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A Hyphenated Life cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-831221-1
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 342 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-831222-8
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 342 pages
  • Keywords
    • historical fiction,
    • coming of age,
    • Germany,
    • Canada,
    • Ontario,
    • Canadian books,
    • women’s fiction

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A Hyphenated Life
by Sylvia Barnard

Caught between the pressure to be a good Canadian girl, her duty to her immigrant parents, and her own personal desires, Angelika Langer must learn to translate not just the three languages she speaks, but also her own inner voice. Her parents left Germany in the early 1950s for a new life after the war, settling first in Quebec then moving to northern Ontario when Angelika is eleven. She struggles to fit in—not Canadian enough for either her French- or English-speaking classmates, not German enough for her family who stayed behind. Seeming to never quite measure up to the expectations of her demanding mother, Angelika exists in a lonely place between worlds, vulnerable and uncertain of her future. Even her passion and talent for competitive skiing becomes unsafe when her coach turns predatory, and her friends and family turn their backs. Tender, beautiful, and unflinching, A Hyphenated Life is an expertly woven story of coming of age in the sometimes-oppressive shadow of complicated ancestors.

Sylvia Barnard is a daughter of immigrants and grew up in mining communities in northwestern Quebec and north of Lake Superior. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and German from Wilfrid Laurier University, both a Bachelor and Masters of Education from the University of Toronto, and a certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College. A professional educator for forty years, Sylvia worked as a classroom teacher, superintendent of schools, and ended her career with eleven years as the President of Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario. She has published articles on Leadership Development and Strategic Planning and worked with government and industry officials in Chile, India, and Tanzania on projects bringing women into the economy of their countries. Her debut novel, Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Willows, was published in 2021 and won the B.R.A.G. Gold award. Her short story, Oma's Shawl, was published in the online magazine Commuter Lit, and two of her stories were featured as honourable mentions in the anthology Fifteen Stories High (2021), published by the Canadian Authors Association—Niagara Branch. When she’s not writing, Sylvia enjoys travelling, hiking, kayaking with her dogs, golfing, and creating stained-glass art. She lives with her husband under a canopy of maples near Penetanguishene, Ontario.


Sylvia Barnard
Maggy Morris

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