Fact AND Fiction

Cary Fagan, Sylvain Prudhomme, Akhil Sharma

Fact AND Fiction
Event Number: 77
Tickets: $20.00

Fact AND Fiction

Cary Fagan, Sylvain Prudhomme, Akhil Sharma

Saturday, October 21
2:00pm - 3:30pm
Studio 1398

1398 Cartwright St.,
3rd Floor

Real-life experiences: tether or springboard? Three authors who use facts as a way into their fictions talk about the ups and downs of this device. How do they know when to begin to stray from the truth? Do they let the facts fall away once a story has taken off? Cary Fagan used black and white photographs he found as inspiration for each of the 35 pieces in The Old World. Sylvain Prudhomme’s The Greats revisits the ‘70s music group Super Mama Djombo, as seen through the eyes of its guitarist. Akhil Sharma’s novel Family Life, for which he won the International Dublin Literary Award, is semi-autobiographical. But which part of the story is imagined? Join them for a discussion about blending fact and fiction in their books.

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Event Participants:

Cary Fagan


Cary Fagan is an award-winning writer for children as well as a respected author of adult novels and anthologies. His critically-acclaimed works include A Bird’s Eye, a finalist for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, and the story collection My Life Among the Apes, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. This year, Fagan has many children’s books coming out, including Mort Ziff is Not Dead, Little Blue Chair and Wolfie and Fly. The Old World, Fagan’s  short story collection based on old found photographs, gives a vivid and mesmerizing peek into the lives of strangers.


Sylvian Prudhomme


Sylvain Prudhomme spent his childhood in Cameroon, Burundi, Niger and Mauritius. He moved to study literature in Paris, but left to become a full-time writer. He has written several novels, and is one of the founders of the Geste magazine, which publishes interviews with contemporary writers and artists. He was also one of the founders of Le Tigre magazine. His French novel, Les Grands (The Greats), has been translated by Jessica Moore to be released this year. It tells the story of a country that falls under a dictatorship that challenges their ideals and hope.

Sylvain Prudhomme’s appearance is supported by the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Canada.

Akhil Sharma

United States

Akhil Sharma’s fiction has been described as “a glowing work of art” by The Wall Street Journal. He was born in New Delhi and moved to New Jersey when he was eight. His cultural background, upbringing and the challenges he faced come through in his work. His last book, Family Life, was a semi-autobiographical, award-winning work that was on The New York Times Best Book of the Year list. Sharma teaches creative writing at Rutgers University–Newark. His new short story collection, A Life of Adventure and Delight, follows Indian characters at home and abroad and explores the unpredictable nature of the heart.