Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.

Mothers of Invention

With Shyam Selvadurai
Hosted by Mayurika Chakravorty

Mothers of Invention

With Shyam Selvadurai
Hosted by Mayurika Chakravorty
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Shyam Selvadurai - Photo by Kevin Kelly Photography

Join our host, Carleton University’s Mayurika Chakravorty and author Shyam Selvadurai for a journey into the mythic past.


Please note that Vaishnavi Patel is unable to participate in this event as planned.


Mansions of the Moon, the latest from Shyam Selvadurai, is a reimagining of ancient India through the extraordinary life of Yasodhara, the woman who married the Buddha. In this sweeping tale, at once epic and intimate, Shyam Selvadurai introduces us to Siddhartha Gautama—who will later become “the enlightened one,” or the Buddha—an unusually bright and politically astute young man settling into his upper-caste life as a newlywed to Yasodhara, a woman of great intelligence and spirit. Mansions of the Moon traces the couple’s early love and life together, and then the anguished turmoil that descends upon them both as Siddhartha’s spiritual calling takes over and the marriage partnership slowly, inexorably crumbles. Eventually, Yasodhara is forced to ask what kind of life a woman can lead in ancient India if her husband abandons her—even a well-born woman such as herself. And is there a path she, too, might take towards enlightenment?


PLEASE NOTE: For the safety and comfort of all patrons, masks are required to attend in person.  


Most people coming by car park for free at the Supreme Court of Canada on Wellington St.


Ticket holders unable to attend in person can request access to the livestream. Livestream links will be sent about an hour prior and will remain active for 48 hours. Please email to request a link.



Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.


The Ottawa International Writers Festival is supported by generous individuals like you. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter and making a donation to support our programming and children’s literacy initiatives.

See Also

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4:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
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