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Whether viewed as a leap of faith or a downright gamble, these authors’ latest books offer glimpses of what can happen when you take chances. In The Fellowship, Rachel Manley describes a Caribbean writer on the search for purpose in mid-life who decides to pursue a longstanding dream. In The Wagers, Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Sean Michaels delivers a comedian’s story of long odds, magical heists and a dizzying gamble on life. Lastly, in The Dead Celebrities Club , Susan Swan considers what a con man is to do when his gamble backfires. The conversation will be moderated by Sheniz Janmohamed. Hosted by Natasha Ramoutar.
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Sheniz Janmohamed (MFA) is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. In her own practice, she strives to embody words through performance, land art and writing in the ghazal form. A poet, educator and land artist, Sheniz has performed her work in venues across the world, including the Jaipur Literature Festival, Alliance Française de Nairobi and the Aga Khan Museum. Sheniz is also the author of two poetry collections: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010) and Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014) and is currently working on her third collection of ghazals.
Rachel Manley is an author and poet. She is best known for her memoir, Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction), which was inspired by life with her grandfather, Norman Washington Manley, founder of Jamaica’s first national party. Born in Cornwall, England, and raised in Jamaica, Manley now resides in Toronto.
Sean Michaels is a fiction writer and critic who founded the pioneering music blog Said the Gramophone. His debut novel, Us Conductors, received the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was nominated for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Kirkus Prize for Fiction and the International DUBLIN Literary Award. He enjoys cold water, warm madeleines and songs with colours in their titles.
Natasha Ramoutar is an Indo-Guyanese writer by way of Scarborough (Ganatsekwyagon) at the east side of Toronto. Her work has been included in projects by Diaspora Dialogues, Scarborough Arts, and Nuit Blanche Toronto and has been published in The Unpublished City II, PRISM Magazine, Room Magazine, THIS Magazine and more. She is the Fiction Editor of FEEL WAYS, an anthology of Scarborough writing, and the Social Media Assistant at the Festival of Literary Diversity. Her first book of poetry Bittersweet will be published in 2020 by Mawenzi House.
Susan Swan has published eight books of fiction, including her new novel, 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. Her 2004 novel, What Casanova Told Me, was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Her 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. Her other fiction includes the novel, The Last of the Golden Girls and the short story collection Stupid Boys are Good to Relax With. Swan is a resident of Toronto and former Robarts Scholar for Canadian Studies at York University.