Back in the low-income neighbourhood where she was raised, a young woman rediscovers the importance of community, home, and finding one’s voice.

Just before the demolition of her childhood home in east Toronto, Delia Ellis returns to retrieve her beloved diary. Using it as a compass, she rediscovers life as a precocious teen growing up in the nineties.

A scintillating debut full of nuanced and achingly human characters. Denise Da Costa’s ability to write poetic yet economical sentences that pack a profound emotional punch makes for a compelling and rich reading experience. This novel is a beautiful exploration of memory and perception and will linger in the minds of readers long after they’ve finished.

Zalika Reid-Benta, author of Frying Plantain


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Denise Da Costa’s And the Walls Came Down is a stunning addition to the new novels about Toronto, written by immigrants or their children, that claim the city, rightfully, as their own. It is also a complex and poignant portrait of a mother, a family and a world all falling apart, and a child’s attempt to survive this.

Shyam Selvadurai, author of Mansions of the Moon

About the Author

Denise Da Costa is a writer and visual artist based in Ontario. She writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry exploring identify, love, mental health and the complexities of the human experience.

And the Walls Came Down is her debut novel.

Photo Credit: Samuel Engelking