Nov. 4, 2020Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University is pleased to welcome Canadian novelist and two-time Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan as the Visiting Writer this fall. Edugyan will be speaking at two events, one open to students, staff and faculty and another exclusively for students.
On Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., Edugyan will read an excerpt from her novel Washington Black, which chronicles the life of George Washington Black, who was born into slavery in Barbados but escapes as a child and makes his way to Nova Scotia. The reading will be followed by a talk and question-and-answer session.
“We are thrilled to have Esi Edugyan as Laurier’s Visiting Writer for 2020,” says Anthony Vannelli, Laurier’s provost and vice-president: academic. “As both an award-winning writer and a researcher, she’ll be able to connect with students, faculty and staff interested in her novels and writing process, as well as those who want to hear more about Black history in North America.”
The event is open to all students, faculty and staff, but registration is required. Registrants will have the opportunity to submit a question for the author in advance.
Prior to Edugyan’s lecture, Laurier students, staff and faculty are invited to read Washington Black and discuss it in a book club format. The Laurier Reads discussion will be facilitated by associate professor of History and Youth and Children’s Studies Tarah Brookfield and take place Nov. 5 at noon.
As part of her virtual Visiting Writer engagement, a separate event is being held for all Laurier students to talk with Edugyan about her research and writing process, and how her writing connects to societal issues. During the event, which will be facilitated by Laurier students, Edugyan will answers questions that students either submitted in advance or during the session.
Besides winning the Giller Prize for her novels Washington Black and Half-Blood Blues, Edugyan has also been a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Orange Prize. Edugyan was raised in Calgary and has studied at both the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Victoria, B.C.
Laurier has a tradition of inviting noteworthy Canadian writers to engage with the university community through a Visiting Writer residency. Through this residency, visiting writers can share their knowledge and creativity while fostering dialogue with students, faculty and staff about current social questions.
Past Visiting Writers have included Lawrence Hill (2010), Joseph Boyden (2012), Alissa York (2013), Elizabeth Hay (2014) and Dave Bidini (2019).
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