Tangent Books

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G.E.M. Munro's 

'South Asian Adventures

with the Active Poor'

Now a National





A collection of true stories of a Canadian family's experiences providing education programmes to the acutely poor in the slums of South Asia, the poorest region on earth.

"The harshest and most blissful moments are made accessible to us. This inside look is not a staged version; South Asian Adventures with the Active Poor is jaw-dropping reality that reaches so deep we come away clearly aware that our fellow human beings transcend the seeming gaps between us. The Munro family's observations and experiences as delivered truthfully, humourously and lovingly by G.E.M. Munro, gift us gripping, revealing, touching and inspiring stories." - Angela Macri



Praise for this book:

I found this book amazing and couldn’t put it down. I salute the author and his family for their dedication and service to these poor children and their mothers.
Enlisting and training uneducated mothers and making them the vehicle to teach others is almost unbelievable. However, it is happening, and that is what makes the story about this project so fascinating.   – Wilfrid Wilkinson, Past President,     

                                                            Rotary International

Gem’s book will make you laugh and cry at the same time. In your hands, you are holding a heart-rending account of a courageous family in the depths of the world’s worst slums making changes that everyone said were impossible. If you want to be uplifted, read this book.           – Michael Maloney,  

                best-selling author of Teach Your Children Well

This is a book of possibility. It woke me up – I think it was the cracking of my heart that did it – and took me right into the lives of some of the world’s poorest mothers and children. To my surprise, it’s funny too. Munro’s intimate writing shines a warm light onto each one of his subjects so you can hear her voice and spirit and great potential. The best of human nature resonates on these pages, as the Munro family’s schools beat the odds and provide hope in supposedly hopeless situations.   

                                           -  Jill Varley, Regional Director,

                                                     Status of Women Canada

I believe that if you haven’t walked the streets, you can’t really understand. I have worked in the slums of Santo Domingo, but those experiences had not prepared me for what I read. I could go on for pages, but suffice to say that the world needs many, many more with the kind of commitment shown in this book, because that is how the world is going to change.

                                                               – Douglas Crowe,

                                               International Aid Consultant

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. To teach one is our humane duty. To teach one to teach others is to achieve unasked for grace. Multiply that, as the Munro family has done, manna fallson Bangladesh. Read this book at bedsides, boardrooms and charitable brunches.        – Dirk McLean, best-selling author


Climb up into Wahid's bicycle-rickshaw....

... and ready yourself for the ride of your life ---- or, rather, of Munni's life, or Rohima's, or Amena's. Take a rare journey into the real slums of South Asia, into the secret heart of what may be the world's least-known, least-cosmopolitan, most surreal major city, and into the hearts of its poorest inhabitants, where struggles for survival, love and dignity don't lead to game shows, but may lead, with destiny's intervention, into one of a unique system of schools established by a Canadian family of mother, father and four children who had the double misfortune of seeing the suffering of the acutely poor at close range and designing a program in answer that was too successful to stop.

Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to

Amarok Society,

Teach a Mother, Change the World



Please see our 'Web Store' page to order.


Coming soon:



The Silver Apple of the Moon

 by G.E.M. Munro


Perles is at the end of his rope.

Disgusted by the hypocrisy he sees everywhere about him in his own social milieu, and sickened by his own inability to make more of his life's opportunities, he has immersed himself in the sorrows and inequities of an inner-city slum substratum. He seeks penance and purpose there, but instead finds more grief than he can handle, too much of the booze that commands him, and too-terrifying reason to believe that he's become a blackout serial killer of the neighborhood's prostitutes.

Into this circumstance comes Solania, an enchanting young woman who may be a prophetess of her people, and who seems to know more about Perles than he might wish or could ever dare to hope. Charming, charismatic, mysterious Solania proves to be the flashpoint for a disenfranchised and desperate people.

In his beautiful, intimate portrait of a disadvantaged neighborhood and its people, G.E.M. Munro gives us a novel that's as much a lyrical, passionate love song as it is an explosive social commentary.

What's been said about an earlier edition of                                "The Silver Apple of the Moon":

Reading it left me shattered ... unable to write about it for several days, for it truly reflected my own experience ... the stroll, the drugs, living with my own 'Baron' pimp ... I know the reality of the world [Munro] draws so well." Janice Acoose, University of Saskatchewan, author of ‘Neither Indian Princesses nor Easy Squaws'

The book is unique, unusual, captivating, eye- opening and brilliantly written. Munro is an outstanding storyteller with a unique ability to keep his readers riveted. He knows the lingo and the truth about the realities of life for many Native Canadians and here's hoping that someone takes notice. The book reveals a side of Canada's social and economic inequities that offers not only insight, but issues a warning to those who think that the situation can be ignored for another century.  John Copely, Alberta Native News

Munro wades the cesspool of slumlords and pimps, warring gangs and holier- than-thou capitalists with a certainty that speaks of intimate knowledge. His narrative has original, surprising and tension-heightening twists every 20 pages or so ...  Edmonton Journal    

A cautionary tale about the social and economic status of Native Canadians, but also a story about the redemptive powers of loving. The concept ... is both unusual and imaginative ... realized with beauty and passion. Full marks to Munro for his deep insight into a festering social problem. May his effort to place it before the public be as effective. Verne Clemence, Star Phoenix

Those who remember his tales of 'West Side Johnny' will recognize the flamboyant prose, now given free rein ... despite the grim subject matter, Munro paints an often hilarious picture of local society as he eviscerates the politically correct, the media, city council, and a wide range of other targets ... shining a much-needed light on a part of our society that too many people would rather simply ignore.  Randy Burton, Star Phoenix

...very observant, very believable, eye-opening and disquieting ...  such sadness in a world so close to home is hard to take - and it should be hard to take. Oppression and degradation of the First Nations community is too often ignored, and this novel gives a good hard look into the very ugly reality... is at turns sad, funny, depressing, hopeful, absurd and all too real. Looking to the light of the future instead of the darkness of the past, hope and courage are what this novel is really all about.  Andrea Merasty, Prince Albert Grand Council Tribune

An astute observer of life in the inner city, Munro has a rare insight into the maladies that have befallen many of these areas... a powerful indictment of hypocrisy, corruption, and injustice... presents a passionate sense that the status quo does not have to be a permanent condition. Through the two central characters, Perles, a newspaper columnist with a ... disdain for the Establishment, and the darkly enchanting Solania, Munro cleverly and convincingly weaves a tale of romance and rebellion. Much more than a social critique, this book is a captivating murder mystery that carries powerful messages. Munro, through the charismatic Solania, foresees the day when an oppressed population will no longer tolerate the abuse they've been forced to endure for too long.  John Lagimodiere, Eagle Feather News