2024 Festival:
October 21–27

27: Memory of Self

27: Memory of Self

This event is curated by our Guest Curator, Omar El Akkad.

How do we confront our many pasts? And how do those confrontations lead us through grief, movement, humour, joy, and even transcendence? These are some of the questions at the heart of this heady conversation with memoirists of various forms. Of Cody Caetano’s Half-Bads in White Regalia, Katherena Vermette says, “No one gets off easy, but everyone is drawn with unflinching love and respect.” The same can be said of Stuart Ross’s The Book of Grief and Hamburgers, in which Ross explores how we grieve the people one loves—and face the accumulation of loss. Putsata Reang, meanwhile, explores the long legacy of inherited trauma and the crushing weight of cultural and filial duty in her family in Ma and Me. We’re beginning to understand the power of story to heal: nowhere is this clearer than these works reckoning with the past. Moderated by Jael Richardson.

Event Participants:

Cody Caetano

CODY CAETANO is a writer of Anishinaabe and Portuguese descent and an off-reserve member of Pinaymootang First Nation. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto, where he wrote Half-Bads in White Regalia under the mentorship of Lee Maracle. (ONTARIO)

Putsata Reang

PUTSATA REANG is an author and journalist whose writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and elsewhere. Her memoir, Ma and Me, explores the long legacy of inherited trauma. Born in Cambodia and raised in rural Oregon, Reang teaches memoir writing at the University of Washington. (UNITED STATES)

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, and Gutter Child, a finalist for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. (ONTARIO)

Stuart Ross

STUART ROSS is the author of 20 books of fiction, poetry, and essays. He received the 2019 Harbourfront Festival Prize, the 2017 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry, and the 2010 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. The Book of Grief and Hamburgers is a hybrid essay/memoir/poetry collection. (ONTARIO)