Tea Mutonji to read from first book at Canadian Writers in Person lecture, Nov. 19


Shut Up You're PrettyYork University’s Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series will feature author Téa Mutonji on Nov. 19, who will read from her debut story collection, Shut Up You’re Pretty.

The series features 11 authors who will present their work, answer questions and sign books. Canadian Writers in Person is a for-credit course for students. It is also a free-admission event for members of the public. All readings take place at 7 p.m. on select Tuesday evenings in 206 Accolade West Building, Keele Campus.

Mutonji is an award-winning poet and writer. Born in Congo-Kinshasa, she now lives and writes in Scarborough, Ont., where she was named emerging writer of the year in 2017 by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization. Shut Up You’re Pretty is her first book.

In Mutonji’s debut story collection, a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust of Canada Fiction Prize, a woman contemplates her Congolese traditions during a family wedding, a teenage girl looks for happiness inside a pack of cigarettes, a mother reconnects with her daughter through their shared interest in fish and a young woman decides to shave her head in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. These punchy, sharply observed stories blur the lines between longing and choosing, exploring the narrator’s experience as an involuntary one. Tinged with pathos and humour, they interrogate the moments in which femininity, womanness and identity are not only questioned but also imposed.

Other presentations scheduled in this series are:

Dec. 3: Roo Borson, Cardinal in the Eastern White Cedar, Penguin Random House


Jan. 14: Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves, Dancing Cat Books

Jan. 28: Uzma Jalaluddin, Ayesha at Last, Penguin Random House

Feb. 11: Carrianne Leung, That Time I Loved You, HarperCollins

March 3: E. Martin Nolan, Still Point, HMH Books

March 17: David Bezmozgis, Immigrant City, HarperCollins

Canadian Writers in Person is a course offered out of the Culture & Expression program in the Department of Humanities in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. For more information on the series, visit yorku.ca/laps/canwrite, call 416-736-5158, or email Professor Gail Vanstone at gailv@yorku.ca or Professor Leslie Sanders at leslie@yorku.ca.