Caught between cultures, immigrant families from a Bengali neighbourhood in Toronto strive to navigate their home, relationships, and happiness.
Set in both Canada and Bangladesh, the eight stories in Home of the Floating Lily follow the lives of everyday people as they navigate the complexities of migration, displacement, love, friendship, and familial conflict. A young woman moves to Toronto after getting married but soon discovers her husband is not who she believes him to be. A mother reconciles her heartbreak when her sons defy her expectations and choose their own paths in life. A lonely international student returns to Bangladesh and forms an unexpected bond with her domestic helper. A working-class woman, caught between her love for Bangladesh and her determination to raise her daughter in Canada, makes a life-altering decision after a dark secret from the past is revealed.
In each of the stories, characters embark on difficult journeys in search of love, dignity, and a sense of belonging.
Silmy Abdullah is a Bangladeshi-Canadian author and lawyer. Her legal practice focuses on the intersection of immigration, poverty, and gender-based violence. Silmy writes both fiction and non-fiction, and Home of the Floating Lily is her debut collection. She lives in Toronto.
Moving through lives, time, locations, and love, Silmy Abdullah crafts and holds the kind of narrative that welcomes you in and then changes your understanding forever. Home of the Floating Lily is as cutting as it is gentle, as familiar as it is new, and beautiful all the way through. It's the kind of book that gets passed from one reader to the next and held dear at the same time. A remarkable debut from an incredible writer who holds intricate threads of voice and circumstance and weaves gorgeous story with each and every one.
In beautifully descriptive prose, Home of the Floating Lily is an evocative debut that explores family, culture, tradition, and love in places that simultaneously promise opportunity and struggle.
Abdullah uses displacement and migration to reveal experiences that are at once unique to Bangladeshi Canadians but also part of a shared human experience.
Home of the Floating Lily by Silmy Abdullah offers an intimate, empathetic and important portrait of the lives of Bangladeshi immigrants in Toronto.
Home of the Floating Lily is an intimate examination of love and loss, duty and freedom, of family and friendship. Follow the silken thread running through Silmy Abdullah's illuminating stories. She will remind you of what it truly means to be a daughter, a sister, a son, a brother, a parent, or a friend. Her characters will speak to you of what it is to be young and to be old, of endings and beginnings. Each story is an exploration of our universal longing to be at home in this world and at home in our hearts. I am a better person for having read this wonderful book.
Abdullah writes with poignancy and subtlety about her characters' self-discovery as they seek a sense of home amid turbulence and change. This is worth a look.