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Set in Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, Marko Sijan’s explosive debut novel, Mongrel, mixes tragedy, black comedy and pathos in its five chapters, each narrated by a different youth, each of whom tilts closer toward an abyss of violence. Their inextricably linked stories span twelve manic hours on June 10, 1999, the last year of the 20th century and the day the United States ends its seventy-eight-day bombing of Serbia. The battering of a small, weak nation by the world’s uncontested superpower mirrors a lesson that develops among Sera, Gus, Sophie, Milan and Gunther: that exploitation may be the most basic feature of human intercourse. Mongrel explores the possibility that Canadian multiculturalism is not the rosy miracle so many believe it to be; an impatient, confused and angry monster may be lurking in its underbelly, itching to burst out.

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