Stella's Carpet Book Cover by Lucy E.M. Black

Stella’s Carpet –
Coming Soon!

A Holocaust survivor and a woman briefly imprisoned during the Iranian Revolution are among the characters in this story. Experiences overlap, as individuals step outside the shadow of their own histories and make conscious decisions about how they choose to live while forging new understandings of family, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Stella’s Carpet struggles to document a lived experience within the context of broader questions such as: how do we survive the unimaginable? How do we live with the secrets of our past? And, at what price, love? This book will appeal to readers of fiction who, like all of us in contemporary society, are being forced to find non-traditional ways to create community and to examine the threads that draw us together.

Story behind the book:

Both of my parents survived the devastation that took place in Poland and the Netherlands during WWII. Much of my understanding of the history of the period, and the horrors that destroyed human lives, was initially learned from them. The concept of intergenerational trauma is something that I have found deeply interesting and helpful as I have endeavored to understand the consequences, to them and to others, that are the direct result of such life-damaging experiences. We live in a country that, with the exception of indigenous-settler relations, is shielded from such atrocities. As newcomers join our ranks from war-torn homes and places of persecution, we need to understand that they carry with them a deep and lingering pain that may well be carried on into the lives of their children as they grow up under the shadow of such fear and hurt. Openly embracing these newcomers and welcoming them into our lives and families has become a vital expression of our own humanity. Stella’s Carpet ambitiously attempts to portray some of these things, with the carpets themselves standing in as a beautiful way to broach some of the issues.

– Tenderly explores the quirkiness of a loving blended family dynamic with all of its inherent messes and drama. An ex-son-in-law continues to share a close intimate bond with his former in-laws while his ex-wife reunites with a childhood love and transforms from a bitter hypochondriac to someone who can re-engage with life. Their daughter navigates between her parents while trying to establish her own life trajectory.

– Persian carpets are beautifully detailed and serve as significant markers in the characters’ lives. One of the main characters collects Persian carpets and his growing collection is described in detail. A great deal of information is introduced about the splendour, provenance, symbolism and history of carpets.

– The intergenerational consequences of trauma is explored through several narratives: two Holocaust survivors share pieces of their history, while the experiences of those who survived regime change during the fall of the Shah in Iran are touched upon. An unhappy woman reveals the effects of second-generation trauma on her own life.

– This is a story of newcomers to Canada and the choices made in order to flee from difficult circumstances before transitioning to new lives in Canada. Their resiliency and bravery is highlighted, even as we are exposed to some first-hand accounts of their horrifying ordeals.

– Many historical events in WII are detailed from the perspective of a young man taken prisoner at the outset of military incursions, and a young woman trying to evade capture by invading forces. Their poignant stories are carefully drawn to highlight the life-long effects of such terror.

Watch for Stella’s Carpet in Fall, 2021

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“Water don’t always quench a deep thirst,” speaks one of her characters, but Lucy E.M. Black’s characters are a fresh drink of water in all their complexities. This collection is a glass brimming full with heartfelt narratives of people piloting through the denseness of life. Beautifully dark and light and honest and deep in the vulnerabilities we dwell in and share. A charming and gifted new voice in the growing landscape of Canadian literature.”

—Gianna Patriarca, Gianna Patriarca, author of Italian Women and Other Tragedies and All My Fallen Angelas

“There will be no need for an editor to red-line superfluous text in Lucy Black’s debut story collection, The Marzipan Basket. Stories drive in a straight-line narrative, drawing, pulling, the reader into an emotionally epiphanic event in the life of the protagonist, often interwoven with that of an I-narrator and, with strong images, revealing a depth of feeling you will recall and relate to from your own experience. Ever-present in the lives of the characters are the pain and consequences of abuse, cruelty, indifference, abandonment, loss and loneliness, struggle, poverty, and love. These stories reflect moments in time; slices-of-life to which there are no resolutions; in this, author Lucy Black trusts her readers to envisage their own coda.”

—Rhoda Rabinowitz Green, author of Slowly I Turn, Moon Over Mandalay, and Aspects of Nature

“Lucy Black arrives into the world of Can Lit with this compilation of beautifully written short stories that speak to the heart-felt intimacies of both her characters and her readers.”

—Donna Morrissey, author of The Fortunate Brother