This vel recounts the first-hand exile stories of two Lebanese citizens and their routes to Canada. Both have been forced to leave their homeland as a result of civil war, but only the first is afforded the opportunities the second so badly wants. His exile, at a very young age, has afforded him an international childhood, an American education, cultural affluence, and the ability to assimilate into almost any society he enters. The second, a destitute, beyond-his-prime optimist named Sameer Gerdak, is afforded thing of the kind. To think that an Arab foreigner without North American credentials can penetrate this prosperous Canadian reality is a well-worn fiction. So Sameer Gerdak believes. The two protagonists' paths intersect only slightly, but the result of their meeting is at once profound and chilling. Blackbodying speaks to the most personal ramifications of civil war, telling the stories of those who can't shake the idea that something better must exist. Surrounded by bed-wetters, child actors, bisexual dads, dead horses, independent film-makers, prostitutes, taxi drivers, and one of the most indelible and lecherous villains in recent memory, John Spier, a low-level pimp with hands, Sameer Gerdak and his youthful, anymous counterpart weave a portrait of humanity that simultaneously attests to our best and worst intentions.
Born during the Lebanese civil war, Dimitri Nasrallah left Beirut and the escalating infighting at a young age, after several abrupt sojourns in Kuwait and Greece. He would spend the next eight years living in Athens and attending American international schools for the children of foreign diplomats, expatriates, and the US military. He immigrated to Canada in 1988, at first settling in Montreal and then moving to Toronto two years later. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in Humanities from York, he obtained an M.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University. Currently he divides his time between Toronto and Montreal. His work has appeared in Urb, The Blow Up, Pagitica Reader, Matrix, and the Danforth Review.