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New Star Books Winter 2020 / Spring 2020

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The Smallest Objective
By (author): Sharon Kirsch
9781554201556 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Montreal May 28, 2020 Print Run: 1000
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.33 in | 0.36 kg 272 pages New Star Books
From the author of What Species of Creatures, Sharon Kirsch, comes The Smallest Objective, an intricate and melancholy personal memoir about a daughter's last days with her mother, the hidden recesses of family history, and the treasures that the past can bring in the face of a difficult present.

Having moved her elderly mother into a care home, the author of The Smallest Objective must now empty the family home of half a century, discovering as she does so a series of small objects that unlock her family's past: a lantern slide, a faded recipe book, a postcard from Mexico, a nugget of fool's gold.

With the object of saving off grief while attending to her mother's final days, Sharon embarks on a quest to retrieve the origin and circumstances surrounding each of these articles. Along the way, she discovers the stories of several early- to mid-century Montreal Jewish personalities — a Runyonesque hustler, a Lithuanian botanist, and a self-made young woman — as well as the extent to which they were punctured and shaped by the muffled anti-Semitism of the time.

The Smallest Objective examines the minutiae of lives lived, our concern for senior members of our family, the time we need to sift, take stock, and filter out the important things, and the consolation offered by staying close to loved ones even when we can't reach them.

Sharon Kirsch is the author of What Species of Creatures (2008), a book of creative non-fiction about first encounters between early settlers to North America and unfamiliar "beasts."

A writer and an editor, she has published fiction, narrative non-fiction, and journalism, most recently in subTerrain and Room magazines.

Sharon Kirsch is originally from Montreal and has lived in the US and the UK, the latter as a Commonwealth Scholar for postgraduate study in Middle English literature. She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers Correspondence Program. She currently is based in Toronto. More about her is available from sharonkirsch.com.

"Akin to an intricately detailed slide under a microscope, this suite of stories, in fact, a collection of newly discovered memories, is a familial jigsaw puzzle — a series of mysteries, reassembled by way of meticulous research and the astute observation of a writer in her prime." — Bill Arnott, The Miramichi Reader

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