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Jan. 9, 2015

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For Immediate Release
Jan. 9, 2015

WATERLOO – Acclaimed Canadian author Lawrence Hill will visit Wilfrid Laurier University Jan. 15, where he will interact with students and present a special screening of an episode from the CBC television adaptation of his 2007 novel, The Book of Negroes.

Hill will take part in a question-and-answer session with students and guests from 1 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. in the Senate and Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. In the evening, Hill and Clement Virgo, director and co-writer of the CBC adaptation of The Book of Negroes, will host a special screening of the mini-series’ third episode, followed by a discussion period, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. in the Bricker Academic Building, room BA101.

“The event will provide Laurier students with a high-impact learning opportunity to explore an important aspect of Canadian and international history,” said Carol B. Duncan, an associate professor and chair of Laurier’s Department of Religion and Culture, who helped organize the event. “They will also have the opportunity to learn about moving from text to film.”

Hill was born in Newmarket, Ont. to American-immigrant parents – a black father and a white mother – and grew up in the Toronto suburb of Don Mills. His first novel, Some Great Thing, was published in 1992. He has gone on to publish a total of nine books of fiction and non-fiction including the best-selling novel The Book of Negroes, which won several awards such as the Rogers/Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, both CBC Radio’s Canada Reads and Radio Canada’s Le Combat des livres and The Commonwealth Prize for Best Book.

Some of Hill’s other prominent works include: best-selling memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada (2001), The Deserter’s Tale (2007) and Blood: The Stuff of Life (2013), upon which he drew while delivering the 2013 Massey Lectures. Hill and Virgo co-wrote the CBC’s six-part mini-series version of The Book of Negroes, which debuted on television Jan. 7, 2015.

Hill has made several appearances at Laurier, even writing a portion of The Book of Negroes while staying in Laurier’s Lucinda House guest residence. In 2010, Hill was Laurier’s first writer-in-residence, and also received an honorary doctor of letters degree from the university.

In addition to the viewing of the third episode of CBC’s The Book of Negroes – which will air on television Jan. 21 – the Jan. 15 events at Laurier will offer an opportunity to hear Hill’s perspective on a range of topics including the process of adapting his novel into a screenplay, race issues in Canada and worldwide, his other published works and writing in general.

Both events will be free and open to the public; however, there is limited capacity in both rooms. Laurier’s Faculty of Arts and associate vice-president of Teaching and Learning are co-sponsoring the event.

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Julie Pong, Acting Manager
Ceremonies and Events

T: 519.884.0710 x3586


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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