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Portrait Photography
- Frank Nagy

Darlene Madott is a writer, who practised law in Toronto for more than 3 decades. Her most recent book, launched in spring 2014, is Making Olives and Other Family Secrets - Ripasso, Longbridge Books. It is a literary revisitation of the original "Making Olives and Other Family Secrets" with five new "secrets" added.

Darlene Madott
Darlene Madott - Photo by: Frank Nagy

"Defiant and proud, renegade independence - that′s what draws me to Darlene Madott′s voice."
- Michelle Alfano, associate editor-in-chief of Descant and author of Made up of Arias

Madott is the mother of one son. Growing him toward manhood, she regards as the greatest of her life accomplishments.

Prior to law, she worked at Saturday Night and Toronto Life magazines. Her call to the Bar in 1985 coincided with the publication of a collection of short stories, Bottled Roses, Oberon, 1985. A film script, Mazilli's Shoes, was published by Guernica, in 1997, then Joy, Joy, Why Do I Sing? Canadian Scholars' Press, 2004. Included in that collection was "Vivi's Florentine Scarf," winner of the 2002 Paolucci Prize of the Italian American Writer's Association.

Her short fiction has garnered literary awards, including the title story of Making Olives and Other Family Secrets (Longbridge Books, 2008) which won the Bressani Literary Award, 2008. Of the stories included in her 6th collection, Stations of the Heart, (Exile Editions, 2012,) one was shortlisted for the Exile′s Carter V Cooper Short Fiction Prize sponsored by Gloria Vanderbilt, another won the Paolucci Prize, 2002 of the Italian American Writer′s Association. She has been widely anthologized, including: Italian Canadians at Table: A Narrative Feast in Five Courses, (Guernica Editions, 2013), More Sweet Lemons (Legas, 2010), Italian Canadian Voices, (Mosaic Press, 2006).

Making Olives and Other Family Secrets - Ripasso, Book Launch - May 14, 2014
Making Olives and Other Family Secrets - Ripasso - Book Launch - May 14, 2014

"Sensual, vivid, intense! What is remarkable about Madott's women is that they remain open and vulnerable despite betrayal and sorrow: from station to station, they carry their crosses. Each is on a singular pilgrimage, intent on embracing life openly and willingly, seeking something rare in our times -- meaning."

"This collection poses the important questions - about love, about the choices that irrevocably change lives… I like the way the stories examine all these questions askance - not directly, but circling them in a very delicate way…. They are haunting meditations by a fine artist blessed with a scrupulous intelligence. Savour them."
- Guy Vanderhaeghe

"When Darlene Madott casts her line, you can't help but bite and allow her powerful writing to reel you in - sometimes slowly, at first, but with the crescendo that keeps you hooked. She can strip the veneer off simple life and plunge the reader into the depths of experience. She can connect the mind-boggling death of stars to the lives of fragile human beings, and make the reader nod in understanding. Reading Madott is an experience in itself."
- Marisa De Franceschi, author of Surface Tension

"Madott is not afraid to pose risky questions in her fiction, ones to which the answers are not known or may not even exist. Her characters brave perilous emotional territory and face questions about desire, need, connection, pride and shame. The result is a series of deftly constructed stories that simmer with intensity and produce clear moments of truth."
- Beth Ryan, Globe & Mail