Fabulist Fiction: Exploring Identity through Myth & Magic

25sep2:30 pm3:30 pmFabulist Fiction: Exploring Identity through Myth & MagicIrene Marques, Rahela Nayebzadah, Samantha Garner, Moderator: Amanda Leduc

Watch on YouTube

Watch Now

Event Details

Sometimes the only way to tell a true story about the self is to tell a myth. Fabulism is the literary cousin to science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative genres: authors who write fabulist fiction incorporate magical and fantastical elements into an otherwise realistic setting. Why straddle this line between the ordinary and the extraordinary? What is so alluring about that in-between space—especially when art is exploring questions of identity? Join our authors as they discuss their own approach to fabulism, and how the myths and legends of their heritage inform the magical elements in their fiction.

Books featured:

Monster Child
Wolsak and Wynn

In a powerful debut novel author Rahela Nayebzadah introduces three unforgettable characters, Beh, Shabnam and Alif. In a world swirling with secrets, racism and a touch of magic we watch through the eyes of these three children as Nayebzadah’s family of Afghan immigrants try to find their way in an often uncaring society. But as a sexual assault on thirteen-year-old Beh unleashes the past and destroys the family the reader is left wondering who is the monster child? Is it Beh, who says she is called a disease? Is it Shabnam, who cries tears of blood? Is it Alif, who in the end declares “We are a family of monsters”? Or are the monsters all around us?

Inanna Publications

When a young woman is subjected to a violent attack, the impact of colonialism, patriarchy, and who we choose to love are thrown into sharp relief. Moving back and forth between Canada, Portugal, Mozambique, and Cape Verde, Daria is a magical realism historical novel where fact and fiction intermingle to create a spellbinding world of complex political, familial, and cultural dynamics.

The Quiet Is Loud
Invisible Publishing

Interwoven with themes of Filipino Canadian and mixed-race identity, fantastical elements from Norse and Filipino mythology, and tarot card symbolism, The Quiet Is Loud is an intergenerational tale about the consequences of secrets and what happens when we refuse to let others tell our stories for us.
When Freya Tanangco’s prophetic dreams take a dangerous turn, Freya finds herself increasingly forced to sacrifice her own anonymity—and the fragile safety that comes with it—in order to protect those around her, and from the scrutiny of a society that is hostile to vekers—people who, like her, have enhanced mental abilities.

The Centaur’s Wife
Knopf Random Vintage Canada

Amanda Leduc’s brilliant new novel, woven with fairy tales of her own devising and replete with both catastrophe and magic, is a vision of what happens when we ignore the natural world and the darker parts of our own natures.


Accessible Captioning: Wolsak & Wynn Publishers


(Saturday) 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm