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I Only Make Love In Montreal cover

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  • 96 pages
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Short fiction, Trinidad author, Racial issues, Cultural identity, LGBTQ, Immigrating to Canada, Abuse by the Roman Catholic Church

I Only Make Love In Montreal
by Rabin Ramah

This stunning debut collection of stories draws heavily on the author’s memories of growing up in Trinidad and explores themes of family, faith, race, child abuse, sexuality, and otherness.

In one story, a young boy experiences his first signs of love for a man as sinful, terrifying, and evil, resulting in the end of his innocence. In another, a lonely schoolboy is whipped and shamed for soiling his pants, his only companion a cow he calls Mama.

Heartbreaking yet hopeful, funny yet wise, these stories are infused with the warmth and vibrancy of the Caribbean sun and the insight of a young man who was trying to find love amidst the violence of his childhood.

"A volume of short stories and poems explores the vitality—and occasional brutality—of the human condition."

—Kirkus review

"Rabin Ramah’s hyperrealistic short story collection I Only Make Love in Montréal depicts Caribbean life and the impacts of the absence of human rights. It builds into an exposé of classism, racism, and discrimination that climaxes with violence, but ends with promise."

—Foreword Clarion review

Rabin was born in Trinidad to a large Roman Catholic family of both Indian and African ancestry. He immigrated with his family to Toronto, Canada, when he was a pre-teen. Geography has left an indelible stamp on Rabin’s writing, as he has lived in Couva, Trinidad, Ottawa, Guelph, Vancouver, and his beloved Montreal.

Rabin has worked as a health educator for Men that have Sex with Men (MSM) at the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention. He is a visual artist and a landscape and botanical photographer who now lives in Guelph, Ontario.


Rabin Ramah

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