2024 Festival:
October 21–27

13: What Home Means

13: What Home Means

This event will have ASL interpretation.

Home can be as elusive as it is essential, and for billions of people across the globe, their relationship to home changes with time, circumstance, displacement, or identity. Curated and moderated by Omar El Akkad, this conversation explores how—for many—Canada can be home and not home all at once.

Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Buzzfeed News writer, moved to Canada from Sudan at age 12 and spent his teenage years trying on different ways of being. He shares his experiences in the acclaimed Son of Elsewhere. Navigating a new culture is what Dimitri Nasrallah’s protagonist is also attempting to do in Hotline, following Muna who moves from Lebanon to Montreal in a story that “sears the heart.” Debra Thompson provides a vital examination of the nuances of racism in Canada, and the United States, in The Long Road Home. This promises to be a nuanced, moving discussion about something we all seek.

Event Participants:

Elamin Abdelmahmoud

ELAMIN ABDELMAHMOUD is a culture writer for BuzzFeed News and host of CBC’s pop culture show Pop Chat. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The National, The Globe and Mail, and others. Son of Elsewhere, his debut book, is a #1 national bestseller. (ONTARIO)

Omar El Akkad

OMAR EL AKKAD is an author and journalist. His debut novel, American War, was listed as one of the best books of the year by GQ, NPR, and Esquire. His new novel, What Strange Paradise, won the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, and the Oregon Book Award. He joins the Vancouver Writers Fest as Guest Curator in 2022. (EGYPT/ONTARIO/UNITED STATES)

Dimitri Nasrallah

DIMITRI NASRALLAH was born in Lebanon, and lived in Kuwait, Greece, and Dubai before moving to Canada. Hotline is his fourth novel; his books have won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the McAuslan First Book Prize. He is the fiction editor at Véhicule Press. (QUEBEC/LEBANON)

Debra Thompson

DEBRA THOMPSON is the author of The Schematic State: Race, Transnationalism, and the Politics of the Census, which received three major awards from the American Political Science Association. She has published articles in scholarly journals and is a regular commentator on race and racism. Her new book, The Long Road Home, is a memoir. (QUEBEC/UNITED STATES)