A Place Beyond The Heart

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Author: Ireh Iyioha

Fiction/Short Stories | Paperback | ISBN: 9781738699339

A Place Beyond the Heart is a collection of short stories exploring issues at the intersection of war and love, terror and (dis)order, as well as identity, gender, and sexuality. The stories capture the lives of people facing personal, societal and transcultural challenges that define, transform, and ultimately create shifts in the way they see and experience the world. These transformations—uplifting, heartrending and sometimes rebellious—unfold in diverse contexts where love, acceptance and tenderness find expression in the most difficult settings, including battlefields, war-ravaged towns, a jailhouse and intangible rooms in a future world.

In these physical and incorporeal spaces that take readers from 1960 to 2050 and from Ukraine to the United Kingdom, Canada, Syria, Nigeria and the United States, a young African man leaves home for sojourn abroad and returns home a woman in an uncompromising culture. A young man methodically prepares his ‘burial space’ in his room in a foreign land far away from family and friends. A bereaved journalist throws himself into a distant war to tell personal stories of its impact at home and abroad. A virtual transcontinental meeting between young albino friends in 2050 becomes a moment of confrontation with social and technological transformations that raise new questions about identity and belonging. A husband’s sculpture of his unrealizable ideal of a woman’s physique becomes the focus of an ideological battle of wits when his wife refuses to idolize the statuette in a manner to which he has become accustomed. A Black-Métis girl tries to stay alive in a 1960s residential school. Blind lovers in a post-plague world come to terms with the colours of their skin, raising questions about what colour and race mean to those who have never seen colour.

Individually and collectively, the stories take readers from narratives of movement and pursuit, and discovery and acceptance, to (sometimes quiet) personal revolutions—all shifting places where ever-constant contradictions in our definitions of self and other, home and foreign lands, and truth and perception bristle to the surface.

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SKU: 9781738699339 Categories: , ,


Ireh Iyioha’s short stories have appeared in Harvard University’s Transition Magazine, UK’s Litro Magazine, the Canadian Maple Tree Literary Supplement, as well as in published anthologies. She was long-listed for the Writers’ Union of Canada’s 22nd Annual Short Fiction Competition (2015) for the short stories ‘brave’ and ‘transatlantic’, both of which are included in this collection, longlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize 2021, shortlisted for the BPA First Novel Award, UK, and received a Special Commendation from the Caine Prize 2016, London, UK for the short story, This Time It Will Be All Right. She studied English and Literature for a year before obtaining a doctorate in law. Ireh Iyioha lives in Victoria, Canada

Additional information

Weight 263 g
Dimensions 13.72 × 1.02 × 21.59 cm


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