I am a guest reader at the launch of Melanie Schnell’s novel While The Sun Is Above Us
Melanie will be reading with guest readers Lia Pas and Bernice Friesen
It is too difficult to release this war from our blood, when it long ago shaped who we are, how we live, how we move, how we breathe. Blood has filled this earth up; it has made God angry. We must be forgiven or nothing will change.
While The Sun Is Above Us takes readers deep into the extraordinary world of Sudan through the intertwined narratives of two women. In the midst of a bloody civil war, Adut is brutally captured and held as a slave for eight years. Sandra, fleeing her life in Canada, travels to South Sudan as an aid worker but soon finds herself unwittingly embroiled in a violent local conflict. When chance brings Adut and Sandra together in a brief but profound moment, their lives change forever.
In captivating prose, Melanie Schnell offers imaginative insight into the lives of innocents in a land at war, rendering horrific experiences with exquisite clarity. While The Sun Is Above Us explores the immense power of the imagination, the human desire for connection, and the endurance of hope.
Melanie Schnell grew up on a farm in southeastern Saskatchewan and has lived in Regina, Vancouver, Toronto, Boston, Colombia, Thailand, Kenya and Sudan. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and has written for television, magazines and journals across Canada. While The Sun Is Above Us is her first novel.
Lia Pas is a multidisciplinary creator-performer who has worked in the fields of music, writing, and theatre. Lia has written poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and scripts. In addition to her volumes of poetry, her literary work has been broadcast on CBC Radio and widely published in literary periodicals. Lia is working on a book-length manuscript of poetry, performance scores, and biofictions around the theme of anatomy as image. She lives in Saskatoon.
Bernice Friesen was born in Rosthern, SK. She has been an art studio lab assistant, art gallery educator, and has taught Sage Hill Writing Experience for teens, and Fiction Freefall through the Saskatoon Writers Coop. Her writing and art has been published in Canada and Europe, and has twice been short-listed for the CBC Radio Literary Awards. She has lived in England, New Zealand and British Columbia, has taught herself to read French and Italian, and is currently trying to understand quantum physics.