Join Didier Leclair on August 11 at 6pm to celebrate the release of the English edition of his book Toronto, I Love You (Mawenzi House), translated by Elaine Kennedy! The author and translator will be joined in conversation by the writer Paul Savoie.
The free Toronto Lit Up book launch will take place at the Debates Room (#2034) in the University of Toronto’s historic Hart House building. Books will be for sale on site, courtesy of Another Story Bookshop. Light refreshments and drinks will be provided by in-house catering services.
In Toronto, I Love You, Raymond Dossougbé flees the misery of his home town in Benin, arrives in Toronto, and is immediately charmed by the city. He sees it as a place of freedom and light, a sanctuary where he, like so many others, can begin anew. But as he becomes familiar with the city and its inhabitants, he realizes that his Afro-Caribbean roommates look like him but aren’t his brothers. He discovers a free community that is mentally shackled, an underground network that is stuck in the past, immigrants who are unable to adapt. He sees deep poverty, extreme wealth, and the consequences of police brutality. Eventually he finds his bearings in this new world and comes to a better understanding of himself and the colourful characters around him.
The French edition of Toronto, I Love You won the Prix Trillium when it first came out in 2000.
Elaine Kennedy has enjoyed a lengthy and diversified career as a professional translator and editor. A native of Toronto, she studied English literature, French language and translation in North America and Europe. She has worked as a translator in the academic and cultural sectors. The co-winner of the 3Macs carte blanche Prize and a finalist for the Toronto Book Award and the International Book Award, she presently devotes her full time to literary translation.
Paul Savoie is one of Canada’s most prolific bilingual writers. Originally from Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, he has lived in Ontario since the early 1970s. He has written more than 30 books, including several collections of poetry, stories, and translations. His poetry books won the Trillium Book Award twice. Involved in the arts community for more than 25 years, Savoie also composes music for piano.
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.