Posted on January 10th, 2015 by pajamapress
“World War I separates a betrothed Anatolian couple—leaving one to witness the Armenian genocide and sending the other to a prison camp…in Canada. Cast as letters and journal entries, the double narrative records the experiences of Zeynep, a villager transplanted to the “mighty city of Harput,” and Ali, who is swept up with other supposed enemy aliens and shipped to a remote camp in central Ontario before he can send for Zeynep. Neither is of Turkish descent: They are Kurds practicing the ancient, indigenous Alevi faith. These distinctions make no difference to Canadian authorities in Ali’s case, but they do give Zeynep some protection as she records a rising tide of atrocities committed against her Armenian (Christian) friends and neighbors…An eye-opening exposé of historical outrages committed in two countries, with intriguing glimpses of a minority group that is not well-known in the Americas”
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged armenian, Canada, dance-of-the-banished, Historical Fiction, History, kirkus, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, Review, teen, wwi, ya
Posted on October 24th, 2014 by pajamapress
“…The inside covers contain maps detailing the geography of both Zeynep and Ali’s stories, and the ‘Author’s Note’ provides considerable background on the Alevi Kurds; both offer a better sense of the journeys undertaken by both main characters and of their cultural context…
Dance of the Banished is definitely a worthwhile acquisition for middle and high school library collections; it will complement other works focusing on the story of young people affected by war-time, including The Diary of Anne Frank, provide a very accessible perspective on life in one of Canada’s First World War Internment Camps, as well as introducing readers to the story of the Armenian genocide, an event with which many young Canadians might not be familiar.
Click here to read the full review.
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged armenian, CM-magazine, dance-of-the-banished, genocide, historical, internment, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, Novel, Review, teen, wwi, ya
Posted on August 25th, 2014 by pajamapress
On Friday, August 22nd at 11 am, one hundred plaques were unveiled across Canada. They commemorated Canada’s enemy alien internment operations in the First World War, a little-known part of our history that saw Canadian citizens imprisoned in camps across the country because they had immigrated here from nations with which the British Empire was now at war.
The vast majority of internees were Ukrainian, targeted because their passports read “Austrian.” Canadian immigration officials did not make a distinction between ethnic Austrians and others who then belonged to—and were even persecuted by—the Austrian empire. Similarly, all immigrants from the Ottoman Empire were labelled “Turks.”
In 1914, one hundred of these “Turks”—really Alevi Kurds—were rounded up in Brantford, Ontario, on the charge of having plotted to destroy the post office. Although the charge was proven to be false, they were sent to the wilderness of Kapuskasing to build and then occupy a prison camp there.
At Friday’s ceremony, hosted by the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. John, Ukrainians came together with Armenians, Kurds, dignitaries, and supporters of Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, who put together many pieces of this history while researching her newest novel, Dance of the Banished. This young adult historical novel tells the stories of two Alevi teenagers in the First World War: Ali, who comes to Brantford to work and is interned in Kapuskasing, and his fiancée Zeynep, who is left behind in their homeland of Anatolia where she helps other Alevi Kurds rescue 40,000 of their Armenian neighbours from the Armenian Genocide.
A launch was held for Dance of the Banished following the plaque unveiling. Below, reviewer Helen Kubiw of CanLit for LittleCanadians (left) poses with the author and a signed copy of the book.
For more information about Dance of the Banished, visit the following links.
For more information about the recognition of Canada’s internment operations, visit the links below.
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged alevi, armenian, Brantford, Canada, dance-of-the-banished, historical, kurd, launch, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, Novel, ontario, plaque, teen, ukrainian, world-war-I, wwi, ya