Skeena: first novel to be launched in English and Punjabi


Fauzia Rafique
You are invited to the launch of Skeena, a novel by Fauzia Rafique. Skeena is the first Canadian novel to be launched in English and Punjabi. The launches will take place this weekend in Surrey and Vancouver on April 9 and April 10.

The launch in Surrey on April 9 (2 – 4 PM, Newton Branch of Surrey Public Library, (604) 598-7400), presents the novel in both Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi (Perso-Arabic) scripts.
Poetry Readings by Greek Canadian Surrey-based Author and Publisher Manolis to launch his 12th collection of poetry ‘Vernal Equinox’ (Ekstasis Editions, Victoria 2011). Manolis will also present a selection of his translation of Yannis Ritsos, the Star of Lenin, Poetry Prize Award winning Greek poet.
Readings from ‘Skeena’ by Fauzia Rafique
Guest Speakers on ‘Skeena’
Sadhu Binning, Bhupinder Dhaliwal, Surjeet Kalsey, Dr. Saif Khalid, Shahzad Nazir Khan, Ajmer Rode
Discussion and Refreshments
Event Host: Sana’s Janjua

The launch of English edition of Skeena will take place in Vancouver on April 10 (2 – 4 PM, Hellenic Community Center, 4500 Arbutus. Tel: 604-266-7148).
Book Launch ‘Vernal Equinox’
Poetry Readings by Manolis, a Greek Canadian author who has published 12 collections of poetry, two novels and numerous pieces of prose in Greek and English, will launch his latest poetry collection ‘Vernal Equinox’, Manolis will also present a selection of his translation of Greek poet Yannis Ritsos who was unsuccessfully nominated for a Nobel Prize nine-times but was not awarded it because of his progressive views.
Book Launch ‘Skeena’
Reading by Fauzia Rafique
Guest Speakers on ‘Skeena’
Anne Murphy, Anthony Dalton, Farah Shroff, Indira Prahst and Sunera Thobani
Discussion and Refreshments
Event Host
Valerie B.-Taylor

Skeena is the story of a Muslim Canadian woman spanning thirty years of her life where she explores her changing environments, religious and cultural influences, and intimate relationships. Told by Skeena herself, it is a rare glimpse into the mind and perspectives of a Muslim woman. With the utter simplicity of style and expression, and a plot immersed in gripping realities, Fauzia has created a novel that is hard to put down even when it explodes some deep-rooted myths.

Based in the dynamics of Muslim Punjabi culture, the story begins in a village in Pakistani Punjab in 1971, takes us to Lahore in 1981, Toronto in 1991, and then brings us to Surrey in 2001. Skeena’s story involves Punjabi Canadians from both India and Pakistan.

Skeena has been published in Punjabi (Shahmukhi) from Pakistan in 2007 where it was launched in nine cities, and has received high acclaim. The Gurumukhi edition of Skeena is published by Uddari Books from Surrey this year. For information and updates on the three editions of Skeena, go to

In this deeply human and heartwrenching novel, loneliness and loss are felt, but Rafique provides gentle humour and a great deal of hope. In Skeena, Rafique teaches us about life and love. You will find yourself thinking about Skeena long after you have finished reading.
Lisa Collins, Editor, Vancouver

Fauzia Rafique’s novel Skeena is written differently than the others, the author has begun and completed this work with the full witnessing of the time.
Parveen Malik, Author/Publisher, Lahore

Skeena is a novel on patriarchy that never uses this word.
Kishwar Naheed, Poet, Islamabad

Fauzia Rafique is a Vancouver-based South Asian Canadian writer of fiction and poetry. Her English and Punjabi writings have been published in Canada, Pakistan, and on the web. Print titles include the Punjabi publication of Skeena (Lahore 2007) and an anthology Aurat Durbar: The Court of Women: Writings by Women of South Asian Origin (Sumach Press, 1995). A selection of her English and Punjabi poetry, Passion-Fruit/Tahnget-Phal will be out in 2011.

Order Skeena Online:

Contact Libros Libertad for details or to arrange appearances, events or media opportunities.

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‘The Sky Below’, award winning documentary on Partition, Van, Feb 24/11

A Best Film Debut Award winner documentary on the Partition of India and Pakistan by Sarah Singh

Thursday February 24th, 2011
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Langara College
100 West 49th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Coast Salish Territories
Lecture Room A 136A

Film Synopsis
In August 1947 British India was divided to create two independent countries: Pakistan came into existence on August 14 and India on August 15. This twin birth was accompanied by the largest mass migration in human history and the shedding of the blood of close to two million people. It also set in motion a distortion of national possibilities that has produced militarization, including nuclear weaponization, and the sacrifice of the welfare and democratic rights of the subcontinent’s people at the altar of mutually hostile nationalism. Though the meaning attached to Partition in India and Pakistan may be different, it has left a common legacy of antagonism. Sarah Singh’s film, based on interviews with people across the border, throws a fresh light on this traumatic event and contributes to the growing understanding that strengthens the peace movement of people on both sides of this line etched in blood.

Indira Prahst, a Sociologist and Coordinator, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Langara College, Special Columnist for Asian Journal and has written academic study guides for films including Deepa Metha’s film Heaven on Earth, and for the National Film Board: Documentary Dirt, by Meghna Haldar and Warrior Boyz, by Baljit Sangra. She will introduce the film and moderate the discussion.

Fauzia Rafiq is a South Asian Canadian writer of fiction and poetry. Her English and Punjabi writings have been published in Canada and Pakistan, Her novels include: ‘Skeena’ (Libros Libertad April 2011 and Lahore 2007), anthology ‘Aurat Durbar’ (Toronto 1995) and upcoming poetry ‘Passion-Fruit/Tahnget-Phal’ in 2011 from Lahore.
Dr. Chin Banjeree is the president of South Asian Film Education Society and South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) and a retired professor from Simon Fraser University in the Department of English and a teaching award recipient.

Sponsored by The Centre for Race, Autobiography, Gender, and Age (RAGA) UBC, and Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Langara College, and supported by South Asian Film Education Society (SAFES), & South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD).

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