Giant by Aga Maksimowska

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Maksimowska’s story takes on a hasty-feeling compression in the last 25 pages, fast-forwarding and backpedalling through Gosia’s seven teenage years
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

How do you fit in in a new country when you're a "giant freak," you don't speak the language and bizarre things are happening to your motherland as well as to your body? In a candid and peculiar voice reminiscent of Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals, Aga Maksimowska tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl in an adult's body whose coming of age in a country undergoing a revolution is interrupted by a sudden and cruel move to Canada. Readers will find the story of the Autumn of Nations, in 1989 in Eastern Europe, a time when youth took to the streets to rebel against a century of suffering under Communist rule, relevant to our time when youth in Egypt, Libya, Syria and many other Arab nations attempt to throw off the yoke of their autocratic regimes. Gosia presents a child's perspective of revolution, a traumatic time of change which for Gosia herself coincides with the insurrection of her own body and the devastating absence of her migrant-worker parents: a mother who works in Canada and a container ship machinist father who ferries Asian goods to Europe. A sudden move to Canada forces Gosia to experience the tumults of puberty in a foreign land far from loved ones who remain in Poland as it undergoes drastic transformation and struggles to rebuild and invent a new reality for an old republic. In Canada, like many children of migrants, Gosia is unsure of her identity: she's neither Polish nor Canadian. As she grows up, she's forced to weave a new existence for herself, one that includes new multi-ethnic influences and old familial traditions.
 

About Aga Maksimowska

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AGA MAKSIMOWSKA lives in Toronto. She works at Crescent School, an independent day school for boys, where she is currently Head of English /Upper School Teacher. This is her first novel.
 
Published May 30, 2012 by Pedlar Press. 226 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Giant
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by JIM BARTLEY on Jul 31 2012

Maksimowska’s story takes on a hasty-feeling compression in the last 25 pages, fast-forwarding and backpedalling through Gosia’s seven teenage years

Read Full Review of Giant | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Aug 03 2012

The story itself does not repel like a rodent, but neither is it as elegant as a swan. Call it just a seagull, if you will — squawking and wandering around in circles and occasionally soaring.

Read Full Review of Giant | See more reviews from National Post arts

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