Ami Sands Brodoff

Ami Sands Brodoff

The Story Behind The Story

Ami Sands Brodoff is the award-winning Canadian author of three novels and a volume of stories.  Her latest novel, In Many Waters, centres on three orphans whose lives intersect on the island of Malta and grapples with our worldwide refugee crisis.

On this event, Ami will be reading from, and speaking about the provenance of her new novel, In Many Waters.  How did she come to write this book?  What is the story behind the story?

Admission:  £5

In Many Waters is the gripping tale of three orphans whose lives intersect on the island of Malta during our current, urgent refugee crisis and spans three generations of a Maltese Jewish family. For the first time since the Second World War, the number of refugees has surged past 60 million, according to the United Nations.  Statistics, however, leave one numb.  The novel gets inside the story of onen particular refugee, a young Libyan girl who seeks asylum on Malta.  Zoe, a budding historian specializing in Jewish culture, comes to Malta with her younger brother Cal to learn more about their Maltese mother, as well as the mysterious circumstances surrounding their parents’ untimely deaths.  The siblings well-mapped plans are derailed when Cal, who is a daily swimmer in the Mediterranean, discovers a girl floating in the sea, barely alive.  The small, battered fishing boat on which she has journeyed from Libya to Malta capsized in a storm: Aziza is the sole survivor among the migrants.  Meanwhile, Zoe returns to the site of her parents’ drownings and stumbles across a trail of clues which lead to the discover of an unknown family member, unearthing a chain of life-changing secrets.  In Many Waters mines the hearts and minds of characters in extremis, the unforgettable tale of the way that we love and help one another and how the choices we make reverberate through generations.  The novel dramatizes the Talmudic truth that if we save one life, it is as if we have saved the world.


Ami Sands Brodoff’s other novel The White Space Between, focuses on a mother and daughter struggling with the impact of the Holocaust, won The Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. Bloodknots, a volume of thematically linked stories about families on the edge, was a finalist for The Re-Lit Award.  Her debut novel, Can You See Me? delves into the point-of-view of a young man with schizophrenia and the sister who tries to help him.  The book was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and is a recommended book of NAMI (The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill).  Ami contributes essays, articles and reviews to such diverse publications as Tablet, Vogue, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Review of Books, and Quill and Quire. She has been awarded fellowships to Yaddo, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, The St. James Cavalier Centre for the Arts in Valletta, Malta, among many others.

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We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.