Things Are Good Now
Set in East Africa, the Middle East, Canada, and the U.S., Things Are Good Now examines the weight of the migrant experience on the human psyche.
In Djamila Ibrahim’s powerful story collection, women, men, and children who’ve crossed continents in search of a better life find themselves struggling with the chaos of displacement and the religious and cultural clashes they face in their new homes. A maid who travelled to the Middle East lured by the prospect of a well-paying job is trapped in the Syrian war. A female ex-freedom fighter immigrates to Canada only to be relegated to cleaning public washrooms and hospital sheets. A disillusioned civil servant struggles to come to grips with his lover’s imminent departure. A young Muslim Canadian woman who’d married her way to California realizes she’s made a mistake.
Things Are Good Now is about remorse and the power of memory, and about the hardships of a post-9/11 reality that labels many as suspicious or dangerous because of their names or skin colour alone. Most importantly, it’s about the compromises we make to belong.
Djamila Ibrahim was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and moved to Canada in 1990. Her stories have been shortlisted for the University of Toronto’s Penguin Random House Canada Student Award for Fiction and Briarpatch Magazine’s creative writing contest. She was formerly a senior advisor for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. She lives in Toronto.