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Shani Mootoo & Jane Urquhart in Conversation

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The official Canadian launch of four-time Giller Prize-nominated writer and visual artist Shani Mootoo’s latest novel, Polar Vortex.

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In an online conversation with another of Canada’s best-loved writers, Jane Urquhart.

In Polar Vortex, Shani Mootoo’s highly anticipated new novel, couple Priya and Alexandra move to a picturesque countryside town, only to have their quiet lives upended by the reappearance of a figure from one of the woman’s pasts. Seductive and tension-filled, Polar Vortex is a story of secrets, deceptions, and revenge. The Globe and Mail writes: “Polar Vortex is an unsettling novel about how secrets always come back to get us – especially the secrets we’ve managed to keep from ourselves.”

Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland, grew up in Trinidad, and lives in Canada. She holds an MA in English from the University of Guelph, writes fiction and poetry, and is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited locally and internationally. Mootoo’s critically acclaimed novels include Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, Valmiki’s Daughter, He Drown She in the Sea, and Cereus Blooms at Night. She is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award, a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and the James Duggins Mid-Career Novelist Award from the Lambda Literary Awards. Her work has been long- and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the Booker Prize. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Jane Urquhart is the author of eight internationally-acclaimed novels, three volumes of poetry, and one collection of short fiction. Her first novel, The Whirlpool, won France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, and she has been nominated for the Orange Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Booker Prize. A holder of Honorary Doctorates from several Canadian Universities, she is the recipient of Canada’s Governor General’s Award and Trillium Prize. She is also the editor of the most recent Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories.

Co-presented with Diaspora Dialogues. Presented together with Ben McNally Books and Book*hug Press.

Books & Ideas: Fall 2020 Series

Our year-round Books & Ideas series spotlights provocative writers, novelists and thinkers, celebrating literary excellence and fostering critical dialogue through compelling book launches, author talks and in-depth interviews. This fall, in conjunction with programming across the Koffler's multidisciplinary art streams, Books & Ideas takes up themes of youth activism, food culture and politics, and environmentalism, presenting a series of virtual events on our online platform.

Books & Ideas was launched with the generous support of Dorothy Shoichet & Family and the Estate of Joseph Koenig.

Books & Ideas Media Partner: The Toronto Star.

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