The Death of Tony

A delightful and evocative memoir by Leacock Medal nominee Antanas Sileika.

The Death of Tony: On Belonging in Two Worlds, by Antanas Sileika cover imageThe acclaimed novelist whose book you’re holding wasn’t always Antanas. Growing up in the immigrant hub of Weston, Ontario — with a childhood of Lithuanian summer camp, folk dancing, and booze-soaked Christmases — Sileika was known to friends and teachers as Tony. It wasn’t until he entered university that he shed the anglicized name and became Antanas Sileika, the writer who straddles two worlds.

In animated, entertaining prose, Sileika recounts his time as a young writer in Paris, the dramatic events surrounding Lithuanian independence and the fall of the Soviet Union, and his growing involvement in Lithuania’s political and cultural spheres. Proud of his heritage but unafraid to explore its darker chapters, he touches in this book on the Holocaust and the gulag, as well as the new threats facing Eastern Europe today. Laced with humour and insightful historical commentary, The Death of Tony explores the dual identities of a much admired novelist.

“Intelligent and observant… illuminates the experiences of a little-discussed ethnic group while probing the meanings of real and imagined homelands. A thoughtful reading experience.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Sileika has made a significant contribution to the body of immigrant literature.” —Philip Marchand, Toronto Star