Proof I Was Here
240 pages | 978-1-928088-77-6
What’s the point of trying to leave a mark when everything disappears? This question is at the heart of Proof I Was Here, a novel that tells the picaresque coming-of-age story of a young thief and aspiring artist who attempts to reboot her life on the streets of Barcelona after an unexpected breakup. Hailing from Toronto, where she has an assault charge waiting, Niki is outside of Canada for the first time. The pickpockets, squatters and graffiti artists she meets challenge her to reassess her ideas about luck and art. With the help of a passionate Catalan separatist who dreams of building a new country from the ground up, Niki realizes that starting her life over from scratch could be an opportunity – if she can just find a way to clear her name.
“In Proof I Was Here, Becky Blake takes us on an extraordinary journey through Barcelona’s underbelly, exploring with empathy and insight the human need for belonging and security, and what it means to lose everything. Finely crafted and richly imagined, Proof I Was Here is an enthralling, intelligent and fast-paced novel you won’t be able to put down.”
– Ayelet Tsabari, author of The Art of Leaving and The Best Place on Earth
“Proof I Was Here is laced with grit, art and angst. This evocative novel explores the intersection of privilege and survival, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour, permanence and the ephemeral . . . it reminds us of the power of our choices, but also shows how serendipity can, in a moment, change what we think about ourselves and the world.”
– Leesa Dean, author of Waiting for the Cyclone
28 Works of Canadian Fiction to Watch for in Spring 2019 (CBC Books, 23/01/2019)
"After being charged with assault, Niki flees Toronto for Barcelona where she begins to reinvent her life. Niki, a thief who dreams of becoming an artist, is inspired by the passion of Catalan separatist and decides to try to clear her name."
Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2019 Fiction Preview (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 07/01/2019)
Becky's book is on 49th Shelf's Most Anticipated: Spring Preview.
About the Author
Becky Blake is a two-time winner of the CBC Literary Prize (for non-fiction in 2017 and short fiction in 2013). Her fiction and essays have appeared in publications across Canada. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph, and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education. Becky currently lives in Toronto where she’s working on a second novel and a memoir-in-essays.