Days after she arrives in Barcelona, Niki’s world is turned upside down when her fiancé calls off their engagement. Unwilling to return to Toronto and face a looming assault charge, she turns to life on the streets. Living among pickpockets, squatters and graffiti artists in a city she barely knows, she is challenged to reassess her ideas about family, luck and art. With the help of a passionate Catalan separatist who dreams of building a new country from the ground up, Niki realizes that starting her life over from scratch could be an opportunity – if she can just find a way to clear her name.
About the author
Becky Blake is a two-time winner of the CBC Literary Prize (for Nonfiction in 2017 and Short Story in 2013). Her fiction and essays have appeared in publications across Canada. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph, and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education. Becky currently lives in Toronto where she’s working on a second novel and a memoir-in-essays.
- Short-listed, ReLit Award for Novel
- Short-listed, Foreword INDIES Award for Literary Fiction
"A Torontonian thief reboots her life on the streets of Barcelona with the help of a Catalan separatist in this debut novel: a story about luck, art and rebuilding a country – or yourself – from the ground up."
Globe and Mail
"Proof I Was Here explores themes of ephemerality, loss, and renewal. In sparse, steady prose, Blake reminds us of how layered, complex, and pain-filled our lives can be."
The Humber LIterary Review
"Broken hearts, complicated friendships, freeganism (fascinating idea), and dysfunctional familial relationships. This book was my perfect kind of escape read."
The Minerva Reader
"Proof I Was Here offers an interesting twist on the conventional expat narrative. This vibrancy imbues the novel with freshness and an energy that helps propel it toward a satisfying conclusion."
Quill & Quire