Incite: April 8

7:30pm on Wednesday, April 8 2015
Admission is free, click here to register
Alice MacKay room, Central Library

The Writers

Deni Béchard

Deni Béchard is the author of Vandal Love, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and Cures for Hunger, an IndieNext pick and editor’s pick for best memoir/biography in 2012. He has written for the LA Times, Outside, Foreign Policy,, Maisonneuve, and The Harvard Review and has travelled to more than 60 countries. His new book is The Last Bonobo.

The Last Bonobo
When acclaimed author Deni Béchard learned of the last living bonobos he was astonished. How could we accept the disappearance of this majestic species, along with the rainforest it calls home? Béchard’s moving account—based on travels in the Congo and hundreds of interviews—reminds us that poverty does not equate to ignorance, that change requires more than wealth and power, and that only through collaboration can we make conservation go viral.

Lisa J. Shannon

Lisa’s award-winning first book, A Thousand Sisters, details her journeys into war affected eastern Congo. Her op-eds and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and The New York Times. A graduate of Hampshire College, Lisa went on to study leadership and human rights as a fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership in 2012 and in 2013, earned her Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her new book is Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen.

Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen
Driven by her family's devastating losses, Congolese expatriate Francisca Thelin embarks, with human rights activist Lisa J. Shannon, on a perilous journey back to her beloved homeland, now under the shadow of one of Africa's most feared militias-Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen weaves Francisca's journey with stories of the family's harrowing encounters with gunmen and tales from their past to create a vivid, illuminating portrait of a place and its people.

Michael Wuitchik

Michael Wuitchik is a retired Canadian psychologist who has done relief work in Sierra Leone. He works on small, sustainable, community managed aid projects in his adopted African village of Sumbuya. Michael lives with his wife, Shelley, in Victoria. My Heart Is Not My Own is his first novel.

My Heart Is Not My Own
Dr. John Rourke is haunted by his days as a relief doctor in West Africa. In the 1990s, in the midst of a civil war, he provided medical attention and supplies to the people of Sierra Leone. He befriended a local nurse named Mariama Lahai and a doctor named Momodu, but lost contact when the conflict escalated to conflagration. His last memory of Sierra Leone is of Mariama delivering a beautiful baby girl to a tortured, mutilated mother just before armed rebels take the hospital.


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