"Traveling by bicycle makes you aware of your vulnerability... You can feel the air on your skin, hot or cold, smell car exhausts and bitter asphalt as well as lilacs and baking bread. You’re free; you can get out of tight spots, but you have to rely on your strength as well as your reflexes." - Su J. Sokol
Story by Jenna Campbell
Author and cyclist Su J. Sokol will be reading excerpts and signing copies of her new book, Cycling to Asylum, at Handlebar in Kensington Market on Sept. 23.
Following will be a moderated discussion about what a Toronto cycle utopia would look like. Admission is free and the event begins at 8 p.m.
Cycling to Asylum begins in a futuristic New York where a family flees on bicycle to seek refugee status in Quebec. The story alternates between four family members' perspectives.
On Sokol’s website she writes, “Biking is a very immediate, intimate experience and this is the kind of story that this is. It is why the story not only has four different points of view but is told in the present tense.”
The book addresses the physical and mental validity of borders — from markings on a map to one’s identity. As described in a recent review, the book questions what keeps borders in place, “those invisible lines that mark landscape, bodies and even, ideas.”
Sokol characterizes her writing as boundary crossing and “interstitial.” Neither entirely science fiction nor entirely literary fiction, Sokol weaves between genre categories.
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