2023 Festival:
October 16–22

52: Writing The Self

52: Writing The Self

Update: Joshua Whitehead, originally scheduled to attend in-person, will join us virtually.

To understand others so we may better understand ourselves: surely this is one of the motivations behind our increasing interest in memoirs. When writers not only immerse us—emotionally and imaginatively—in a foreign situation but stimulate our intellect, too, the results can be life changing. Canada Reads-winner Joshua Whitehead offers a powerful revelation about the library of stories land and body hold together, waiting to be unearthed, in Making Love with the Land. Tara McGuire shares the devastating story of losing her son to an opioid overdose. By piecing together not only her life in grief, but the last days of her son in Holden After and Before, she creates a beautiful elegy. Putsata Reang’s Ma and Me “radiates resilience and hope” in a startling story of a complex mother/daughter relationship, and the bonds between duty, debt, and love. Moderated by Anna Ling Kaye.

Event Participants:

Anna Ling Kaye

ANNA LING KAYE is a writer, editor, and columnist on CBC Radio. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the PEN Canada New Voices Prize and the Journey Prize, and received the 2021 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award.

Tara McGuire

TARA MCGUIRE is a former broadcaster whose essays and poetry have appeared in several magazines and on CBC Radio. She is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU and holds an MFA from the UBC School of Creative Writing. Holden, After and Before is her first book. (BRITISH COLUMBIA)

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)

Joshua Whitehead

JOSHUA WHITEHEAD is an Oji-Cree/nêhiyaw, Two-Spirit/ Indigiqueer member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He’s the author of the Canada Reads-winning novel Jonny Appleseed, and the poetry collection full-metal indigiqueer, shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award. Making Love with the Land is Whitehead’s much-anticipated work of non-fiction. (ALBERTA/MANITOBA)