M. G. Vassanji


Celebrate the launch of STARFest 2017 with one of this year’s Canada Reads finalists whose body of work has received considerable critical acclaim. Host Laurie Greenwood will explore M. G. Vassanji’s gift for storytelling and his fascination with history—social, political, ethnic and personal—and the way it continues to shape lives and cultures.

vassanji book

Friday, September 15. 7:00pm. Arden Theatre.  

starfest facts

One of Canada's most acclaimed writers, M. G. Vassanji is the author of several novels, two collections of short stories, a travel memoir about India, a memoir of East Africa, and a biography of Mordecai Richler. He has won the Governor General's Prize for best work of nonfiction; the Harbourfront Festival Prize; and the Commonwealth First Book Prize. He is a two-time winner of the Giller Prize for best work of fiction in Canada (he was the first writer to win the Giller Prize more than once). Vassanji has given lectures worldwide and written many essays. He is a member of the Order of Canada and has been awarded several honorary doctorates.

The focus of Vassanji's work is the situation of East African Indians and how the lives of his characters are affected by migrations to Europe, Canada and the US. He is concerned with the effects of history and the interaction between personal and public histories.

His more recent novels include The Assassin’s Song, A Place Within and The Magic of Saida. His 2016 work, Nostalgia, was one of the five books defended in this year’s CBC Canada Reads. It is a taut, ingenious and dynamic novel about a future where eternal life is possible and identities can be chosen.

Laurie Greenwood is CBC Radio’s book columnist and former Edmonton independent bookstore owner.

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Photo credit: Derek Shapton