“A Day in the Life” with Toronto-based Author Craig Shreve

When I opened the pages of Craig Shreve’s manuscript, I was immediately immersed in the world of 1579, aboard a large trade ship on its way to Japan. It is here that we meet a young man who was taken as a boy from his home in Africa by Portuguese mercenaries, trained as a child soldier, and later sold to become the protector of one of the most powerful Jesuits in the Catholic Church, which was in the process of spreading Christianity in the East in this early era of colonization.

The complex political machinations of the East, the West, and the African continent all meet in this one man: the great warrior Yasuke, who against all odds becomes Japan’s first foreign samurai and one of African descent. Craig Shreve has imagined into being this historical figure unknown in the West, dramatizing what is known of the life he lived, but more poignantly imagining the depths of his inner life—of one stolen as a child, who saw his village burned and his family and community destroyed; who, as providence would have it, would turn out to be gifted in combat and the art of war; who would forever search for a new family and a place to call home. And at heart is a very deep and very moving friendship, a fond brotherhood between two people who fate would bring together at a critical juncture in history. This is a timeless, epic story; a novel for the ages.

-Written by Janie Yoon, Executive Editor

Craig Shreve
The African Samurai Book. Photo by Cayley Pimentel
Craig Shreve
Craig Shreve, Author. Photo by Jay Crews
North49 Signing Craig at North 49 Books signing stock for accounts across Canada. Photo by Cayley Pimentel
Craig at the gala fundraiser Biblio Bash for the Toronto Public Library earlier this year. Photo by George Pimentel
ASB Signing Craig signing books at Another Story Bookshop in Toronto. Photo by Cayley Pimentel
Craig Shreve
Craig Shreve, author of One Night in Mississippi and The African Samurai. Photo by Craig Shreve
Craig Shreve
Indigo Y&A Signing Craig at Indigo Yonge & Eglinton after signing their stock. Photo by Cayley Pimentel


What neighbourhood do you live in?

I live near the Canary District. I have been in Toronto since 2018 and moved to Canary in 2019, and I love the area.

What do you do?

At my day job, I am a Technology Architect, so writing gives me a much-needed creative outlet. It can certainly be challenging to balance both at times, but I find that as long as I am focused, I can be productive even in a limited time. I like to be mentally fresh when I am writing though, so I do most of my new writing on weekends, then can use the weekdays for research or editing.

What are you currently working on?

I haven’t started writing anything new yet, but I have been researching what will likely be my next story. It is a different type of story in a different part of the world, but like The African Samurai, it is focused on a historical figure who I think should be more broadly known.

Where can we find your work?

Website | Instagram | The African Samurai


About Emilea Semancik 89 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods