My Mother, My Translator

Jaspreet Singh

"Jaspreet Singh shows how the memoirist can, in fact, graciously make meaning of a very human, very complicated person, while capturing the intensity of the love between a mother and her son. He shows how a memoir can make for a gem of a book." - John Lownsbrough, Literary Review of Canada

“A powerful and moving memoir, kinetic in its tracing of the various impacts of inherited trauma through several generations of Jaspreet Singh's family living through Partition and Sikh massacre in India to himself here in Canada. Through a series of digressions, both playful and deeply serious, My Mother, My Translator reshapes memoir in an unforgettable way.” - Daphne Marlatt, author of Then Now

“Singh is an unparalleled chronicler. … My Mother, My Translator is an indispensable, inimitable memoir.” - Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Quill & Quire (starred review)

"Valiantly confronts the weight of silence... Mixed family ties are handled with sensitivity and compiled in an innovative form as a series of “intermittencies,” or short bursts of “flash meditations… Impactful" - Christine Wiesenthal, Alberta Views

“[A] unique book… A work that seizes poetry, translation, memoir, and weaves the strengths of these scripts into a new apprehension of creative non-fiction.” - Judges’ Citation, The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize

“These pages form a complex elegy from son to mother that crosses cultures and languages, touching on family and immigration, war, grief and reconciliation. My Mother, My Translator defies genre and has a cumulative power that reveals literature as a home, a place to live.” - Mark Anthony Jarman, author of Czech Techno and Knife Party at the Hotel Europa.

"Formal innovation and sheer readability merge seamlessly." - Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette

“The exact past will elude us forever, writes Jaspreet Singh, yet we are compelled to explore it. As a young man he finds that the stories we can never tell construct us and our families more surely than those we do tell. Yet along with the excoriating power of the unsaid, he discovers the healing power of translation, and of mountains. My Mother, My Translator is an unflinching work.” - Ted Bishop, author of Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books, and The Social Life of Ink