Festival Weekend – September 26-27

september, 2020

27sep12:00 pm12:45 pmVirtual EventCelebrating our DifferencesAmanda Leduc, Sarah Kurchak, Moderator: syrus marcus ware12:00 pm - 12:45 pm EST

Event Details

Amanda Leduc and Sarah Kurchak join Syrus Marcus Ware in conversation on their new books celebrating and analyzing human difference. What does it look like when we meet our differences with celebration?

Virtual Event Details

Event has already taken place!


Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc’s essays and stories have appeared in publications across Canada, the US, and the UK. She is the author of the novels The Miracles of Ordinary Men and the forthcoming The Centaur’s Wife. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she works as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity.

Sarah Kurchak

Sarah Kurchak is a writer and retired professional pillow fighter living in Toronto. Her work as an autistic self-advocate and essayist has appeared in Hazlitt, Catapult, the Guardian, Time, CBC, Vox and Electric Literature. She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers, and this is her first book.

Syrus Marcus Ware

Syrus Marcus Ware is a core team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto, a Vanier Scholar, a facilitator and designer for the CulturalLeaders Lab, and an award-winning artist and educator.



Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty?

If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference.

AuthorAmanda Leduc

I Overcame My Autism And All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder

An autistic writer’s memoir of the detrimental effects of pretending to be normal, and her impassioned call to redefine what is considered a successful life. Kurchak examines the Byzantine steps she took to become “an autistic success story,” how the process almost ruined her life and how she is now trying to recover. Tackling everything from autism parenting culture to love, sex, alcohol, obsessions and professional pillow fighting, Kurchak’s enlightening memoir challenges stereotypes and preconceptions about autism and and considers what might really make the lives of autistic people healthier, happier and more fulfilling.

AuthorSarah Kurchak

Until We Are Free

The killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 by a white assailant inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, which quickly spread outside the borders of the United States. The movement’s message found fertile ground in Canada, where Black activists speak of generations of injustice and continue the work of the Black liberators who have come before them. Until We Are Free contains some of the very best writing on the hottest issues facing the Black community in Canada. It describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more.


(Sunday) 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm EST