Dear Current Occupant

Dear Current Occupant is a creative nonfiction memoir about home and belonging set in the 80s and 90s of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Using a variety of forms including letters, essays and poems, Knight reflects on her childhood through a series of letters addressed to all of the current occupants now living in the twenty different houses she moved in and out of with her mother and brother. From blurry and fragmented non-chronological memories of trying to fit in with her own family as the only mixed East Indian/Black child, to crystal clear recollections of parental drug use, Knight draws a vivid portrait of memory that still longs for a place and a home.

Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight was born in Vancouver, and is currently the Managing Editor of Room Magazine. A graduate of The Writers’ Studio at SFU, Chelene has been published in various Canadian and American literary magazines. Her debut book, Braided Skin, was published in 2015. Dear Current Occupant is her second book. Chelene is also working on a historical novel set in the 1930s and 40s in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price

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I think about all the houses — This is for the teachers — Grade six — Waiting out front of the school to be picked up was torture — When the smoke cleared — Mama 11 $1.10

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House with the sign in the window — Origami house with the handmade roof — Duplex near Fraser Street with the picture books in the closet — Letter to Santa — House with … 16 $1.60

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I didn’t have a father — Pack your things — apartment 301 near the low track — white house where some family lived upstairs — most holidays — like a lion in … 11 $1.10

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Walking tour, a map — Broadway and Commercial — 41st Avenue between Victoria and Elliott, back — Clark Drive 2 — Clark Drive 3 — East 12th Avenue (off Commercial) … 20 $2.00

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She’s at the recovery house for the third time –Apartment on Clark Drive above the Convenience store — For Uncle Eugene — Owl House Women and Children’s Shelter … 14 $1.40

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let your hair down — the eyes have it — these hands — these lips taste water 6 $0.60

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the occupants of these suites must adhere to the following rules — damage noted — I broke the rules on purpose — someone slashed the tops off coconuts so we could drink the milk … 16 $1.60

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mama, you need to know some things 6 $0.60

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home — black and female while writing — never sure how the word Dad — the cracks in the narrative 11 $1.10