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Julian Samuel

Julian Julian Samuel is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and a fine art painter.  He was born in Lahore, Pakistan and has lived in the United Kingdom, Peterborough (Ont.), Montreal, and now Toronto.


Lone Ranger in Pakistan

Peterborough, Ont.: Emergency Press, 1986.


Passage to Lahore: A Novel

Stratford, Ont.: Mercury Press, 1995.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Passage to Lahore is a no-holds-barred telling of the Pakistani-Canadian-British-Indian-Québécois experience, challenging conventional history with frequent outbreaks of scathing satire.  Fractious, erudite, and raunchy, Samuel’s narrative takes us from Montreal to Lahore to Algeria to Hong Kong to China to Surrey, in search of ways to comically damage the suicidal sterility of The Correct and of the tribal debates raging today.



Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2024.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

A man down on his luck meets the woman of his dreams in an adult education course. But this is no ordinary male fantasy: the man is a Pakistani-Canadian artist with a treatable recurrent cancer; the young lady is an Indigenous princess just returned from art school in Europe to her father’s glass summer palace in Muskoka. This romantic comedy, set in mid-Toronto and on Lake Rosseau, plays with the intersection of Indigenous, settler, and immigrant success stories against the background of mortality and the stars.


Radius Islamicus

Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2018.
PS8587 .A3623 R33 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Joseph, the tactician behind the Piccadilly Circus bombing and many other such events, finds himself in a nursing home in Pierrefonds, Quebec, where he is losing his mind but regaining his conscience. In Radius Islamicus we see minds that cannot be located by drones carrying Hellfire missiles. These non-state actors, led by Joseph, do not live in caves. They live in Moose Jaw, Toronto, Amsterdam, London, New York and the Isle of Jura. They take vacations in Thailand, have an understanding of science, are concerned ecologists, drive solar-powered cars, and plot to blow up the Western civilization that created them.

Non-fiction (based on his film of the same name)

Into the European Mirror: A Work by Julian Samuel

Edited by Aruna Handa & John Kipphoff.
Montréal: Black Rose Books, 1997.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Into the European Mirror, the second book from Montreal film and video producer Julian Samuel’s triolgy, follows the quest of The Raft of the Medusa (Black Rose Books, 1993), further developing a discussion of Occidental modernity by exploring the connections between the emergence of national identities and the exclusion and expulsion of minorities: of ‘others.’

The book explores instances of nationalism and expulsion from Damascus to London and Montreal scritinizes how Islam was demonized in the European mind; and draws a provocative line from late fifteenth century Cordoba to twentieth-century Palestine and Bosnia.

Though the times have changed, the enforcement of national identity as a single ethnic and religious identity remains cruelly the same. In addition to the transcript of Samuel’s tape, and to the interviews, this book includes an examination of the mechanics of the ‘video essay’.

Non-fiction (base on his film of the same name)

The Raft of the Medusa: Five Voices on Colonies, Nations and History

Edited by Julian Doray and Julian Samuel.
Commentaries by Charles Acland, Will Straw and Marwan Hassan.
Montréal: Black Rose Books, 1993.
D13.2 .R33 1993

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In interviews with five academics and writers – Amin Maalouf, Thierry Hentsch, Sara Suleri, Marlene Nourbese Philip and Ackbar Abbas – history is discussed from a non-European perspective.

The interviews examine such issues as Islamic fundamentalism and Occidental modernism, the Partition of India in 1947, the future of Hong Kong, and questions of identity in a postcolonial era. This book presents Eurocentrism of western history as an aberration that is not only scandalous, but dangerous.

In addition to the transcript of the video version of The Raft of the Medusa, this book also includes an interview with Marwan Hassan by Will Straw, providing a dialogue around the issues raised in the video, and an essay by Charles Acland examining colonial discourse as discussed in The Raft and how these themes are expressed in Bram Stokers’ Dracula.

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Julian Samuel.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 212.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017


Julian Samuel personal website

Publisher Black Rose Books

Publisher Guernica Editions