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By Danila Botha

“Danila Botha’s writing is both tenderhearted and sharp in all the best ways. In Too Much on the Inside there is so much to admire.”
-Zoe Whittall, Bottle Rocket Hearts


Botha_Too Much on the Inside

Set in the sub-cultural heartland of Toronto’s Queen Street West, Too Much on the Inside explores the depths of human connection as the lives of four people in their twenties converge with the impossible task of escaping their pasts in Brazil, Israel, South Africa, and Nova Scotia. They wrestle with love, heartbreak and angst while trying to build new identities. Too Much on the Inside is an authentic amalgam of relationships and perseverance, in the tradition of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, Camilla Gibb’s The Petty Details of So and So’s Life, and J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace, illuminated with the author’s own unique insights.

“Botha has created a megamix of voices searching to belong in a big city gone sideways…a medley for the post-apocalyptic future that never came.”
Cathleen With, Having Faith in the Polar Girls Prison

“Botha’s new novel is a kind of bouquet — a vase full of life snippets from Toronto’s late-night world. Sweet and sharp, musky and startling, and full of yearning, the lives of these recent arrivals mingle together to create a vivid sense experience. Too Much On The Inside is an easy read in the best sense of the word: pacy, deftly plotted, hugely enjoyable.”
Richard Scrimger, Mystical Rose

“Danila Botha’s debut novel tells the extraordinary story of four individuals whose lives intersect in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. The narrative, which is constructed in alternating first-person voices, reveals a deep understanding of human nature.” – Safa Jinje, Quill and Quire Magazine

“Danila Botha, whose first book drew praise for its compassion and urgency, brings similar sentiments to her interwoven portrayals of four new Torontonians of diverse origin (South Africa, Brazil, Israel and Nova Scotia) drawn to the openness and opportunities they sense Queen Street West might offer them… Too Much on the Inside deserves praise for representing Parkdale’s cultural vibrancy and diversity…There is an admirable freshness and enthusiasm in Botha’s writing, qualities that do not inhibit her ability to describe dark and even violent events.” – Amy Lavender- Harris, the Literary Review of Canada 

“ Set in Toronto’s gritty Parkdale neighbourhood, the story burrows deep inside the heads of four twenty somethings as they fumble through tumultuous relationships in the hopes of finding happiness in their adopted home…despite its violence Too Much on the Inside is a tender love story” – Sue Carter,  Metro News 

“Too Much On The Inside is a multi-narrated elegy to Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood that is both candid and wise.” – Marissa Stapley, The Toronto Star 

“[Too Much on the Inside] is full of energy, enthusiasm, and compassion…Danila seems to have bottled youth in this book, with its four narrators all facing Toronto as relative newcomers trying to deal with their prior lives. These are powerful voices, fizzing and competing to be heard.”- Alix Hawley, award winning author of All True, Not A Lie In It 

“This is an insightful and compassionately written novel about the lives of four twenty-somethings who are recent arrivals to Toronto. This very much a Toronto (and a love letter to Queen West) story seen through the eyes of those not born here…The author did a terrific job exploring the aftermath of what it’s like to grow up in contexts of violence, and how each character must ask themselves how they now can try to be good people–and who decides this for them… I recommend this book. Its characters will stay with me for a long time.” – Farzana Doctor, award winning author of All Inclusive 

“It’s always a treat to read a fine first novel, and Danila Botha’s Too Much on the Inside is no exception…Her characters often made me think of those Contents Under Pressure labels on spray cans — people about to burst open from the force of their untold, richly layered stories. Botha has the gift of equally rich language to bring them to life, and her wonderful descriptions of downtown Toronto’s colourful vibe make for vivid three-dimensional reading.”-  Carole Giangrande, author of Here Comes the Dreamer

Aptly set in the heart of Toronto’s mecca for self-expression, Queen St. West… Danila Botha’s greatest achievement lies in the power of her highly authentic portrayal of these disparate voices. Recently landed immigrants, and indeed anyone who has experienced the simultaneous elation and dread that accompanies embarking on a new relationship will see themselves here. Too Much on the Inside will surprise you with its insights and comfort you with its wide appeal.” – Susan Carolan, Broken Pencil Magazine 

“An earthy portrait of love, loss, and confronting the past set in Toronto’s Queen St W, Danila Botha’s first novel is incredibly moving, gritty, and authentic…Too Much on the Inside is an incredible feat of literary structural engineering: we collide with these four people knowing very little about them. Botha’s writing is masterful – deceptively simple, with an astonishing attention to detail that creates a multi-coloured fabric of distinct locales and personalities.”- Mike Fan, The Book Shelf, Guelph


Quattro Books, May 2015