Member Profile

Ami Sands Brodoff

An award-winning novelist, short story author, and essayist, Ami Sands Brodoff calls Montreal home. Ami’s most recent book is the volume of stories, Bloodknots, which received excellent reviews and was short-listed for the Re-Lit Awards, honouring the best in Canadian literature from the independent publishers. The stories, ferocious and powerful, are about family, both present and absent, and speak to Ami’s Jewish heritage. Many selections have won prizes and been anthologized. Ami is also the author of the highly-acclaimed novel, Can You See Me? which explores the question: what happens when the person you love best falls prey to schizophrenia? The story centres on Doren and Sarah Solomon, a brother and sister so close they share a secret place, imaginary world, and private language during childhood. While Sarah eventually outgrows their private haven, for Doren, it becomes a way of life he never surrenders. An excerpt from Can You See Me? received The Pushcart Prize. Ami recently completed a new novel, The White Space Between, a mother-daughter story and love song to Montreal. The story centres on Jana Ivanova, a Holocaust survivor with a generous heart, and her grown daughter, Willow, an acclaimed marionette-maker and puppeteer, two complex women who love, but do not really know—or understand—one another. When Willow moves to Montreal, the city where her mother first settled after the war, she begins to put together the pieces of her mother’s past and her own beginnings. As a person who has lost family in the Holocaust, Ami explores the theme of memory and imagination: what happens when one tries to imagine into history and make sense of it through art? The novel plumbs the complexity of hiding: how hiding protects and sustains life for a persecuted individual or group, but also effaces self. When one no longer has to hide, is there a self to go back to? Now imagining into a fourth book, All But Forgotten, Ami is writing about the conflict over Libyan refugees flooding the tiny island of Malta. Ami had the opportunity to do extensive research in Malta, thanks to a fellowship from the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valletta. Ami is a frequent contributor to national magazines, as well as to The Globe and Mail, The Gazette, and The Montreal Review of Books. She has won numerous fellowships, which include Yaddo and The Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts. Ami is on the Executive of the Quebec Writer’s Federation Board and often teaches creative writing both in Canada and in the U.S.
 

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:

Publications

Bloodknots. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2005
Can You See Me?. Distributed by Random House, 2000
The White Space Between., 2008

Awards

Winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction for The White Space Between, 2009
Finalist, The Re-Lit Award for Bloodknots
Pushcart nomination for Can You See Me?
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

I am available to talk to synogogue groups, sisterhoods, bookgroups, Women’s Studies and Jewish Studies classes about my latest novel, The White Space Between. Presentations include an examination of the complex mother-daughter bond, when a parent is a survivor of the Holocaust or another atrocity, talks on the tension between void and voice when honouring Remembrance, and a power-point presentation and lecture including photographs, preserved despite the Holocaust of our lost, extended family, most of whom were murdered in the Shoah, their home village of Slatinskidaly, and maps of the area in Czechoslovakia at key points in history.

Workshop Description:

I am an experienced workshop leader and work with adults, teens, and special groups, as well as mentoring individual writers and emerging writers. My specialty is helping individuals tap into their deepest, richest material, often the themes and subjects that obesses them, keep them up at night, disturb them, the ideas they can’t stop thinking about. My theory is that, as writers, we often shy away from our true subjects because they are terrifying. I help my students crack open their stories, identity themes, and develop portfolios for future publication.

Northern OAC WITS:
No
GST:
GST not applicable