2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Incite: CBC’s Canada Reads – Téa Mutonji and Kudakwashe Rutendo

Presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library and CBC’s Canada Reads.

Canada Reads is back! The annual battle of the books is a lively debate between five champions, who each defend one book as the title the whole country should read this year. Celebrate this year’s contenders at Incite, where finalist Téa Mutonji will sit down with her champion, actor and TIFF Rising Star Kudakwashe Rutendo

In Shut Up You’re Pretty, Mutonji’s disarming debut story collection, a woman contemplates her Congolese traditions during a family wedding; a teenage girl looks for happiness inside a pack of cigarettes; a mother reconnects with her daughter through their shared interest in fish; and a young woman decides to shave her head in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. On CBC Radio’s Commotion, Rutendo commented: “At once feminist, unapologetic and potent, Shut Up You’re Pretty presents the opportunity to reconcile what we’ve been carrying at a time when it couldn’t be more needed.”

Canada Reads finalists become national bestsellers. Come meet two emerging Canadian icons. 

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

Téa Mutonji

Born in Congo-Kinshasa, TÉA MUTONJI is a writer and poet based in Toronto. Her short stories, Property of Neil and The Photographer’s Wife were awarded in The Journey Prize 33. Mutonji’s debut collection, Shut Up You’re Pretty (VS. Books/Arsenal Pulp Press) was shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (2019) and won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award (2020) and the Trillium Book Award (2020). Mutonji is the recipient of the Jill Davis fellowship in fiction at New York University where she is an MFA candidate.

Kudakwashe Rutendo

KUDAKWASHE RUTENDO is an actor to watch originally from Fort McMurray, Alberta and now based in Toronto. She was first introduced to the performing arts through live poetry, and since then her passion for performance has only grown. Kudakwashe landed her first major role starring alongside actress Tatyana Ali in the feature film Giving Hope: The Ni’cola Mitchell Story (Lifetime). She is also a theatre actor featured in productions such as Lost Heroes of Oro (Theatre by the Bay), and Vierge (Factory Theatre). Most recently, Kudakwashe was cast in her breakout role in the new feature film Backspot directed by D.W. Waterson and produced by Elliot Page and Page Boy Productions. Kudakwashe stars opposite Devery Jacobs and Evan Rachel Wood in the film, which made its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.