After her plans for the future are disrupted by an unexpected breakup, Benni, born and raised in northern Ontario, seeks escape from her everyday routine by visiting her father in the Philippines-- the fantastical land of ghosts and glamour that her parents described to her as a child. In the Philippines, Benni is captivated by the luxurious lifestyle of the wealthy members of her mother's family. Canada, in comparison, is a bleak world of work, work, and more work, and Benni cannot understand why her parents ever left. During her visit, Benni finds much more than she bargained for: she discovers a world of poverty that supports the rich and the social restrictions that even the rich experience; she learns to value the honest, human relationships that come from seeking and reconnecting with family; and she comes to understand the importance of the stories we tell ourselves to construct and maintain our identity.
About the author
Mia Herrera's short stories, feature articles, and reviews have appeared in various online and print publications like C&G Monthly, Live in Limbo, Side Street Review, Hart House Review, and TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 7. She is a recipient of the Youth Scholarship Award from the Tatamagouche Centre and Writers' Trust Fund Scholarship. She graduated from the University of Toronto's with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Book and Media Studies, and Cinema Studies in 2009, and in 2011, she obtained a Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College. She currently makes a living in marketing and communications, working for local government and policing organizations. She lives in Bradford, Ontario. Shade is her debut novel.
"Set in the tumultuous, vivid world of modern day Philippines, Shade explores such diverse issues of identity, multiculturalism, celebrity television culture, poverty and wealth, with prose that is as bright and brilliant as the country it depicts. Poignant but never sentimental, serious yet humorous, Mia Herrera follows in the great novelistic tradition of depicting characters who need to get away in order to find out where they come from."
-- David Layton, author of The Bird Factory and Motion Sickness
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