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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2018 Festival of Authors Profile: Arif Anwar

Earlier this year, Arif Anwar’s The Storm was released to immediate international acclaim; it was praised for its ambitious, sprawling narrative that plays out over several decades in its examination of the titular cataclysm’s impact on five different love stories.

What made the novel even more impressive? It was Anwar’s first-ever publication. That’s right: no short story collections, no chapbooks and no contributions in an anthology. And with it, Anwar had already garnered comparisons to celebrated authors like Khaled Hosseini and Rohinton Mistry.

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