You Are Not What We Expected

Spanning 15 years in the lives of a multi-generational family and their neighbours, this remarkable collection draws an intimate portrait of a suburban Jewish community and illuminates the unexpected ways we remain connected during times of change.

Deeply Rendered

“Every single character is deeply rendered, every experience detailed beautifully, every story crafted with lucidity and poise…”

– Jennifer Manuel, author of The Heaviness of Things That Float.

 Highly Visceral

“A gorgeous, highly visceral, deeply felt collection of linked stories about how families work — and don’t work — together. The Levine family is unforgettable.”

– Jami Attenberg, author of All This  Could Be Yours


“I fell more and more in love with the people in these linked stories as I read. Each story reveals a striking new facet of experience, a shift in perspective, an unexpected complication. “

– Sarah Selecky, author of Radiant Shimmering Light

“There are mothers and daughters who can’t see eye-to-eye, brothers and sisters on separate trajectories, wives who have lost their husbands. There is a whole world in Thornhill. And Sidura Ludwig has captured it.”

The Jewish Chronicle 

“At turns funny and heartbreaking, as well as emotionally illuminating. It examines bonds between people – and the points when those bonds become too much to bear.”

Ottawa Review of Books

You Are Not What We Expected is a thoroughly entertaining and notable short-fiction debut from a compassionate author whose great strength is depicting the subtle (and not-so-subtle) tensions that simmer within families.

Miramachi Reader

Holding My Breath

Spanning three decades against the backdrop of the Jewish community in Winnipeg, Holding My Breath is a poignant coming-of-age tale told from the point of view of Beth Levy, the youngest in a household of two generations of strong Jewish women.

“Ludwig’s first novel is a warm, deftly rendered Jewish family saga… [T]he characters are distinctive and Ludwig has a talent for storytelling.”

– The Guardian

“Ludwig creates a group of characters who are complex, strong and distinct…. Her sensitive and detailed exploration of character, combined with her skill at evoking the specificities of time and place, create something to which everyone can relate”

– The Winnipeg Free Press

“Ludwig’s setting, the North End of Winnipeg, is richly drawn without intruding on the calm, quiet story…. Ludwig has the gifts to launch beyond the predictable.”

– The Globe and Mail

“[A] nicely observed debut… charming.”

– Publishers Weekly

“[T]he women shine as complex characters, furious and forgiving, resistant and resigned. Ludwig is particularly good at evoking atmosphere, the heaviness of summer in Winnipeg, the smell of holiday cooking, the oppressive measurements of meddlesome community…. [A] compelling and worthy first effort.”

– Books in Canada

“Holding My Breath is calm and absorbing, its themes handled with delicacy. The writing is precise and each lyrical moment is earned.”

– The Telegraph (UK)