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Leslie Shimotakahara

Leslie Shimotakaha earned a PhD in English from Brown University. She had a brief career as a university English teacher before turning her attention to creative prose and fiction writing. She currently lives in Toronto.

Fiction

After the Bloom

Toronto: Dundurn, 2017.
PS8637 .H525 A69 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Lily Takemitsu goes missing from her home in Toronto one luminous summer morning in the mid-1980s. Her daughter, Rita, knows her mother has a history of dissociation and memory problems, which have led her to wander off before. But never has she stayed away so long. Unconvinced the police are taking the case seriously, Rita begins to carry out her own investigation. In the course of searching for her mom, she is forced to confront a labyrinth of secrets surrounding the family’s internment at a camp in the California desert during the Second World War, their postwar immigration to Toronto, and the father she has never known.

Fiction

Red Oblivion

Toronto: Dundurn, 2019.
PS8637.H525 R43 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

When Jill Lau receives an early morning phone call that her elderly father has fallen gravely ill, she and her sister, Celeste, catch the first flight from Toronto to Hong Kong. The man they find languishing in the hospital is a barely recognizable shadow of his old, indomitable self.

According to his housekeeper, a couple of mysterious photographs arrived anonymously in the mail in the days before his collapse. These pictures are only the first link in a chain of events that begin to reveal the truth about their father’s past and how he managed to escape from Guangzhou, China, during the Cultural Revolution to make a new life for himself in Hong Kong. Someone from the old days has returned to haunt him — exposing the terrible things he did to survive and flee one of the most violent periods of Chinese history, reinvent himself, and make the family fortune. Can Jill piece together the story of her family’s past without sacrificing her father’s love and reputation?

Non-fiction (Autobiography/Memoir)

The Reading List: Literature, Love and Back Again

Willowdale, Ont.: Stories That Bind, 2011.
PS8637 .H525 Z47 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis

Awards and Honours

2012 Canada-Japan Literary Prize–Memoir (winner)

Links

Leslie Shimotakahara personal website

Publisher Dundurn Press