An excerpt from

Defiance in Their Eyes: True Stories from the Margins
by Ann Charney

The bridges of Montreal are part of the landscape against which these stories are set-a shifting line of horizon that serves as both background and protagonist, defining the acts of violence which in turn alter our perception of the place.

I suspect there is something about the marginality of Québec and its people that appealed to my own temperament. The place itself is striking in its oddness: a small, obscure, fiercely proud French-speaking corner of North America. My being here is another kind of anomaly: a capricious cataclysm of history swept the remnants of my family away from their birthplace and landed them in this curiously innocent land with its nearly bloodless soil and its uncomplicated history.

The convoluted trajectory my subjects and I traveled to come together in these pages is not so dissimilar; a part of me understands and even empathizes with the reasons for each desperate act described here. Nevertheless, I know we are fellow travelers only along the route of imagination. My effort here is to allow others to share in that journey.