The Bukowski Agency - Giant

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63,000 words / Finished books available

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Canada: Pedlar Press

ABOUT AGA MAKSIMOWSKA

Aga Maksimowska (Photo: Jordan Gross)
(Photo: Jordan Gross)

Aga Maksimowska emigrated from Poland in 1988. She studied Journalism at Ryerson University and Education at the University of Toronto. In 2010, she completed a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter, where she is teaching high-school English and working on her second novel.

Giant

by Aga Maksimowska

A HUMOROUS AND MOVING DEBUT NOVEL ABOUT A YOUNG GIRL WHOSE OVERSIZED BODY REFLECTS THE STRUGGLES SHE FACES OVER IMMIGRATION AND IDENTITY

Giant - Canadian coverGosia is barely a teenager, but she has the body of a fully-developed woman. She lives in Morena, Poland in the waning days of the Communist era with her sister Kasia and their grandparents. It’s been almost three years since her mother left them to make money in Canada, and Gosia desperately misses her. The girls rarely see their father, who works at sea on freighters. One day without warning, Gosia and Kasia are sent on “vacation” to visit their mother. They never return.

Gosia soon has to face the torment of her Canadian schoolmates, the struggle of learning a new language, and the frustration of living with her mother’s cantankerous partner, Serge. It takes all her savage, plucky wit to survive and to thrive. In this heart-rending coming-of-age story, Maksimowska addresses the painful adjustments of immigration from the perspective of a complex, sympathetic Polish family newly released from the bonds of Communism.

PRAISE FOR GIANT

Giant is a coming of age novel that is both heartrending and humorous, the young protagonist a skillfully wrought character who, with dry wit and a satirical eye, brings an overlooked revolution—and country—to life. ”  — THE TORONTO REVIEW OF BOOKS

“Gosia and her battle to cope with her weight, which is a battle to shed the persona of a “giant nerd” and to interact with others, is still of a great interest…. It is a tribute to the complexity and vitality of Maksimowska’s heroine that this obsession is not necessarily the most interesting facet of her character. There’s a good deal more going on in the novel.”  — THE NATIONAL POST

“Maksimowska offers a engaging young narrator whose viewpoint is edged with ironies…. Coming of age in this book becomes a gauntlet of culture clash, dovetailed smartly with all the usual absurdities of growing up.”  — THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“If you like misshapen, afflicted, uniquely insightful youthful protagonists grappling with sweeping historical change, you'll love Giant. Aga Maksimowska channeled Salman Rushdie and Günter Grass in creating this unforgettable, funny, outsized Polish Canadian girl narrator.”  — ELAINE CHANG, author of Reel Asian

“Aga Maksimowska is a very promising young writer with talent and a new story to tell the world.”  —  SUSAN SWAN, author of What Casanova Told Me and The Wives of Bath

“In Giant, Aga Maksimowska has created a heroine who is bold, fiercely funny, and as unforgettable as the Polish uprising to which she is a witness. A story of emancipation so heart-breakingly hilarious, you won't know whether to laugh or cry.”  — HELEN HUMPHREYS, author of The Reinvention of Love and Coventry

“Aga Maksimowska has an ability to show vulnerability and tenderness without the slightest bit of sentimentality. She has a shrewd and sardonic sense of humour and an impeccable sense of timing that keep her writing, even in the most painful moments, buoyant, afloat.”  — CAMILLA GIBB, author of Sweetness in the Belly

 

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