Friday, May 19, 2023

Staff Picks - That Time I Loved You: Stories by Carrianne Leung - Adult Fiction


That Time I Loved You: Stories by Carrianne Leung

Sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X–people born between 1965 and 1980–don’t seem to receive as much attention as the generations they follow and precede.  

What defines Generation X? 

Gen Xers came of age during a societal shift that included advances in computer technology, more women working outside of the home, and changing American demographics. Dubbed the latchkey generation, members of Generation X are considered the least parented generation in recent history. For better or for worse, adolescents and young children enjoying unstructured free time provides fertile ground for writers like Carrianne Leung to explore 1970s society in her short story collection, That Time I Loved You. 

In That Time I Loved You, families from China, Hong Kong, Portugal, Italy, Jamaica, and America pursue individual dreams and fight unique battles amid picturesque tree-lined streets as residents, both young and old, deal with hidden desires and difficulties 70s style -- behind closed doors. Each of the linked stories takes place within one Ontario neighborhood in 1979, a year marked by a rash of tragic deaths among adult neighbors in the diverse community. This insightful collection explores issues involving race, sexuality, class, and grief while painting a nostalgic (but never idealized) portrait of life before smartphones and social media. 

As a fan of literary fiction and a Gen Xer myself, I really enjoyed this thoughtful short story collection populated by memorable characters from across the globe. 

In 2019 That Time I Loved You won Canada's Danuta Gleed Literary Award for Canadian short fiction published in English. Like her preteen character, June, Carrianne Leung emigrated from Hong Kong to Canada with her family as a child and grew up in the Scarborough district of Toronto she recreates so vividly in her stories. 

If you enjoy emotionally packed short fiction set in the pre-digital age, check out That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung. 

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist

Generation X Back in the Day

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