The Elephants in My Backyard | Penguin Random House Canada

The Elephants in My Backyard

A Memoir of Chasing a Dream and Facing Failure

Publisher: Vintage Canada

PRAISE FOR

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 EDNA STAEBLER AWARD FOR CREATIVE NON-FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 KOBO EMERGING WRITER PRIZE

LONGLISTED FOR 2017 CBC's CANADA READS COMPETITION


“[A] unique memoir. . . . [Surendra] brings alive [his experience] through richly detailed and evocative writing. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful at landing his dream role, Surendra, with a fresh voice and an engaging sense of humour, makes a strong case for embracing one’s curiosity and passions to live life on one’s own terms.” —2017 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction jury

[A] charming, understated read. Yes, there are moments of intense emotional pain, confusion and frustration. These are leavened, though, with passages of high humour. . . . It seems that, in attempting to become someone else, Surendra actually became himself. The Elephants in My Backyard is a small book . . . with considerable power and grace.” —Toronto Star

“[Rajiv’s] is the story of everyone trying to find out who they are, and how to get there. It’s a story that exemplifies, in some ways, Pi’s story. He didn’t get the role, but, in a sense, he lived the story.” —Yann Martel, author of The High Mountains of Portugal and Life of Pi, The Globe and Mail

“The best parts of the memoir come toward the end. . . . Surendra’s creative awakening as a chalk artist is welcome, too, and his drawings scattered throughout the book display obvious talent. Surendra is also a clear stylist, and he brings sensitivity to his writing.” —The Washington Post

“Lovely and human. The tale of a man who began by following a story and ended up creating his own.” —Jenny Lawson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy 
 
“A beautifully written journey of self-discovery, The Elephants In My Backyard is intimate, moving, hilarious and painful. This quirky memoir unfolds in a series of anecdotes—miniature gems—much like the intricate chalk designs that are one of Rajiv Surendra’s many talents.” —Anosh Irani, author of The Parcel

“A young actor loses a great role but finds a wonderful story to share. Surendra might best be known through a memorable supporting role in Mean Girls, but this debut shows a real gift for writing. . . . One of the more insightful and inspirational of the recent glut of showbiz memoirs.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 
PRAISE FOR RAJIV SURENDRA:

“[E]veryone’s favourite MC Mathlete.” —The Huffington Post

“[S]cene-stealing.” —The Wall Street Journal

“[A] rare jewel of refinement.” —Toronto Star