Celebrating the 2021 Toronto Book Awards

22sep7:00 pm9:00 pmCelebrating the 2021 Toronto Book AwardsCatherine Hernandez, Catherine Graham, Faye Guenther, Justin Ling, Kim Echlin, Rinaldo Walcott

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Speakers for this event

  • Catherine Graham

    Catherine Graham

    Author

    Catherine Graham is the author of The Most Cunning Heart and the award-winning novel Quarry. Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards and The Celery Forest was named a CBC Best Book of the Year. She leads the TIFA Book Club and co-hosts The Hummingbird Podcast. www.catherinegraham.com @catgrahampoet

    URL https://catherinegraham.com/

    Author

  • Catherine Hernandez

    Catherine Hernandez

    Moderator

    CATHERINE HERNANDEZ (she/her) is a queer woman of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent who married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, Scarborough, was a finalist for Canada Reads 2022, and the film adaptation, for which she wrote the screenplay, won eight Canadian Screen Awards. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, and her latest novel, The Story of Us, was published in February, 2023.

    URL https://www.catherinehernandezcreates.com

    Moderator

Event Details

Celebrating the finalists for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards, honouring books of literary merit that are inspired by the city. Presented by the City of Toronto, the winner will be announced this fall.

Moderated by Sue Carter and Kerri Sakamoto.

Books featured from 7-8pm:

Books featured from 8-9pm:

Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric
Buckrider Books (Wolsak and Wynn)

In Aether Catherine Graham has created a luminous homage to family, to cancer, and to the strange windings of truth. Swimming through time and space, Graham introduces her mother, her father, and herself and the cancers that pull them apart and bring them together. Memories mesh with visitations and multiple stories unfold of pain and loss, hidden tragedy, forgiveness and growth. With an otherworldly delicacy Graham stitches it all together to create a book-length lyric essay of lingering and profound beauty, a paean to the complexity of love and survival.

Missing from the Village
McClelland & Stewart

In 2013, the Toronto Police Service announced that the disappearances of three men–Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, and Majeed Kayhan–from Toronto’s gay village were, perhaps, linked. When the leads ran dry, the investigation was shut down, on paper classified as “open but suspended.” By 2015, investigative journalist Justin Ling had begun to retrace investigators’ steps, convinced there was evidence of a serial killer. Meanwhile, more men would go missing, and police would continue to deny that there was a threat to the community. On January 18, 2018, Bruce McArthur, a landscaper, would be arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. In February 2019, he was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of eight men.

This extraordinary book tells the complete story of the McArthur murders. Based on more than five years of in-depth reporting, this is also a story of police failure, of how the queer community responded, and the story of the eight men who went missing and the lives they left behind. In telling that story, Justin Ling uncovers the latent homophobia and racism that kept this case unsolved and unseen. This gripping book reveals how police agencies across the country fail to treat missing persons cases seriously, and how policies and laws, written at every level of government, pushed McArthur’s victims out of the light and into the shadows.

Speak, Silence
Hamish Hamilton

It’s been eleven years since Gota has seen Kosmos, yet she still finds herself fantasizing about their intimate year together in Paris. Now it’s 1999 and, working as a journalist, she hears about a film festival in Sarajevo, where she knows Kosmos will be with his theatre company. She takes the assignment to investigate the fallout of the Bosnian war—and to reconnect with the love of her life.
 
But when they are reunited, she finds a man, and a country, altered beyond recognition. Kosmos introduces Gota to Edina, the woman he has always loved. While Gota treads the precarious terrain of her evolving connection to Kosmos, she and Edina forge an unexpected bond. A lawyer and a force to be reckoned with, Edina exposes the sexual violence that she and thousands of others survived in the war. Before long, Gota finds her life entwined with the community of women and travels with them to The Hague to confront their abusers. The events she covers—and the stories she hears—will change her life forever.

Swimmers in Winter
Invisible Books

Sharp and stylistic, the trifecta of diptychs that is Swimmers in Winter swirls between real and imagined pasts and futures to delve into our present cultural moment: conflicts between queer people and the police; the impact of homophobia, bullying, and PTSD; the dynamics of women’s friendships; life for queer women in Toronto during WWII and after; the intersections between class identities and queer identities; experiences of economic precarity and precarious living conditions; the work of being an artist; dystopian worlds; and the impact of gentrification on public space.

Crosshairs
HarperAvenue

In a terrifyingly familiar near-future, with massive floods that lead to rampant homelessness and devastation, a government-sanctioned regime called the Boots seizes the opportunity to force communities of colour, the disabled and the LGBTQ+ into labour camps in the city of Toronto.

In the shadows, a new hero emerges. After his livelihood and the love of his life are taken away, Kay joins the resistance alongside Bahadur, a transmasculine refugee, and Firuzeh, a headstrong social worker. Guiding them in the use of weapons and close-quarters combat is Beck, a rogue army officer who helps them plan an uprising at a major internationally televised event.

With her signature prose, described by Booklist as “raw yet beautiful, disturbing yet hopeful,” Catherine Hernandez creates a vision of the future that is all the more terrifying because it is very possible. A cautionary tale filled with fierce and vibrant characters, Crosshairs explores the universal desire to thrive, to love and to be loved as your true self.

On Property
Biblioasis

From plantation rebellion to prison labour’s super-exploitation, Walcott examines the relationship between policing and property.

That a man can lose his life for passing a fake $20 bill when we know our economies are flush with fake money says something damning about the way we’ve organized society. Yet the intensity of the calls to abolish the police after George Floyd’s death surprised almost everyone. What, exactly, does abolition mean? How did we get here? And what does property have to do with it? In On Property, Rinaldo Walcott explores the long shadow cast by slavery’s afterlife and shows how present-day abolitionists continue the work of their forebears in service of an imaginative, creative philosophy that ensures freedom and equality for all. Thoughtful, wide-ranging, compassionate, and profound, On Property makes an urgent plea for a new ethics of care.

Partners

Presented by the City of Toronto

Time

(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm