2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Incite: Sheila Heti in Conversation

Presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library.

Literary innovator Sheila Heti—known for experimental and philosophical books such as Motherhood, Pure Colour, and How Should a Person Be?—returns to Incite with what might be her most intimate work yet. Discover ten years of her diaries, curiously rearranged in Alphabetical Diaries.

A little over a decade ago, Heti began looking back at the diaries she’d kept over the previous ten years, searching for signs of deeper change inside herself. She loaded all 500,000 words of her journals into Microsoft Excel, to order the sentences alphabetically and seek out patterns and repetitions. With the sentences untethered from the narrative of her diaries, she started to see herself—and the Self—in a new way. The result is something fresh and sublime. 

The New York Times called reading Alphabetical Diaries “a profound experience.” Experience it for yourself at this insightful conversation between Heti and author Molly Cross-Blanchard.

Books will be for sale at the event courtesy of Book Warehouse, a division of Black Bond Books. Can’t make the event time? Register for the livestream option and we’ll send you a link to watch the recording! 

Join us for Incite all season, in-person or online! This readings series offers conversations with celebrated authors and emerging talents every two weeks from January to June. Incite is free and open to all

Participants and Speakers

Sheila Heti

SHEILA HETI is the author of ten books, including the novels Motherhood, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and How Should a Person Be?, which New York magazine deemed one of the “New Classics” of the twenty-first century. She was named one of the “New Vanguard” by the New York Times book critics, who, along with a dozen other magazines and newspapers, chose Motherhood as a top book of 2018. Her books have been translated into twenty-four languages. She lives in Toronto and Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.

Molly Cross-Blanchard

MOLLY CROSS-BLANCHARD is a white and Métis writer and editor born on Treaty 3 territory (Fort Frances, ON), raised on Treaty 6 territory (Prince Albert, SK), and living on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver, BC). She holds an English BA from the University of Winnipeg and a Creative Writing MFA from the University of British Columbia, and is the publisher of Room magazine. (BRITISH COLUMBIA)