We welcome three acclaimed writers with new works that explore difficult coming of age stories. Short readings will be followed by a conversation on history, race, and the search for belonging.
The Red Jacket is the first full-length novel from Pamela Mordecai , an award-winning poet, critic, and short fiction author. Growing up on the Caribbean island of St. Chris, Grace Carpenter never feels like she really belongs. Although her large, extended family is black, she is a redibo. Her skin is copper-coloured, her hair is red, and her eyes are grey. Publisher’s Weekly praises the work, saying “The novel manages to strike a balance between the bleak awfulness of Grace’s life and the lush beauty of it.”
After spending the war years in a Canadian internment camp, thirteen-year-old Aya Shimamura and her father are faced with a gut-wrenching choice: move east of the Rocky Mountains or go “back” to Japan. Told through rich, interlocking story lines, The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake, mines this turbulent period to show how war irrevocably shapes lives.
In his new novel, The Motorcyclist, George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate, illuminates the life of a young black man striving for pleasure, success and, most of all, respect. Told in vibrant, energetic and sensual prose the story is inspired by the life of Clarke’s father, it tells the story of a black working-class man caught between the expectations of his times and gleaming possibilities of the open road.
Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs.