Friday, September 14, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #2 - Allison Baggio

Our second guest author is the lovely Allison Baggio

Allison Baggio has an Honours B.A. in English and Mass Communications from York University. She is also a graduate of the Humber School for Writers Correspondence Program in Creative Writing, where she worked on Girl in Shades with celebrated author, Shaena Lambert. 

She currently resides in Whitby, Ontario and works as a freelance fundraising copywriter for non-profit organizations. 

Allison has had her writing and commentaries appear in numerous magazines and newspapers, including: The Toronto Star, Surface & Symbol (Scarborough Arts Council), Whitby This Week, The Globe and Mail and Today’s Parent magazine.

Sweetly funny and deeply perceptive, this novel follows eleven-year-old Maya Devine's search for her mother, her father, and above all, herself, offering a fresh take on what it means to grow up and discover who you really are. Maya has always seen color around people’s bodies, and can sometimes even hear what’s going on inside their heads. These insights make everyone a bit more interesting, but the one person she'll never figure out is her mother. Marigold has never been like the other moms, but still, Maya sometimes feels like she is all she has.

When Marigold is diagnosed with cancer and vows to spend her final days in the tepee she’s set up in the backyard, neighbors and strangers, believing the dying Marigold to be a prophet, camp out in front of the family’s house. As her father grows ever more distant, Maya finds solace in the music of Corey Hart, but when Marigold’s death leaves questions unanswered, she sets off to discover the truth about her family and identity.

Building on themes introduced in the author’s previous novel, this collection of 12 short stories further explores the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. The array of stories includes “Spilt Milk,” in which an ordinary fare leads an Indo-Canadian taxi driver, who is unhappy with his current circumstances, to marry his passenger’s unattractive sister. In “Possessed,” a man receives a heart transplant and begins to suspect that his new heart is still attached to its old owner, triggering a psychological thrill ride. In the novella, “As She Was,” a motorcycle accident leaves a teenage girl with a serious brain injury that dramatically alters her personality and body. The four people closest to her must reflect on who she was in order to accept who she has become, revealing the details of the accident and their own feelings of guilt in the process. Showcasing a range of voice and breadth of vision, this anthology marries a gentle probing of familial relationships with an incisive look at the human body, exploring the ways it defines, fails, and frees humanity.

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