"Grady's novel reads with the velvety tempo of the jazz music of its day. . . . Grady fearlessly explores heated race relations and the masks we all assume." Chatelaine
With his curly black hair and his wicked grin, everyone swoons and thinks of Frank Sinatra when Navy musician Jackson Lewis takes the stage. It's World War II, and while stationed in St. John's, Newfoundland, Jack meets the well-heeled Vivian Clift, a local girl who has never stepped off the Rock and longs to see the world. They marry against Vivian's family's wishes--there's something about Jack that they just don't like--and as the war draws to a close, the couple travels to Windsor to meet Jack's family.
But when Vivian meets Jack's mother and brother, everything she thought she knew about her husband gets called into question. They don't live in the dream home Jack depicted, they all look different from one another--different from anyone Vivian has ever seen--and after weeks of waiting to meet Jack's father, he never materializes.
Steeped in jazz and big-band music, spanning pre- and post-war Windsor-Detroit, St. John's, Newfoundland, and 1950s Toronto, this is an arresting, heartwrenching novel about fathers and sons, love and sacrifice, race relations and a time in our history when the world was on the cusp of momentous change.
WAYNE GRADY is the author of fourteen acclaimed books and the translator of fifteen novels. He won the Governor General's Award for Translation in 1989, and was nominated for the same award in 1995 and 2005. Grady lives near Kingston with his wife, writer Merilyn Simonds. Visit him at www.waynegrady.ca.
Praise for Emancipation Day:
• "An engaging look at when and where true co-existence and polite tolerance dissolve into prejudice and power struggle. That's a fully contemporary issue, and one that's entirely Canadian." The Globe and Mail