Our Lady of Mile End is a neighbourhood of stories about gentrification and displacement in a once affordable area that is feeling the squeeze of social and cultural transformation.
The overlapping lives—of girls and women, tenants and landlords, neighbours and strangers, the old generation and the next—chart the tensions and affections among people living in a community that has turned into a destination. Artists clean the homes of more affluent neighbours to make ends meet; a college professor bumps up against trigger warnings, cancel culture and privilege. As children confront the dark corners of the adult world, another generation reckons with their home turf shifting under their feet. This is an era of uncertainty, and sometimes menace, where the lack of privacy evokes village life. Yet when everything seems precarious, a neighbour who’s paying attention may make all the difference, reminding us that connection is still possible.
Advance Praise for Our Lady of Mile End:
“Sarah Gilbert writes of an old neighbourhood that is disappearing and being born anew. Her stories are as vibrant and intimate as drinking a cup of coffee on a stoop while gossiping with a neighbour in their housecoat.”
— Heather O’Neill, author of When We Lost Their Heads
“Our Lady of Mile End zeroes in on a trendy Montreal neighbourhood to expose universal truths about how cities evolve, for better and for worse, and how people struggle to adapt to our changing society. The stories in this superb collection reveal Sarah Gilbert’s big heart, deep wisdom, and crisp prose. An immensely satisfying read.”
— Neil Smith, author of Jones
Sarah Gilbert has been living in Mile End Montreal since 1990. Stories from her popular blog on changes in the neighbourhood were featured in the book Histoire du Mile End by Yves Desjardins and her fiction has appeared in a variety of literary journals. Gilbert has worked as a freelance writer and a radio producer and is a faculty member at Dawson College where she teaches literature.