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I Have Demons                                                                                 

By: Christopher Adam
Published by: Iguana Books in November 2018

A jaded young priest of a dwindling parish faces a man with a terrible secret. A lonely pensioner spends a Thanksgiving she’ll never forget at a local diner, served by an acerbic waitress who has finally found her ticket out of there. A recent university graduate from small-town Ontario leaves home with nothing to his name but the hope of a new life in the city and places all his trust in a charismatic yet dubious life coach.

Lyrical language, at times haunting, and moments of dry humour weave through the three novellas in this collection. Set in and around Ottawa, Ontario, these stories examine the peripheries of society. In the characters’ journey toward the centre, they navigate flawed human relationships, seek to encounter a divine presence that is at once implicitly present yet dreadfully distant, and struggle to negotiate the conditions of redemption.

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The 1956 Hungarian Revolution — Hungarian and Canadian Perspectives

Edited by: Christopher Adam, Tibor Egervari, Leslie Laczko, Judy Young
Published by: University of Ottawa Press in May 2010
(Academic non-fiction)

In October 1956, a spontaneous uprising took Hungarian Communist authorities by surprise, prompting Soviet authorities to invade the country. After a few days of violent fighting, the revolt was crushed. In the wake of the event, some 200,000 refugees left Hungary, 35,000 of whom made their way to Canada. This would be the first time Canada would accept so many refugees of a single origin, setting a precedent for later refugee initiatives. More than fifty years later, this collection focuses on the impact of the revolution in Hungary, in Canada, and around the world.


Book Chapters

The Handbook of the 1956 Hungarian Refugees: Hungarian edition — Egy világraszóló történet. Az 1956-os magyar menekültválság kézikönyve (ed. Gusztáv D. Kecskés & Tamás Scheibner), Történettudományi Intézet, Budapest, 2022 (Academic non-fiction)

Country chapter on Canada in Part 5 by Christopher Adam (pgs. 465-576)

At the time of the Hungarian 1956 refugee crisis, Canada stood at political and social crossroads. The fact that Canada accepted proportionally the largest number of fifty-sixers of any country after the suppression of the uprising in Hungary—more than 38,000 in the months following the repressed revolt—was both the product of domestic political considerations in Canada, and the federal government’s response to the unexpectedly intense pressure from the press and Canadian society more generally to chart a humanitarian course in helping the refugees. In an era when a larger number of Canadians owned television sets than ever before, the six o’clock news coverage of 1956 brought much closer to home dramatic events unfolding in a distant land. (Front page news coverage of the refugee crisis had much the same impact.) For Canadians, this turned 1956 into the first truly “televised” uprising at a time when anti-Soviet public opinion in the Cold War West was already galvanized. The Liberal government of the ageing Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent struggled to play “catch up” with the deep desire on the part of the media and society to provide more assistance to fifty-sixers than the cabinet was initially prepared to offer. The Liberals were also heading into a federal election after having been in power for more than 20 years, finding themselves in a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, they often perceived themselves as the “natural” default leaders of Canada and the only viable governing party, while also being on the cusp of what increasingly felt like the end of an era.

The Forgotten Revolution: The 1919 Hungarian Republic of Councils (ed. András B. Göllner), Black Rose Books, Montreal, 2022. (Academic non-fiction)

Chapter 7 by Christopher Adam: The Exiled Voice of the 1919 Commune.

My chapter in this anthology explores the establishment of the Hungarian Communist diaspora in Canada following the collapse of the 1919 Commune. This chapter examines the efforts of Hungarian Communist migrants to Canada to keep the language, the vocabulary and the spirit of the 1919 Commune alive in a hostile environment. The leaders of the Hungarian communist diaspora in Canada used the Kanadai Magyar Munkás (The Canadian-Hungarian Worker), a weekly newspaper, as a tool to build a collective consciousness and identity for Hungarian workers and agricultural labourers in Canada. Using strident revolutionary language reminiscent of the days of the 1919 Commune, the publication sought to organize traditionally oppressed demographic groups within the diaspora against Christian-Nationalist forces seen as doing the bidding of the Horthy regime in Canada. The writers, editors and publishers of the Munkás, took it upon themselves to speak out against not only the economic injustices they encountered in their new homeland in Canada, but those that plagued Hungary. At the same time, the Munkás’ failure, and that of the community built around it, was its cult-like behaviour. Its strident and militant polemics would continue to rouse the most zealous, but was alarming to those who were less ideologically committed and who were repelled by the excesses of the Bolsheviks and Stalinism.


Refugee Crises 1945-2020: Political and Societal Responses in International Comparison. Eds. Jan C. Jansen and Simon Lässig), Cambridge University Press, 2020. (Academic non-fiction)

Chapter 7 by Christopher Adam: The 1956-1957 Hungarian Refugee Crisis and the Role of the Canadian Press in Opening the Doors to Asylum Seekers. Pgs. 157-180.

My chapter in this anthology, spearheaded by the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C., explores how it was first and foremost intense pressure from the Canadian press that prompted the Canadian federal government to take a leading humanitarian role in responding to the 1956/57 Hungarian refugee crisis, and welcoming more than 38,000 Hungarian fifty-sixers to Canada.