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Fiction Literary

That Time I Loved You

by (author) Carrianne Leung

Initial publish date
Jul 2021
Literary, General, Family Life
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
  • CD-Audio

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price

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Shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award
Shortlisted for Markham Reads
A Globe and Mail Most Anticipated Book
A CBC Books Writer to Watch

Life is never as perfect as it seems. Tensions that have lurked beneath the surface of a shiny new subdivision rise up in this haunting depiction of 1970s suburbia

In her “compact gem of a collection” (The Globe and Mail), Carrianne Leung enlivens a singular group of characters sharing a subdivision in 1970s Toronto. Marilyn greets her new neighbours with fresh-baked cookies before she starts stealing from them. Stay-at-home-wife Francesca believes passion is just one yard away in the arms of another man. And Darren doesn’t understand why his mother insists he keep his head down, even though he gets good grades like his white friends. When a series of inexplicable suicides begins to haunt their community, no one is more fascinated by the terrible phenomenon than young June. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she sits hawk-eyed at the centre, bearing witness to the truth behind pulled curtains: the affairs, the racism, the hidden abuses.

Leung’s fiction is remarkably attuned to the tenuous, and perhaps deceptive, idea of happiness among these picket-fenced lives.


About the author

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer, educator and business owner who lives in Toronto with as much aplomb as she can muster. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from oise/University of Toronto and teaches at Ontario College of Art and Design University. She is also the co-owner of Multiple Organics, an organic grocery store. She is co-editor, with Lynn Caldwell and Darryl Leroux, of Critical Inquiries: A Reader in Studies of Canada (forthcoming, May 2013). She, her partner, their son and two dogs live in the west-end of Toronto.

Carrianne Leung's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“With compassion and masterful storytelling, Leung walks us past neat front yards to show us that life in the suburbs isn’t as tidy as it seems. That Time I Loved You is about children losing innocence and adults burying pain, and yet also a hopeful portrayal of friendship, kinship, community.”

Farzana Doctor, author of <em>All Inclusive</em>

“Amazing, heart-breaking, probing, tender; apocalyptic, in the truest sense. With an activist’s compassion and a poet’s eye, Leung challenges everything we knew (or thought we knew) about the suburbs. . . . This is the best coming-of-age story I’ve read in a long time.”

Yasuko Thanh, author of <em>The Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains</em>

“At turns poignant, sad, haunting and funny.”

Larissa Lai, author of <em>When Fox Is a Thousand</em></em> and <em>Salt Fish Girl</em></em>

“Carrianne Leung moves beyond the genre of youth lit by honestly confronting loss, love, sex, culture, mental health and the vulnerabilities that these experiences expose.”

Schema magazine

That Time I Loved You made me laugh, cry, feel, and think. . . .[Leung’s] sharp writing spans racial, cultural, and class lines to find the heart and beauty of the individual lives within. I loved this book.”

Claire Cameron, author of <em>The Bear</em> and <em>The Last Neanderthal</em>

Praise for The Wondrous Woo


City of Toronto Book Award Finalist


“Heady, necessary writing from an author brilliantly talented and exquisitely attuned to the everyday in all of its desperation and rare beauty.”

David Chariandy, author of <em>Brother</em> </em>and <em>Soucouyant</em></em>

“Heartbreaking. . . . Leung’s stories lift the veiled curtain of late 1970s suburbia to reveal the sadness and isolation of its residents. . . . Written in the tradition of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri, Leung’s debut story collection marks the career of a writer to watch.”

<em>Kirkus Reviews</em> (starred)

“Eloquent and lingers in the mind.”

<em>Canadian Living</em>

“This is a [book] that dazzles with its subtly, that befriends its reader in the dead of night, that leaves a lasting impression and a new way of understanding people and the world.”

The Globe and Mail

Longlisted for the Toronto Book Award


“Leung reveals a suburb on the cusp of change, families whose names are no longer Smith and Watson, but rather Chow and Da Silva. Leung illuminates with clear unassuming prose and much compassion, a neighbourhood that is complex, disturbing, funny, sad and very human.”

Judy Fong Bates, author of <em>Midnight at the Dragon Café</em> and <em>The Year of Finding Memory</em>

“A compelling read.”


The Wondrous Woo is the kind of tale that can bring out the super-hero in readers too.”

Buried in Print

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