The Fiction of Belonging

Moderator: Anne Fleming

Event Number: 36
Tickets: $20.00

Youth under 30: $15.00
Student Groups: $9.50

The Fiction of Belonging

Thursday, Oct 24
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Performance Works

1218 Cartwright Street

Canada’s new generation of authors write powerfully to the challenge of balancing cultures and communities. Derek Mascarenhas’ nationally lauded Coconut Dreams traces Indian Canadian Aiden and Ally Pinto’s youth, growing up in a predominantly white Canadian suburb. First-generation cultural expectations clash with second-generation expectations as Jamaican Canadian Kara Davis searches for authenticity in Zalika Reid-Benta’s sharp-witted Frying Plantain, praised by Quill and Quire as “honest and penetrating.” In Hassan Ghedi Santur’s The Youth of God, teenage Somali immigrant Nuur is pulled between his religious calling and his academic gifts. Deftly capturing contemporary Canada, these authors speak to how, while everyone’s path to belonging may look different, none of us are alone in our journeys.

About the moderator:
Anne Fleming is a BC fiction writer, poet, and children’s author who thrives on book talk. Her writing has been shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Award, the Journey Prize, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. The Goat was named one of the ten best children’s books of the year by The Wall Street Journal and the New York Public Library. She teaches at UBC’s Okanagan Campus. 

Event Participants:

Derek Mascarenhas


Derek Mascarenhas is a graduate of University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program, a finalist for the Penguin Random House of Canada Student Award for Fiction, and a nominee for the Marina Nemat Award. Mascarenhas is one of four children born to parents who emigrated from Goa, India, and settled in Burlington, Ontario. A backpacker who has traveled across six continents, Mascarenhas lives in Toronto. Coconut Dreams is his first book.,@dpmasca

Zalika Reid-Benta


Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer whose first book Frying Plantain has been recently published. In 2011, George Elliott Clarke recommended her as a “Writer to Watch.” She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University in 2014 and is an alumnus of the 2017 Banff Writing Studio. She is currently working on a young-adult fantasy novel drawing inspiration from Jamaican folklore and Akan spirituality., @Literati167

Hassan Ghedi Santur


Hassan Ghedi Santur emigrated from Somalia to Canada at age thirteen. He has a BA in English Literature and an MFA from York University, and an MA from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He has worked as a radio journalist for CBC and his print journalism has appeared in the New York Times, among others. In 2010, he published his debut novel Something Remains and is currently working on his third novel, Other Worlds, Other Lives.