Jasmina Odor’s rich writing invites us to step into the shoes of Croatian immigrants living in Canada, and the Croatian soldiers and families who remain behind. Each passionate story in this collection varies in perspective, and yet all share Odor’s sensual writing and undertones of the trauma of life during wartime. Through the stories in You Can’t Stay Here, we are transported to the warm Adriatic Sea, rented rooms, wartime frontlines, and Canadian suburbia. We fall in love with those conflicted in their broken families, as well as those immigrants, travellers, and refugees who succeed in their difficult searches for place and finding a home. In this debut collection, we are left feeling overwhelming care for our fellow humans, neighbours, and countrymen.
Jasmine Odor was born in Croatia and immigrated to Canada in 1993. She currently lives in Edmonton, where she teaches English and writing at Concordia University of Edmonton, and is at work on a novel. Her fiction and reviews have appeared in many Canadian magazines and anthologies, including The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Eighteen Bridges, PRISM international, and The Journey Prize Stories. In 2014, her story “His” won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, and silver at the Alberta Magazine Awards.
“My first impression of Jasmina Odor’s work was of fiction precisely made in order to capture chaotic times, vivid emotions and lurking danger. I read her early stories but I felt then — as I still feel — that I was reading the work of an experienced writer, someone who knows things I am grateful to learn.”
— André Alexis, Giller Prize-winning author of Fifteen Dogs
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