2023 Festival:
October 16–22

28. On Being Human (or not): Exceptional Short Stories

28. On Being Human (or not): Exceptional Short Stories

Good short stories can share expansive truths with the smallest details. Each of these authors offer mesmerizing insights into what it means to be human in their collections. Corinna Chong’s The Whole Animal is perfect for fans of Souvankham Thammavongsa or Lynn Coady; an original debut that grapples with self-discovery, and explores the bodies of humans and animals. Christine Estima’s The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society explores indelible linked stories centred around Azurée, a young Arab woman living in the echoes of her ancestors’ voices across the globe. Ada Zhang’s The Sorrows of Others explores the experience of being outsiders—as immigrants, as revolutionaries—through families in China and America after the Cultural Revolution. These are ideas, themes, and identities worth exploring through the intricate craft of the short story. Moderated by Anna Ling Kaye.

Event Participants:

Corinna Chong

CORINNA CHONG's short fiction has appeared in magazines including Grain, Room, and Riddle Fence. She won the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize for "Kids in Kindergarten." Corinna's first novel, Belinda's Rings, was published by NeWest Press in 2013. She lives in Kelowna, BC, where she is an English and Fine Arts Professor at Okanagan College.

Christine Estima

CHRISTINE ESTIMA is an Arab woman of mixed ethnicity (Lebanese, Syrian, and Portuguese) whose essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Walrus, VICE, the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Maisonneuve, and many more. She was shortlisted for the 2018 Allan Slaight Prize for Journalism, longlisted for the 2015 CBC Canada Writes Creative Nonfiction prize, and a finalist for the 2011 Writers’ Union of Canada short prose competition. Born in Trois-Rivières and raised in Montreal, she lives in Toronto.

Emerging Authors presented thanks to the support of RBC

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.

Ada Zhang

ADA ZHANG is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She grew up in Austin, Texas, and now lives in New York City where she is an associate editor at Running Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. In 2023, she was selected as a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree. The Sorrows of Others is her first book.