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Suvendrini Lena's Toronto Lit Up banner with the book cover of The Enchanted Loom and "Book Launch Free Tuesday January 24 7pm". Includes TIFA, Toronto Arts Council, Playwrights Canada Press and Another Story Bookshop logos

Toronto Lit Up: The Enchanted Loom by Suvendrini Lena

January 24 at 7pm

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Join author and playwright Suvendrini Lena and translator Dushy Gnanapragasam on Tuesday, January 24 at 7pm ET to celebrate the release of The Enchanted Loom (Playwrights Canada) at 1RG (1 Roof Garden Lane – northeast corner of Bloor and Dovercourt)! This free Toronto Lit Up event will feature a dramatized reading from the play by Bhavani Somasundaram, Sathiyakumar Jeyapal, Kavini Vijayasekaran and James Purdee Gnani. It will be hosted by Geetha Sukamaran with comments by Harini Sivalingam. Masks are welcome and recommended. Food and drinks will be served.

Access info: There are 3 steps to enter the mainspace; there is an alternative entrance via a garage with a portable ramp. Clearance for entering the event space is 27″. There is a mainfloor bathroom.

In The Enchanted Loom, the Sri Lankan civil war has left many scars on Thangan and his family, most noticeably the loss of his eldest son and the crippling epileptic seizures brought on by his torture. As the final days of the war play out, the family bears witness from their new home of Toronto. Thangan’s other son Kanan comes home from a protest, shaken that someone referred to him by his brother’s name. His young daughter Kavitha innocently dances around with a mysterious pair of anklets that she found. And Thangan’s wife Sevi is consumed with feeling responsible for her broken family. Amidst the ongoing trauma, the family is faced with the possibility of Thangan undergoing neurological surgery. Will the surgery give them a chance to heal, or will it cause even more pain?

Presented in both English and Tamil, this poetic play is both medical and mystical, drawing a connection between trauma and memory that creates a stark reminder of loss, hope, family, and freedom.

Suvendrini Lena is a playwright and neurologist. She works as the staff neurologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and at the Centre for Headache at Women’s College Hospital. She is a lecturer in psychiatry and neurology at the University of Toronto where she teaches medical students, residents, and fellows. She also teaches a course called Staging Medicine, a collaboration between the Theatre Centre and University of Toronto Postgraduate Medical Education. As a neurologist she is particularly interested in conditions that alter the fabric of consciousness—epilepsy, dementia, psychosis, and migraine.

Dushy Gnanapragasam received his initiation into theatre at St. Henry’s College in Illavalai, Sri Lanka, and has been an integral part of the vibrant Tamil theatre scene in Toronto for over twenty years. He has directed several of his own translations for Manaveli Performing Arts Group, including Harold Pinter’s New World Order, Mario Fratti’s The Satraps, and Ivan Turgenev’s Broke. He has also directed plays for Asylum Theatre Group, including R. Cheran’s What if the Rain Fails and Not By Our Tears. Off stage, he writes and translates for Thaiveedu, a Tamil monthly with a heavy focus on the arts.

Toronto Lit Up is a multi-year initiative, started in 2016 by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, to spotlight Toronto writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 and June 2022, Toronto Lit Up has presented 137 events to launch 161 books by 236 Toronto authors. Toronto Lit Up book launches take place throughout the year at venues across the city. They are open to the public and free to attend. Click here for more information.

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Related Books

The Enchanted Loom book cover

The Enchanted Loom



Toronto Lit Up: The Enchanted Loom by Suvendrini Lena

January 24 at 7pm


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