2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Good Reads With Shashi Bhat, Jael Richardson, and Lisa Bird-Wilson

Journey Prize Winner Shashi Bhat’s latest work is darkly funny, moving, and unsettling. The Most Precious Substance on Earth is a page-turning coming-of-age novel that explores how silence can shape a life. FOLD Festival Director and CBC q books columnist Jael Richardson already plays an important role in shaping Canadian literature. Her debut, Gutter Child, is a must-read dystopian novel set in a world where the most vulnerable must gain freedom by working off their debt to society. Lisa Bird-Wilson’s Probably Ruby is an audacious and brave work about an adopted woman’s search for her Indigenous identity. Join us for a must-listen conversation about three must-read titles this season.

Moderated by Jen Sookfong Lee.

Shashi Bhat (appearing in-person)
Jael Richardson
(appearing in-person)
Lisa Bird-Wilson
(appearing virtually)

Participants and Speakers

Shashi Bhat

SHASHI BHAT is the author of the novels The Family Took Shape, a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and, most recently, The Most Precious Substance on Earth, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for fiction. Death by a Thousand Cuts is her first book of short fiction. Her stories have won the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award and the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and appeared in such publications as Hazlitt, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Best Canadian Stories, and The Journey Prize Stories. Shashi holds an MFA from the Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Cornell University. She lives in New Westminster, B.C., where she is the editor-in-chief of EVENT magazine and teaches creative writing at Douglas College.

Jael Richardson

JAEL RICHARDSON is the executive director of the FOLD literary festival, the books columnist on CBC Radio’s q and an outspoken advocate on issues of diversity. She is the author of the award-winning memoir The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life. Her essay “Conception” is part of Room’s first Women of Colour edition, and excerpts from her first play, my upside down black face, appear in the anthology T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers. (ONTARIO)

Lisa Bird-Wilson

LISA BIRD-WILSON is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer whose work appears in literary magazines and anthologies across Canada. Her fiction book, Just Pretending, was a finalist for the national Danuta Gleed Literary Award and won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including the 2014 Book of the Year. In 2019, it was selected to be the Saskatchewan One Book One Province campaign choice to promote reading across the province. (SASKATCHEWAN)

Jen Sookfong Lee

JEN SOOKFONG LEE was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of EastThe Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit.