Review and interview by Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen

“I absolutely loved Farzana Doctor’s new book All Inclusive. The publisher’s summary begins with the intriguing question “What’s it like when everyone’s dream vacation is your job?” The novel takes place at an all-inclusive resort, and I loved the behind-the-scenes peek at the employees simply going through a work day while having to deal with starry eyed travellers expecting a five-star-everything experience.”

Read the rest of Jaclyn’s review and interview here.

Daily XTRA! review

Thanks to Scott Dagostino for this review of All Inclusive.

In the worlds that Farzana Doctor creates, ordinary people are wondrous and complicated, and all these things that divide us — countries, professions, sexualities, genders, races — are mere distractions from what truly matters. Her stories ring true enough to think our world could be that way too. One can only hope.

Read more here.

All Inclusive review in Plenitude!

Thanks to Matt Loney for this review in Plenitude:

There’s a refreshing, youthful breadth of perspective to Doctor’s novel that shines a light on the way forward for those bored to death with the claustrophobic tropes of our national literature. Doctor is a Canadian writer telling a Canadian story but without losing sight of an international, global perspective: skilfully, she links her characters and their struggles to the world at large.

Read more here. 

An endorsement from Terry Fallis

Huge thanks to Terry Fallis for these kind words:

“By turns funny, moving, thoughtful, and erotic, All Inclusive is a powerful meditation on life, love, and loss. Farzana Doctor spins a passionate, page-turning tale about the sometimes invisible ties that bind. This is brilliant storytelling.”

–Terry Fallis, Canada Reads and Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal-winning author of The Best Laid Plans

Austin Clarke’s endorsement of All Inclusive

I’m really pleased to receive this endorsement from Austin Clarke​:

“Her outstanding characterization and the depth of language establish the importance of Farzana Doctor’s writing. In her startling and evocative description of the lives of people in the tourist industry, All Inclusive is more than just a title.”
Austin Clarke, Giller Prize-winning author of The Polished Hoe

All Inclusive endorsement from Angie Abdou

I am so honoured to receive this endorsement from Angie Abdou​:

“Farzana Doctor’s original, provocative new novel seduces (and challenges) readers on every page. I fell in-love with Ameera: her energy, her bravery, her refusal to be judged or classified. All Inclusive is Doctor’s best—and sexiest!—novel yet.”
–Angie Abdou, Canada Reads finalist and McEwan Book of the Year-winning author of The Bone Cage

First review of All Inclusive!

A first review of All Inclusive is in! Thanks to Kelly Beers at The Avid Reader Magazines & Books, Cobourg:
Great characters, excellent plot & true substance. A great (& compulsive) read. I cannot wait to sell it in October… True thanks for the work- your novel is smart, sassy, bittersweet & joyful. The way in which you dealt with the [tragedy] is deft & sublime.

Proclaimed: Authors for Indies Day

Did you know that May 2 is Authors for Indies Day in Canada? That’s right, we’ve created our own National Holiday where authors become staff at local indies! Check out the link for events at your local store. And here’s a blog post I wrote to celebrate this new holiday:

http://www.authorsforindies.com/#!Farzana-Doctor-People-Find-Themselves-in-Bookstores/co3i/550f66e40cf22035304b1636

Blog Hop, aka the Literary Pyramid Scheme

pyramid

Brian Francis (author of Natural Order and a renowned Caker Cooker—yes, look that up) recently asked me to participate in the Author Blog Hop. I said yes because I adored his last two novels and well, I never miss an opportunity for silly self-promotion.

Here’s how this literary pyramid scheme works. I answer 4 questions about myself (probably truthfully) and then tag two other authors. Brian also asked Vivek Shraya (most recently author of She of the Mountains) and a renowned rock star. 

What am I working on?

I’ve just completed another revision of Novel #3. I don’t yet have a title but it might as well be named The Novel That Kicked My Ass for Three Years. I think (dah dah dah dah!) it’s ready to send to my agent.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write literary fiction, with a hint of magical realism (I like it when my characters talk to dead people). There is also a lot of brownness and queerness in my stories, settings and characters.

Why do I write what I do?

I write stories that obsess me. You have to when you’ve been foolish enough to commit to a project that might take 3 or more years to complete. Novel #3 (yeah, still no title) is about a young woman who stumbles into the swinger scene while working at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. In the process, she finds her backbone and the father she’s never known. The book explores identity, sex and ghosts, my current everyday obsessions.

How does my writing process work?

I haven’t ever outlined. I might outline Novel #4 with the hope that it kicks my ass less enthusiastically. I write daily (usually), but because I have a part-time psychotherapy practice (yes, click that link), I split my days between my two jobs. I edit as I write and when I have readable drafts, I seek feedback from writer friends. I also write poetry to escape novel-writing and to experience the feeling of finishing something.

There! I think most of that was the truth!

I’ve tagged Carrianne Leung (author of The Wondrous Woo and my lovely Brockton neighbour) and Terry Fallis (most recently the author of No Relation and the guy who inspired me to consider outlining).

They’ll post their answers to these same 4 questions on September 1st.  They’ll tag two others. And so on, until whoever started this pyramid gets filthy rich.

Namesake

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been writing a novel with a ghost character. This has led me to ponder my dead mother’s spirit. She sometimes feels close to me, but sometimes I’m not so sure. A few days ago, my partner and I asked our dead parents to give us a “sign” if they were near.

Later that day a woman I haven’t seen in 33 years contacted me through this website. She’d long lost touch with my family, but had been thinking about us for years. She wrote:

Hello Farzana
If the above mentioned people [names were in the subject line] are your parents (mother now deceased) I would love to hear from you.
Banu died a long time ago in Oshawa, Ont. and I lost touch with your father … If the connection is correct, I have to tell you that your Mom asked if she could name you Farzana because she liked my name. We all lived in Livingstone, Zambia at the same time and they moved to Halifax, then to Oshawa. Would love to know if you are the same little girl.           Farzana

I’ve since reconnected with my namesake, and perhaps too, with my mother.