If you love meeting talented writers and hearing them read from their published work, or just want to soak up a unique cultural experience, don’t miss the Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series, which launches its 2021-22 season on Sept. 21.
The series gives attendees an opportunity to get up close and personal with 11 authors who will present their work and answer questions. 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 via Zoom. Links for each reading can be found here.
This year’s lineup consists of a unique selection of emerging and established Canadian writers whose writing explores a broad range of topics and geographical and cultural landscapes. Featuring seasoned and emerging poets and fiction writers, the series highlights Canada’s ever-growing pool of literary talent.
On Sept. 21, author Michelle Good kicks off the 2021-22 series with a reading from her first novel, Five Little Indians (HarperCollins Canada), which won the HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize.
Good is a Cree writer and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After working for Indigenous organizations for 25 years, she obtained a law degree and advocated for residential school survivors for over 14 years. She earned a master of fine arts in creative writing at the University of British Columbia while still practising law and managing her own law firm. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada, and her poetry was included on two lists of the best Canadian poetry in 2016 and 2017.
Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward. Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of downtown eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and criss-cross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.
Other readings scheduled in this series are:
- Oct. 5: Francesca Ekwuyasi, Butter Honey Pig Bread (Arsenal Pulp Press)
- Oct. 26: Emily St. John Mandel, The Glass Hotel (Penguin Random House)
- Nov. 9: Chantal Gibson, How She Read (Caitlin Press)
- Nov. 23: Ava Homa, Daughters of Smoke and Fire (HarperCollins Canada)
- Dec. 7: Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty, Land-Water-Sky /Ndè–Tı–Yat’a (Fernwood Publishing)
- Jan. 18: Thomas King, Suffrance (HarperCollins Canada)
- Feb. 1: Zsuzsi Gartner, The Beguiling (Penguin Random House Canada)
- Feb. 22: Rebecca Salazar, sulphurtongue (Penguin Random House Canada)
- March 8: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic (Penguin Random House)
- March 22: Louise B. Halfe/Sky Dancer, Burning in This Midnight Dream (Brick Books)
Canadian Writers in Person is a course offered in 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, or email Professor Gail Vanstone at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Leslie Sanders at email@example.com.