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Vanishing Monuments by John Elizabeth Stintzi

Vanishing Monuments (2020) by John Elizabeth Stintzi begins with a call from the doctor informing narrator, Alani Baum, that their mother’s dementia has worsened.  The call prompts Alani, a non-binary photographer who ran away from home almost thirty years ago, to return to Winnipeg; and, so, their journey in time and place begins.  This debut novel is beautifully wrought, an animated photo-album-of-the-mind which leads us to important, haunting meditations on the nature of memory, home, and self.  This is the debut novel for John Elizabeth Stintzi, winner of the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and I was overcome by the beauty of the writing and the depth of the story.  Don’t miss this opportunity to read a beautiful new voice on the landscape of Canadian fiction.