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 Brat (appearing in-person)
Jael Richardson (appearing in-person)
Lisa Bird-Wilson (appearing virtually)
Participants and Speakers
SHASHI BHAT is a winner of the Journey Prize and has been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award and the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her stories have appeared in such publications as The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, subTerrain, PRISM international, and several anthologies. Her debut novel, The Family Took Shape, was a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Her most recent novel is The Most Precious Substance on Earth. (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
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 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 is the author of The Conjoined, nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. She was a columnist for CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter for many years. She teaches at The Writer’s Studio Online with Simon Fraser University, edits fiction for Wolsak & Wynn, and co-hosts the literary podcast Can’t Lit.