Reading Evergreen Award. Her previous translations include Nirliit by Juliana Léveillé-Trudel, which was nominated for the 2018 John Glassco Prize, and Lightness by Fanie Demeule.
- Winner, Prix littéraire des Collégiens
- Nominated, Prix des libraires du Quebec
- Short-listed, le Combat national des livres
"The power of this largely autobiographical novel lies in its refusal to let anger give rise to gratitude. Nor is gratitude permitted to soften the rage of knowing that the comfort of the rich continues to be built with the egregiously paid labour of those who cannot push back." —Le Devoir
"There are books that make us better people, and Dawson's is among them." —Michel Marc Bouchard, le Combat national des livres de Radio-Canada
"With sensitivity, humour and engaging lucidity, Dawson's autobiographical novel shows us that there are many lived realities and that it is essential to be attentive to everyone's experience." —Marc-Étienne Brien, Librairie Biblairie GGC