Mother Superior

by Saleema Nawaz

September 2008
6 x 9 paper 296 pages
ISBN 978-1-55111-927-4
CDN $23.95 | US $23.95

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Finalist for the McAuslan First Book Prize

Includes Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize-winning story “My Three Girls”

A prostitute takes shelter with a group of young anarchists. A sister goes missing, mailing a trail of encoded postcards from destinations across the globe. The daughters of a Montreal bagel-shop owner navigate the tricky terrain of being young, Sikh, and female, one growing larger while the other fades. A woman watches with lust and longing as the object of her affections, her pregnant roommate, is pursued by an unsavory suitor. And a precocious child spies on her adoptive mother, trying to grasp the secret of her mother’s hidden obsession and of her own unexplained origins.

The seven stories and two novellas in Mother Superior are a heady blend of misfits and mothers, of sisters and complex, mysterious others.  Nawaz traces the scars left by family secrets and sings the complex, captivating language of lust and of love.



“Make room for one wild new writer. Nawaz is going to dazzle you with her style, her remarkable sense of things in this world, her plain out-and-out talent. This is a new arrival who knows what she is doing and you will want to know that too. A book you will read with new pleasure.”
—Dennis Cooley

“These brilliant multicultural fables are peopled by an amazingly diverse and memorable cast of characters. Saleema Nawaz gives us a new, humane, and deeply embodied way of understanding our communities. Her observations are pitch-perfect, and her prose scintillates.”
—Warren Cariou

Mother Superior is superb. Saleema Nawaz writes with grace and compassion about a sisterhood of young women facing down their demons and developing faith in themselves.”
—Neil Smith