Toes Have Tales

by Miguna Miguna,
188 pages,
ISBN: 0969822839

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First Novels - Fashion, Sharks, and Anger
by Eva Tihanyi

Nyatoro and Ntangatimama are the African protagonists of Migula Miguna's Toes Have Tales (AV Publications, 196 pages, $20 paper). Both are well-educated political refugees who have landed in Canada (fictitiously named the Mississauga Shores). The Toronto they encounter is inhospitable: right-wing, racist, culturally intolerant. Miguna portrays aspects of the immigrant experience with stark poignancy, and he shows a keen eye for satire. (His verbal caricature of three panelists discussing art funding on TV is the best example of this.)

However, there are problems with this book (the least of which is that the title is spelled Tails on the cover). Miguna's political agenda overshadows literary considerations. The novel is loaded with political terminology, long diatribes emphasized by italics. And anger-by itself-does not necessarily result in good fiction, no matter what the race, colour, creed, or gender of the author.


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