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That Time I Loved You
Cover of That Time I Loved You
That Time I Loved You

Tensions that have lurked beneath the surface of a shiny new subdivision rise up when tragedy strikes again and again, in a new novel from the author of the Toronto Book Award—shortlisted The Wondrous Woo

The suburbs of the 1970s promised to be heaven on earth—new houses, new status, happiness guaranteed. But in a Scarborough subdivision populated by newcomers from all over the world, a series of sudden catastrophic events reveals that not everyone's dreams come true. Moving from house to house, Carrianne Leung explores the inner lives behind the tidy front gardens and picture-perfect windows, always returning to June, an irrepressible adolescent Chinese-Canadian coming of age in this shifting world. Through June and her neighbours, Leung depicts the fine line where childhood meets the realities of adult life, and examines, with insight and sharp prose, how difficult it is to be true to ourselves at any age.

Tensions that have lurked beneath the surface of a shiny new subdivision rise up when tragedy strikes again and again, in a new novel from the author of the Toronto Book Award—shortlisted The Wondrous Woo

The suburbs of the 1970s promised to be heaven on earth—new houses, new status, happiness guaranteed. But in a Scarborough subdivision populated by newcomers from all over the world, a series of sudden catastrophic events reveals that not everyone's dreams come true. Moving from house to house, Carrianne Leung explores the inner lives behind the tidy front gardens and picture-perfect windows, always returning to June, an irrepressible adolescent Chinese-Canadian coming of age in this shifting world. Through June and her neighbours, Leung depicts the fine line where childhood meets the realities of adult life, and examines, with insight and sharp prose, how difficult it is to be true to ourselves at any age.

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About the Author-
  • CARRIANNE LEUNG is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a PhD in sociology and equity studies from the University of Toronto. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo, was shortlisted for a 2014 Toronto Book Award.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred) "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."
  • David Chariandy, author of Brother and Soucouyant "Heady, necessary writing from an author brilliantly talented and exquisitely attuned to the everyday in all of its desperation and rare beauty."
  • The Globe and Mail "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."
  • Canadian Living "Eloquent and lingers in the mind."
  • Maisonneuve "A compelling read."
  • Yasuko Thanh, author of The Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains "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."
  • Judy Fong Bates, author of Midnight at the Dragon Café and The Year of Finding Memory "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."
  • Claire Cameron, author of The Bear and The Last Neanderthal "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."
  • Larissa Lai, author of When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl "At turns poignant, sad, haunting and funny."
  • Buried in Print "The Wondrous Woo is the kind of tale that can bring out the super-hero in readers too."
  • Schema magazine "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."
  • Farzana Doctor, author of All Inclusive "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."
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    HarperCollins Canada
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