Sharon Bala


Feel the compassion in Sharon Bala’s writing as she talks about The Boat People, one of the final five books in this year’s CBC Canada Reads battle of the books. It is a powerful, gripping, moral drama taking us behind the refugee and asylum seeker headlines. She will be in conversation with author Diana Davidson.

Bala Book

Tuesday, October 16. 7pm. St. Albert Public Library.  

starfest facts
In her past lives, Sharon Bala worked in PR and event planning, and enjoyed a brief stint as a British housewife. In 2017, she won the Journey Prize for the best short story first published in a Canadian literary journal. A three-time recipient of Newfoundland and Labrador's Arts and Letters Award, Bala has stories published in numerous arts and literary journals.

Her debut novel, The Boat People, was published in January 2018. The manuscript had won the Percy Janes First Novel Award in 2015 and had been short listed for the Fresh Fish Award later the same year. It tells the story of a Sri Lankan family taking refuge in British Columbia, only to be thrown into prison under suspicion of connections to a terrorist militia. The Boat People offers a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis. Inspired by real events, with vivid scenes that move between the beauty of Sri Lanka and combative refugee hearings in Vancouver, where life and death decisions are made, this is an unforgettable and necessary story for our times.

Diana Davidson’s writing appears in several anthologies, and her debut novel Pilgrimage made the top five in the Alberta Readers’ Choice Awards.






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