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Jessica Westhead photo by Derek Wuenschirs

Search for the Humour: An Interview with Jessica Westhead

Interview by Sonal Champsee.

Jessica Westhead’s fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, selected for the Journey Prize anthology, and nominated for a National Magazine Award. She is the author of the novel Pulpy & Midge (Coach House Books, 2007) and the critically acclaimed short story collection And Also Sharks (Cormorant Books, 2011), which was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book and a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Short Fiction Prize. Her new short story collection is called Things Not to Do.

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Photographer credit: Esther Kabamba and Will Fraser

Between Us: The Language of Home

Interview by Emma Cleary

Welcome to the first installment of Between Us, a conversation series by, for, and between immigrant/first-gen Canadian writers. We’re featuring writers who move back and forth across the hyphen, straddling old country and new, negotiating ideas of home-place, belonging, and identity. Writers who create within and beyond the categories of “Canadian literature” and “Canadian immigrant literature.”

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Brave and Timely: Waiting for Stalin to Die

Waiting for Stalin to Die

Irene Guilford

Guernica Editions, 2017

Review by Deborah S. Patz

Waiting for Stalin to Die by Irene Guilford is a touching and thoughtful novel about post-war immigrants from Lithuania living and settling in Toronto from 1949 to 1953. Irene Guilford is a Canadian author whose work has been shortlisted for both the CBC Literary Competition and the Event Creative Non-Fiction Contest. She is also the author of The Embrace, another novel concerning the Lithuanian experience of exile and immigration. Waiting for Stalin to Die is Guilford’s second fiction novel.

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The Deep Cove

“To Love the Coming End:” An Interview with Leanne Dunic

Interview by Mikaela Asfour.

Leanne Dunic is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, singer/guitarist of The Deep Cove, and winner of the Alice Munro Short Story Prize in 2015.

Her poetic travelogue, To Love the Coming End, was published in 2017, and takes place in Singapore, Japan, and Canada. The narrator, thrown off balance by a personal loss, deftly juxtaposes the impact of grief on the human body and psyche with the patterns and rhythms of historical and natural disasters— all the while haunted by the “curse of 11.”

Leanne is featured in two upcoming events at the Vancouver Writer’s Festival. She will be reading and performing with her band, The Deep Cove, at Dance to the Coming End on Thursday October 19th at 8:30 PM at Performance Works, where the Open Book Art Collective will be showcasing their artworks inspired by To Love the Coming End.

Leanne will also appear on the True Confessions and Tall Tales panel with Hera Lindsay Bird, Dina Del Bucchia, and Zoey Leigh Peterson on Friday October 20th at 8:30 PM at the Revue Stage, where they will discuss the line between fiction and nonfiction.

The Deep Cove’s release show for their first upcoming album, To Love the Coming End of the World—a companion to Leanne’s book— will take place on Saturday November 4th at the Fox Cabaret, with a solo guest performance by José Miguel Contreras (By Divine Right).

Three tracks from The Deep Cove’s upcoming album can be downloaded for free at bookthug.ca/thedeepcove.

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Mark Jordan Manner

Most Perfect Things About People: An Interview with Mark Jordan Manner

Interview by Matthew Walsh.

Mark Jordan Manner’s debut novel, Most Perfect Things About People, was published this year by Tailwinds Press. After a few publications in literary journals for his short fiction, it only seemed inevitable that a novel would be on the way. Told through various narrators, the story is a sprawling account of family secrets and memories, told over years by characters who are separated by geography and connect again through their own recollections of childhood memories. I was so happy to be interviewing Mark, whose stories were some of the weirdest, loveliest pieces of fiction I had read in a while.

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Catherine Hernandez photo by Zahra Siddiqui makeup by Charm Torres

Open-Hearted At All Times: An Interview with Catherine Hernandez

Interview by Jennifer Amos. Photo by Zahra Siddiqui. Makeup by Charm.

Catherine Hernandez is a proud queer woman of colour, radical mother, activist, theatre practitioner, and writer. She is also the Artistic Director of b current performing arts. Her plays include The Femme Playlist, a one-woman show; SingkilEating with Lola (first developed by fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre); Kilt Pins; and Future Folk, which was collectively written by the Sulong Theatre Collective. She is the author of the children’s book M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book and her plays Kilt Pins and Singkil were published by Playwrights Canada Press.

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