2018 Festival of Authors Profile: Sayaka Murata

This past summer, North American audiences were introduced to the equally eccentric and poignant writing of Sayaka Murata, whose acclaimed novel, Convenience Store Woman, was translated to English and released by Grove Press . Though she’s written 10 books since 2005, Convenience Store Woman marks the first time one of Murata’s novels has reached audiences in Canada and the United States. With that in mind, the book may be the perfect introduction to Murata, whose penchant for making the ordinary and the mundane seem extraordinary has been thoroughly praised by critics in the months following its release.

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Author Profile: Eden Robinson

In 2018, we profiled some of the authors who participated in the 39th edition of the Festival. After this profile was published, Eden Robinson was longlisted for the 2019 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, shortlisted for the 2019 Sunburst Awards in Adult Fiction and won the 2019 BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for Trickster Drift. She also curated a list of five emerging Indigenous writers to watch in June.


Eden Robinson burst onto the scene in major way with 1995’s Traplines, a relentlessly bleak collection of short stories focused on the violent and twisted relationships of their troubled narrators. The book would go on to win the the Winifred Holtby Prize for the best first work of fiction and in its darkness readers found a beating heart uniquely attuned to a set of experiences they couldn’t read about anywhere else. After all, Eden Robinson was one of the the first Haisla writers to have ever published a novel.

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Author Profile: Esi Edugyan

In 2018, we profiled some of the authors who participated in the 39th edition of the Festival. After this profile was published, Esi Edugyan won the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize for Washington Black which made her the first author to win the prize for back-to-back titles.


2011’s Half-Blood Blues announced Esi Edugyan as one of Canada’s top writing talents; earning nominations for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for English language fiction and the Man Booker Prize; and winning the Scotiabank Giller Prize all in the same year. The book’s incredible success marked a new chapter in Edugyan’s career following an arduous struggle to secure a publishing deal for a since-abandoned novel that she originally planned on writing after The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, her 2004 debut.

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Author Profile: Ondjaki

In 2018, we profiled some of the authors who participated in the 39th edition of the Festival including Angolan author Ondjaki.


Ondjaki is widely considered to be one of the greatest writers in Angolan history, with critics hailing him as one of the most important writers in the history of African literature. Ondjaki’s diverse bibliography includes children’s books, poetry collections, short story anthologies and novels, plus additional credits in writing for film/television and theatre.

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Author Profile: Vivek Shraya

In 2018, we profiled some of the authors who participated in the 39th edition of the Festival. After this profile was published, Vivek Shraya published her first comic with artist Ness Lee, Death Threat, and became one of M·A·C Cosmetics’ Ambassador as part of the Canadian Original campaign. Her imprint, V.S. Books, also announced its second writer, Cicely-Belle Blain.


Is there anything Vivek Shraya can’t do? For over 10 years now, the multi-disciplinary artist has bounced from medium to medium without ever missing a step, always subverting expectations and defying categorization. Short films, photo exhibits, solo and collaborative albums, poetry and short story collections you name it, she’s done it.

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