Haunting Paris by Mamta Chaudhry
In the summer of 1989, while all of Paris is poised to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution, Sylvie mourns the loss of her lover, Julien, and is unable to find solace in the music that has always been her refuge. But when she accidentally dislodges an envelope hidden in Julien's desk, she finds an enigmatic note from a stranger and feels compelled to meet this woman who might hold the key to Julien's past and to the story of the missing child he could not find in his lifetime. Julien's sister and one of her daughters perished in the Holocaust; but Julien held out hope that the other daughter managed to escape. Julien had secretly devoted years to tracking his niece, and now Sylvie picks up where he left off.
With only the scant clue of an unnumbered street, Sylvie sets out on her quest for knowledge, unaware that she is watched over by Julien's ghost, whose love for her is powerful enough to draw him back, though he is doomed to remain a silent observer from the afterlife. Sylvie's journey leads her deep into the secrets of Julien's past, and she finally learns the devastating reason for Julien's reticence about a tragedy both personal and historic, shedding new light on the dark days of Nazi-held Paris and on the man Sylvie loved.
Mamta Chaudhry's gorgeously written and profoundly moving debut novel explores the grief of mourning a partner, the protective conspiracies of family secrets, and the undeniable power of memory. Weaving a narrative rich in vivid imagery and historical resonance, Haunting Parismatches emotional intensity with lyrical storytelling to bring a long-buried secret to light, capturing a relationship, a family, and a city in breathtaking new ways.
About the Author
Mamta Chaudhry's fiction, poetry, and feature articles have been published in the Miami Review, The Illustrated Weekly of India, The Telegraph, The Statesman, Writer's Digest, and The Rotarian, among other publications. Much of her professional career was spent in television and classical radio at stations in Calcutta, Gainesville, Dallas, and Miami. She lives with her husband in Coral Gables, Florida, and they spend part of each year in India and France. Haunting Paris is her first novel.
Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin
Lark and Robin are half-sisters whose similarities end at being named for birds. While Lark is shy and studious, Robin is wild and artistic. Raised in Montreal by their disinterested single mother, they form a fierce team in childhood regardless of their differences. As they grow up, Lark excels at school and Robin becomes an extraordinary pianist. At seventeen, Lark flees to America to attend college, where she finds her calling in documentary films, and her sister soon joins her.
Later, in New York City, they find themselves tested: Lark struggles with self-doubt, and Robin chafes against the demands of Juilliard. Under pressure, their bond grows strained and ultimately is broken, and their paths abruptly diverge. Years later, Lark's life is in tatters and Robin's is wilder than ever. As Lark tries to take charge of her destiny, she discovers that despite the difficulties of their relationship, there is only one person she can truly rely on: her sister.
In this gripping, unforgettable novel about art, ambition, sisterhood, motherhood, and self-knowledge, Alix Ohlin traces the rich and complicated lives of two indelible women. Dazzlingly insightful and beautifully crafted, Dual Citizens captures the unique language of sisters and makes visible the imperceptible strings that bind us to the ones we love for good.
About the Author
Alix Ohlin is the author of four books, most recently the novel Inside, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, and many other places. She lives in Vancouver, where she chairs the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia.