May 27-28, 2023
Queen’s Park Crescent

The Story From Here

11jun6:00 pm7:00 pmThe Story From HereWith Dan K. Woo, Martha Bátiz, and Kathy Friedman

Speakers for this event

  • Kathy Friedman

    Kathy Friedman


    KATHY FRIEDMAN is the author of the short story collection All the Shining People (House of Anansi, 2022), a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. She teaches in Humber College’s Bachelor of Creative and Professional Writing program and is the co-founder and artistic director of InkWell Workshops. Originally from Durban, South Africa, she now lives in Tkaronto


  • Martha Bátiz

    Martha Bátiz


    Mexican-Canadian author of the award-winning novella Boca de lobo/ Damiana’s Reprieve (Exile, 2018), and the short-story collections Plaza Requiem: Stories at the Edge of Ordinary Lives (Exile, 2017) and No Stars in the Sky (House of Anansi, 2022). She has been named one of the 10 Most Successful Mexicans in Canada and the Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic-Canadians.


Event Details

Migrations, diasporas, we sometimes move away from where our people began which changes the stories we tell about ourselves. What does it mean to still be at home? Featuring:

Taobao: Stories
Dan K. Woo

In twelve spare, fable-like short stories Dan K. Woo introduces us to a fascinating cast of characters from different regions of China. From rural villages to bustling cities, Woo deftly charts the paths of young people searching for love, meaning and happiness in a country that is often misunderstood in North America. Whether they are participating in a marriage market to appease their mother, working as a delivery boy in Beijing or dealing with trauma in a hospital in Shanghai, we see these young people push against both tradition and the lightning-fast economy to try and make their way in often difficult situations. Woo brings remarkable empathy to these dreamlike stories and their twists and turns, which will linger long in readers’ minds.  Through it all, the spectre of Taobao – China’s online retail giant – hovers, providing everything the characters might need or want, while also acting as a thread that ties together a captivating and complex collection of stories set in a captivating and complex country.

No Stars in the Sky
Martha Bátiz

The nineteen stories in No Stars in the Sky feature strong but damaged female characters in crisis. Tormented by personal conflicts and oppressive regimes that treat the female body like a trophy of war, the women in No Stars in the Sky face life-altering circumstances that either shatter or make them stronger, albeit at a very high price. True to her Latin American roots, Bátiz shines a light on the crises that concern her most: the plight of migrant children along the Mexico–U.S. border, the tragedy of the disappeared in Mexico and Argentina, and the generalized racial and domestic violence that has turned life into a constant struggle for survival. With an unflinching hand, Bátiz explores the breadth of the human condition to expose silent tragedies too often ignored.

All the Shining People: Stories
Kathy Friedman

Twelve exquisitely written stories depicting the search for human connection and the attempt to fit in far from home.

All the Shining People explores migration, diaspora, and belonging within Toronto’s Jewish South African community, as individuals come to terms with the oppressive hierarchies that separate, and the connections that bind. Seeking a place to belong, the book’s characters — including a life-drawing model searching the streets for her lover; a woman confronting secrets from her past in the new South Africa; and a man grappling with the legacy of his father, a former political prisoner — crave authentic relationships that replicate the lost feeling of home. With its focus on family, culture, and identity, All the Shining People captures the experiences of immigrants and outsiders with honesty, subtlety, and deep sympathy.