Last night, the 28th of September, we had the pleasure of hosting David Chariandy for the first event at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, our new children's store and events space. The store—located on 176 Bernard, just east of the flagship Librairie—will be open for business as of this Saturday, the 30th of September! (That's tomorrow).
David Chariandy grew up in Toronto and lives and teaches in Vancouver. He is one of the co-founders of Commodore Books, the first and only black literary press in Western Canada.
In Brother, his second novel, which has already been named to the Giller Prize longlist, Chariandy seizes his native Scarborough in a sensory whirlwind, and pens an aching elegy from one brother to another in precisely-wrought, guttural lyricism.
|Chariandy reading to a rapt full house.|
After the reading, Chariandy was joined in conversation by the inimitable Rawi Hage, local literary celebrity, photographer, and author of the Giller and Governor General-nominated Cockroach, among other books.
Some standout quotes from an engrossing conversation:
"What greater tragedy can there be than if throughout a rightful exercise of self-protection you are condemned to a profoundly bitter end? What greater tragedy can there be? Especially if that rightful act of self protection is to protect someone you love?"
"It took me ten years to write this short book. And I didn’t just joke around, I was working hard for those ten years ... There were many different ways in which I failed and then failed again and then failed better."