2024 Festival:
October 21–27

53. Book Banning in a Precarious Age

53. Book Banning in a Precarious Age

Book banning is on the rise. In the United States, 2,532 books were banned in 2021/22, the majority of which explore LGBTQ2S+ issues or have a protagonist who is a person of colour. Books that weren’t political are suddenly cast as such. Librarians and teachers face losing their careers for sharing stories about a fair, more diverse world. What’s to be done about this expanding crisis of censorship? Could the same thing happen in Canada… or is it already? Marsha Lederman speaks with Jen Ferguson (Those Pink Mountain Nights), Casey Plett (A Safe Girl to Love), and Aden Polydoros (Wrath Becomes Her); three writers whose works remind us that human rights should be non-negotiable, in literature and beyond. Moderated by Marsha Lederman.

ASL Interpretation will be provided at this event.

Presented thanks to the generous support of the Al Roadburg Foundation.

Event Participants:

Jen Ferguson

JEN FERGUSON is Michif/Métis and white and has a PhD in English and creative writing. Her debut novel, The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, received great acclaim. She lives in Cedar Rapids, IA, and teaches at Coe College. Visit her online at jenfergusonwrites.com.

Marsha Lederman

MARSHA LEDERMAN is an award-winning journalist and author. She is columnist for The Globe and Mail, where she was previously Western Arts Correspondent for 15 years. Her bestselling memoir Kiss the Red Stairs: The Holocaust, Once Removed was published by McClelland & Stewart in 2022.

Casey Plett

CASEY PLETT is the author of A Dream of a Woman, Little Fish, A Safe Girl to Love, the co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy From Transgender Writers, and the Publisher at LittlePuss Press. She has written for the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, The Guardian, Globe and Mail, McSweeney’sInternet Tendency, and other publications. A winner of the Amazon First Novel Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award, her work has also been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She splits her time between New York City and Windsor, Ontario.

Aden Polydoros

ADEN POLYDOROS is an award-winning author who transitioned from female-to-male when he was 14. After going ‘stealth’ for over 10 years, he came out as transgender in order to support trans youth and vocalize how transitioning saved his life. His YA gothic fantasy novel, The City Beautiful, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award and was a finalist for the Lambda Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Cybils Award, the South Carolina Book Award, and the 2022 World Fantasy Award.