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 continues on Nov. 23 with a reading from Ava Homa’s debut novel, Daughters of Smoke and Fire (HarperCollins Canada, 2020).
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 and 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.
Homa is a writer, journalist and activist specializing in women’s issues and Middle Eastern affairs. She holds an MA in English and creative writing from the University of Windsor. Her collection of short stories, Echoes from the Other Land, was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and she is the inaugural recipient of the PEN Canada–Humber College Writers-in-Exile Scholarship. Born and raised in the Kurdistan province of Iran, Homa now divides her time between Toronto and San Francisco.
Set in Iran, Daughters of Smoke and Fire takes readers into the everyday lives of the Kurds. Leila dreams of making films to bring the suppressed stories of her people onto the global stage, but obstacles keep piling up. Leila’s younger brother, Chia, influenced by their father’s past torture and imprisonment, and his own deep-seated desire for justice, begins to engage with social and political affairs. But his activism grows increasingly risky, and one day he disappears in Tehran. Seeking answers about her brother’s whereabouts and fearing the worst, Leila begins a campaign to save him. But when she publishes Chia’s writings online, she realizes that she too is in grave danger. A family friend with ties to Canada offers to help, but Leila must struggle to forgive him for his role in Chia’s disappearance.
This year’s Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series 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.
Other readings scheduled in this series are:
- Dec. 7: Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty, Land-Water-Sky /Ndè–Tı–Yat’a (Fernwood Publishing)
- Jan. 18: Thomas King, Sufferance (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 email@example.com or Professor Leslie Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org.