Advanced Search

Add Best Comp

Add comparable title

Remove comparable title

Governor General's Literary Awards 2019

Tiny Lights for Travellers
By (author): Naomi K. Lewis
Naomi K. Lewis


The University of Alberta Press - Edmonton



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
May 15, 2019
$29.99 CAD


9in x 6 x 0.71 in | 442 gr

Page Count:

296 pages
The University of Alberta Press
Biography: writers|Memoirs
Governor General Literary Awards, Non-fiction 2019, Short-listed The Western Canada Jewish Book Awards, Pinsky Givon Family Prize for Non-Fiction 2020, Winner The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize 2020, Short-listed Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction 2020, Winner Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature 2020, Winner
  • Short Description
Vulnerable and funny, this award-winning memoir explores Jewish identity, family, the Holocaust, and belonging.
Why couldn’t I occupy the world as those model-looking women did, with their flowing hair, pulling their tiny bright suitcases as if to say, I just arrived from elsewhere, and I already belong here, and this sidewalk belongs to me? When her marriage suddenly ends, and a diary documenting her beloved Opa’s escape from Nazi-occupied Netherlands in the summer of 1942 is discovered, Naomi Lewis decides to retrace his journey to freedom. Travelling alone from Amsterdam to Lyon, she discovers family secrets and her own narrative as a second-generation Jewish Canadian. With vulnerability, humour, and wisdom, Lewis’s memoir asks tough questions about her identity as a secular Jew, the accuracy of family stories, and the impact of the Holocaust on subsequent generations.

Naomi K. Lewis is the author of the novel Cricket in a Fist, the short story collection I Know Who You Remind Me Of, and the co-editor of the anthology Shy. Her memoir, Tiny Lights for Travellers, was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction. Her journalism has been shortlisted for provincial and national magazine awards, and she has served as writer in residence at the University of New Brunswick and the Calgary Public Library. She lives in Calgary and sometimes Kelowna.

Contributor Website

"Wry, moving and beautifully written—Naomi Lewis is a wonderful writer." - Alison Pick, Booker nominated author of Between Gods and Strangers with the Same Dream

"Early on in Tiny Lights for Travellers, author Naomi Lewis admits she is a poor traveller. She is, however, a master navigator of her own interior geography. In this quiet, humble, and profoundly openhearted memoir, Lewis maps her family’s history, her relationship to faith, and the loves she has both lost and gained. As a reader, I feel thankful to have been invited on the journey." - Marcello Di Cintio, author of Pay No Heed to the Rockets

"An irresistibly wise, poignant, and often funny memoir, a spiral dance through time and space exploring memory, desire, the roots of family, race, and religion; as well as what it means to belong in one’s own skin." - Lauren B. Davis, author of The Grimoire of Kensington Market, The Empty Room, and others

"I was deeply engaged with Naomi’s journey through Europe while also curious about and interested in the memories of her family life, her marriage, her questions of identity, and a burgeoning love story. A hugely intelligent and creative memoir." - Lauren Carter, author of Following Sea

"Naomi is an incredibly talented writer and the loveliest of human beings. Her words are thought provoking and genuine. This is her journey to learn about her family history. Knowing who you are and understating where you come from can be a lifelong exploration." - Andrea Kopylech, Associate Director Advancement, Faculty of Arts

"Tiny Lights for Travellers starts with a zit, percolating brightly on the nose of our author while she takes the transatlantic flight that begins the book. In a strange, unlikely, funny, unabashed and endearing way, this first image in Naomi K. Lewis's reluctant, almost anti-travel memoir encapsulates much of what her book is about." - Laurie D. Graham, Alberta Views

"When Naomi Lewis was a child, no one in her family talked about the fact that her grandfather had escaped Nazi-occupied Europe, largely by foot and through the kindness of strangers. In fact, no one spoke much about that part of their family history, at all." - Info News

"After her grandfather’s death, when Lewis’s parents were moving her grandmother into an assisted-living facility, they found a yellowed, type-written document: 30 foolscap pages in Dutch, and 30 pages translated into English. It recounted her grandfather’s escape [from Nazi occupation] into southern France. Lewis, a short story writer and novelist, transcribed her grandfather’s journal, and later traced her grandfather’s route, travelling from Amsterdam to Lyon, discovering family secrets along the way." - The Daily Courier

"I just finished reading Tiny Lights for Travellers by Naomi K. Lewis and I can't recommend it enough.... [T]his book is beautifully written, immediate, entertaining, and engrossing." - A Tea Cozy is a Sometimes

# 8 on Edmonton's Bestselling Books list; Non-fiction, December 01, 2019

# 10 on Edmonton's Bestselling Books list; Non-fiction, September 20, 2020

"Calgary author Naomi K. Lewis joins educator Abby Wener Herlin in conversation about her well-regarded memoir, Tiny Lights for Travellers. Nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction in 2019, Tiny Lights for Travellers explores her Jewish identity while retracing her grandfather’s escape from the Nazi-occupied Netherlands." [https://www.straight.com/arts/family-stories-run-through-vancouvers-cherie-smith-jcc-jewish-book-festival] - Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

#10 on the Calgary Non-fiction Bestsellers list, May 25, 2023

of 35

Forgotten Password

Please enter your email address and click submit. An email with instructions on resetting your password will be sent to you.

Forgotten Password

An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.