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Talonbooks Fall 2015

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Jabber
By (author): Marcus Youssef Foreword by: Dennis Foon
9780889229501 Paperback, Trade English General Trade DRAMA / Canadian Oct 13, 2015
$16.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.5 x 1 in 80 pages Talonbooks
 
Best New Text, Montreal ENglish Language Theatre Awards 2013, Winner
Like many outgoing young women, Fatima feels rebellious against parents she sees as strict. It just so happens that she is Egyptian-born and wears a hijab. When anti-Muslim graffiti appears on the walls of her school, Fatima transfers to a new school. The guidance counsellor there, Mr. E., does his best to help Fatima fit in, but despite his advice she starts an unlikely friendship with Jorah, who has a reputation for anger issues. Maybe, just maybe, Fatima and Jorah start to, like, like each other …

As their mutual attraction grows, the lines Fatima and Jorah cross as they grow closer become the subject of an intense exploration of boundaries – personal boundaries, cultural boundaries, and inherited religious and political boundaries. Fatima and Jorah discover that appearances matter; they’ve been exposed for their whole lives to images that begin to colour their relationship: images of the Middle East, the working class, and how teenage boys and teenage girls behave. Put all these reactive factors together in the social laboratory that is a high school and observe: is there a solution for Fatima and Jorah?

High school, like no other social space, throws together people of all histories and backgrounds, and young people must decide what they believe in and how far they are willing to go to defend their beliefs. Inside a veritable pressure cooker, they negotiate cross-cultural respect and mutual understanding. Jabber does its part to challenge appearances – and the judgments people make based on those appearances.

Many of Marcus’s plays were written or created with friends and colleagues. They include Winners and Losers, Leftovers, Jabber, How Has My Love Affected You?, Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil, Adrift, Peter Panties, and A Line in the Sand. These have been performed across North America, Australia, and Europe, and recently off-Broadway. Marcus’s plays are also translated into multiple languages and published by Talonbooks and Playwrights Canada Press.

Major awards include Alcan Performing Arts, Chalmer’s Canadian Play, Arts Club Silver Commission, Seattle Times Footlight, Vancouver Critics’ Choice Innovation, and numerous local awards in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Marcus is the winner of the 2017 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for writing – the award is given for outstanding artistic achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist.

Well-known in Vancouver as a cultural advocate, Marcus is artistic director of Neworld Theatre, co-founder of Progress Lab 1422, and chair of the city of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council.

Dennis Foon is a Detroit-born playwright, novelist, producer, and screenwriter. He was the founder and artistic director, from 1974 to 1986, of Vancouver’s Green Thumb Theatre, a company that soon evolved into a cutting edge theatre with an award-winning repertory of plays about the reality of young people and the dilemmas they face.

“Smartly probes the lives of high schoolers struggling with peer expectations and identity problems. As they attempt to navigate the minefield that is the high school hallway, they are warned repeatedly that actions have consequences.”
Winnipeg Free Press

"Not afraid to deal with difficult subject matter such as discrimination, domestic abuse, sexuality, and the danger of online sharing on social media." – Charlebois Post Review

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