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The Clothesline Swing Shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association's Evergreen Award

Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 at 4:47pm

The Clothesline Swing, by Ahmad Danny Ramadan, has been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s distinguished 2018 Evergreen Award

Published by Nightwood Editions, The Clothesline Swing is a fictional journey through the troublesome aftermath of the Arab Spring. A former Syrian refugee himself, Ramadan tells the epic story of two lovers, anchored to the memory of a dying Syria. One is a Hakawati, a storyteller, who relays remembered fables to his dying partner. Meanwhile, Death himself shares the two men’s home, eavesdropping on their secrets as he awaits their final undoing.

The Clothesline Swing is Ramadan’s debut book in English; he has previously published two short story collections in Arabic. Based in Vancouver, B.C., Ramadan is an esteemed journalist and LGBTQ-refugee activist who has raised more than $100,000 to support LGBTQ-identifying Syrian refugees. In 2016 he was selected as the Grand Marshal for the Vancouver Gay Pride Parade to celebrate those efforts.

Publisher’s Weekly praised The Clothesline Swing, saying, “While each story is autonomous, Ramadan’s delicate use of imagery links these narratives, allowing them to reverberate with meaning and emotion.” The Globe and Mail said of the book: “By turns sombre, fantastical, violent and tender, [The Clothesline Swing] is a gay son's conflicted love letter to Syria.”

The Clothesline Swing was longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2018 and was selected for the Toronto Star’s “Top Books of 2017,” the Globe and Mails “Best 100 Books of 2017,” and CBC Book’s “95 Must-Read Books from 2017.”

The Evergreen Award reading program is comprised of the best titles in Canadian fiction and non-fiction for adults of any age. It is one of eight programs that form the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading, Canada’s largest recreational reading program of its kind. More than 250,000 Canadians participate each year in the Forest of Reading.

A committee of library professionals chooses the titles nominated for the 2018 Evergreen Award. Votes from readers will be tallied for the award in September and the winner will be announced during Ontario Public Library Week in October of 2018.