These days, we tend our gardens, my sister and I, and we remember. Her yard is dotted with plants from our homeland – a pear tree, a plum tree, and couve, or collard greens, for making caldo verde, Portuguese kale soup. She’s planted blue hydrangeas around her property, instead of a fence. Just like back home.
Being Portuguese and Canadian, I’m always looking for literature about the Portuguese immigrant experience in North America. So I eagerly anticipated the acclaimed Canadian writer Anthony de Sa’s new novel, Kicking the Sky, which weaves the fictional lives of several families in the Portuguese immigrant community in Toronto with a particularly gruesome true crime story.
De Sa has emerged as one of the important literary voices of the Portuguese Diaspora. His first book, Barnacle Love, a series of related stories about Portuguese immigrant history, was short-listed for Canada’s prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2008.