TIFA colour divider

Lawrence Hill is the author of 10 books, including The Book of Negroes, The Illegal, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. His 2013 Massey Lectures were based on his book of essays Blood: The Stuff of Life. His books have been read around the world. His essay about his mother, “Act of Love: The Life and Death of Donna Mae Hill” appeared in the Globe and Mail in 2018, and enriched a national conversation about medically assisted dying. He is completing a novel for children, and teaches at the University of Guelph.

Lawrence Hill headshot

Tina Athaide was born in Uganda and grew up in London and Canada. Tina now lives with her husband and daughter in California, where she teaches students with special needs.

Tina Athaide

Kamal Al-Solaylee is the author of the national bestseller Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, which won the 2013 Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the CBC’s Canada Reads and the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His second book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Nonfiction, the Trillium Book Award and won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. He was previously a theatre critic at the Globe and Mail and has written reviews and features on arts and politics for all major Canadian publications. He holds a PhD in English and is a professor of journalism at Ryerson University. 

Kamal Al-Solaylee

Emily St. John Mandel‘s fifth novel, The Glass Hotel, was recently published in Canada and the US, and is forthcoming in the UK in August. Her previous novels include Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award among other honours and has been translated into 33 languages. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Mandel, Emily St John - Headshot

Colum McCann is the author of five novels and two-story collections. His fiction has been published in over 30 languages and has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly and more. Let the Great World Spin won the National Book Award for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He has won the Rooney Prize, the Hennessy Award for Irish Literature and the Hughes & Hughes Novel of the Year. His short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar. McCann lives in New York and teaches in the MFA program at Hunter College.

McCann, Colum - Headshot

Frances Itani has written 18 books. Her novels include That’s My Baby; Tell, shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; Requiem, chosen by the Washington Post as one of the top fiction titles of 2012; Remembering the Bones, published internationally and shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; and the #1 bestseller Deafening, which won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and selected for CBC’s Canada Reads. Itani is a Member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of a 2019 Library and Archives Canada Scholars Award. She lives in Ottawa.

Frances Itani

Katrina Onstad is a multiple award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, New York Times Magazine, the Guardian and Elle. Her critically lauded novels include How Happy to Be and Everybody Has Everything, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. Onstad lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Onstad, Katrina - Headshot

Helen Humphreys is an acclaimed and award-winning author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her work includes novels Machine Without Horses, The Evening Chorus, Coventry and After image. Her nonfiction includes The Ghost Orchard, The Frozen Thames and the memoir Nocturne. She has won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Toronto Book Award, and has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Trillium Book Prize, the Lambda Literary Award and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. The recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence, Helen Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Helen Humphreys

Catherine Hernandez is a proud queer brown femme author and artistic director of b current performing arts. She is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese, and Indian heritage, and she is married into the Navajo Nation. Hernandez is the author of the novel Scarborough, which is soon to be a motion picture; won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Trillium Book Award; and was longlisted for Canada Reads. Crosshairs is her second novel.

Catherine Hernandez

Blake Gopnik, one of North America’s leading arts writers, has served as art and design critic at Newsweek and as chief art critic at the Washington Post and Canada’s Globe and Mail. In 2017, he was a Cullman Center Fellow in residence at the New York Public Library and in 2015 he held a fellowship at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at City University of New York. He has a PhD in art history from Oxford University and is a regular contributor to the New York Times.

Blake Gopnik