Let’s all come together to mark another successful year for the Massey College Book Club – one full of great reads, engaging conversations, and sharing ideas.
The Annual Book Club Gala — usually a sit-down dinner! — is moving online this year for An Evening with Senior Fellow Margaret Atwood in Conversation with Writer-in-Residence Susan Swan – they will discuss The Testaments by livestream. The evening will be hosted and moderated by Senior Fellow Professor Lily Cho, the Incoming Chair of the Massey Book Club Committee. Junior Fellow Jennifer Tran will perform Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, IV. Allegretto poco mosso by César Franck and Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers will welcome our viewers to Massey.
This event is free and open to all – share the link to invite your friends! To register your attendance, please click here and follow the instructions.
Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. Her latest novel, The Testaments, is a co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize. It is the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning TV series. Her other works of fiction include Cat’s Eye, finalist for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; The MaddAddam Trilogy; and Hag-Seed. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. She lives in Toronto.
Novelist, teacher, activist and journalist, Susan Swan‘s impact on the Canadian literary and political scene has been far reaching. Her critically acclaimed fiction has been published in eighteen countries and translated into eight languages. This year Swan published her eighth book of fiction, The Dead Celebrities Club, described in the Globe and Mail as “a tale of greed, hubris and fraud…a financial fable worthy of the age.” Swan’s 2012 novel, The Western Light, was a prequel to The Wives of Bath, her international bestseller made into the feature film Lost and Delirious, which premiered at Sundance and was shown in 32 countries. Her 2004 novel What Casanova Told Me was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her award winning first novel, The Biggest Modern Woman of the World, about a Canadian giantess who exhibited with P.T. Barnum is currently being made into a television series. Swan is a retired Humanities professor from York University. She was York’s Robarts Scholar for Canadian Studies in 1999-2000. As chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada in 2008, she brought in a new benefits deal for writers. She is the co founder of The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, an annual award that is open to Canadian and American women fiction writers, starting in 2022. She has just finished her term as writer-in-residence at Massey College. The residency is sponsored by the University of Toronto’s English Department. Film and audio clips of students reading from their stories in Swan’s workshop are up on Facebook under the title Writer-in-Residence 2020.
Lily M Cho is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean, Global & Community Engagement in the Department of English at York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. Her research focuses on diasporic subjectivity within the fields of cultural studies, postcolonial literature and theory, and Asian North American and Canadian literature. She recently co-edited Human Rights and the Arts: Perspectives on Global Asia with Susan Henders (York, Political Science). This book rethinks the contexts and subjects of human rights by taking its lead from writers, artists, filmmakers, and dramatists in Asia and the Asian diaspora. Her book, Eating Chinese: Culture on the Menu in Small Town Canada, examines the relationship between Chinese restaurants and Canadian culture. Her SSHRC-funded project, Mass Capture: Chinese Head Tax and the Making of Non-Citizens in Canada, focuses on Chinese Canadian head tax certificates known as “C.I. 9’s.” These certificates mark one of the first uses of identification photography in Canada. Drawing from this archive, her research explores the relationship between citizenship, photography, and anticipation as a mode of agency.