Winner of the 2020 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards, The Lohn Foundation Prize for Poetry
In Vancouver for Beginners, the nostalgia of place is dissected through the mapping of a city where readers are led past surrealist development proposals, post-apocalyptic postcards, childhood landmarks long gone and a developer who paces at the city's edge, shoring it up with aquariums.
In these poems you will traverse a city lined with rivers, not streets. Memory traps and tourist traps reveal themselves, and the ocean glints, elusive, in the background. Here there are many Vancouvers and no Vancouver, a city meant for elsewhere after the flood has swept through. This place of the living and the dead has been rewritten: forests are subsumed by parks, buildings sink and morph, and the climate has changed.
Vancouver for Beginners is a ghost story, an elegy, a love song for a city that is both indecipherable and a microcosm of a world on fire.
Praise for Alex Leslie:
"Alex Leslie is a tremendously gifted and compassionate writer. This bold and searing collection is a wonder." —Madeleine Thien, Scotiabank Giller Prize winning author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing
"A magnetic collection that must be read over and over." —Kirkus Reviews