Writing this memoir is a betrayal.” So begins this electrifying personal account from Danny Ramadan, a celebrated novelist who has long enjoyed the shield his fiction provides. Now, to tell the story of his life, he must revisit dark corners of his past he’d rather forget and unearth memories of a city he can no longer return to.

Starting with his family’s humble beginnings in Damascus, he takes readers on an epic, border-crossing journey: to the city’s underground network of queer safe homes; to a clandestine party at a secluded villa in Cairo; through Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East, a reckless hoax that threatens the safety of Syria’s LGBTQ+ community, and a traumatic six-week imprisonment; to beaches and sunsets with friends in Beirut; to an arrival in Vancouver that’s not as smooth as it promised to be; and ultimately to a life of hard-won comfort and love.

What emerges is a powerful refutation of the oversimplified refugee narrative—a book that holds space for joy alongside sorrow, for nuance and complicated ambivalences. Written with fearless intimacy, Crooked Teeth is a singular achievement in which a master storyteller learns that his greatest story is his own.

Available from Penguin Random House

Also, check out his other novel, The Foghorn Echoes, about love, war, and living with the ghosts of the past.

Syria, 2003. A blooming romance leads to a tragic accident when Hussam’s father catches him acting on his feelings for his best friend, Wassim. In an instant, the course of their lives is changed forever.

Ten years later, Hussam and Wassim are still struggling to find peace and belonging. Sponsored as a refugee by a controlling older man, Hussam is living an openly gay life in Vancouver, where he attempts to quiet his demons with sex, drugs, and alcohol. Wassim is living on the streets of Damascus, having abandoned a wife and child and a charade he could no longer keep up. Taking shelter in a deserted villa, he unearths the previous owner’s buried secrets while reckoning with his own.

Populated by ghosts, drag queens, and two very complex and memorable protagonists, The Foghorn Echoes is a gripping novel about how to carve out home in the midst of war and how to move forward when the war is within yourself.

DANNY RAMADAN (he/him) is a Syrian-Canadian author, public speaker, and advocate for LGBTQ+ refugees. His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, was longlisted for Canada Reads and named a Best Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. His second novel, The Foghorn Echoes, won a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction and was shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Vancouver Book Award. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and currently lives in Vancouver with his husband.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.