Festival Weekend – September 26-27

september, 2020

26sep4:00 pm4:45 pmVirtual EventDiaspora Dialogues: In Conversation with Faye Guenther and Souvankham ThammavongsaFaye Guenther, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Moderator: Ryan B. Patrick4:00 pm - 4:45 pm EST

Event Details

Join Faye Guenther and Souvankham Thammavongsa for a dazzling conversation as they delve into their new short story collections covering culture, identity and coming of age. Guenther’s Swimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing, Aug 2020) is a haunting and beautiful debut collection of short stories, and Souvankham Thammavongsa How to Pronounce Knife (Penguin Random House, April 2020) has since been nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller. Moderated by CBC’s Ryan B. Patrick.

Virtual Event Details

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Faye Guenther

Faye Guenther lives in Toronto. Her writing has appeared in literary magazines including Joyland and she has published a chapbook, Flood Lands, with Junction Books. Swimmers in Winter is her first collection of short fiction.

Ryan B. Patrick

Ryan B. Patrick is a Toronto writer, critic and arts & culture journalist. He is a producer at CBC Books, the digital destination for all CBC books and CanLit programming, including Canada Reads. His work has appeared in publications and websites such as Exclaim! Magazine, CBC Music, Huffington Post Canada and NOW Magazine.

Souvankham Thammavongsa

Souvankham Thammavongsa is the author of four poetry books and the short story collection How to Pronounce Knife (McClelland & Stewart, 2020), longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and Granta. She lives in Toronto.


How To Pronounce Knife

Named one of the best books of April by The New York Times, Salon, The Millions, and Vogue, and featuring stories that have appeared in Harper’s, Granta, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review, this revelatory book of fiction from O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa establishes her as an essential new voice in Canadian and world literature. Told with compassion and wry humour, these stories honour characters struggling to find their bearings far from home, even as they do the necessary “grunt work of the world.”

AuthorSouvankham Thammavongsa

PublisherPenguin Random House

Swimmers in Winter

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. These are soul-searching, plot-driven character studies equally influenced by James Baldwin, Christopher Isherwood, and Elena Ferrante.

AuthorFaye Guenther


(Saturday) 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm EST


Diaspora Dialogues