All of us at Book*hug send our warmest congratulations to the inimitable Shani Mootoo, who received an honorary doctorate from Western University during fall convocation on October 22, 2021, in recognition of her creative achievements. As well as being a brilliant and celebrated writer and gifted visual artist, Mootoo is a graduate of Western’s BFA program. In a recent interview with Keri Ferguson for Western News, Mootoo says, “An honorary degree from Western University is indeed a huge honour. But on top of that, an honorary degree from my alma mater is emotionally moving. It was my first home away from Trinidad… and the place where, away from home, I could begin to try on how to be an individual, an adult, to learn who and what I could be.” She adds, “I was very fortunate, too, to be in the visual arts where those kinds of discoveries went hand-in-hand with becoming an artist,” she said.”
It is a joy and honour to work with Shani Mootoo. We’re so proud to be the publisher of her 2020 Giller prize-shortlisted novel Polar Vortex, and we’re filled with excitement about her forthcoming collection of poetry, Cane Fire, a highlight of our Spring 2022 season. Cane Fire combines Mootoo’s visual and poetic talent, featuring a number of Mootoo’s artworks. Akin to a poetic memoir, past and present are in conversation with each other throughout this evocative, sensual collection as the narrator moves from Ireland to San Fernando, and finally to Canada. The reinterpretations and translation of this journey and associated family history give the present meaning. Through these deeply personal poems, we begin to understand how a life can not only be shaped, but even reimagined.
SAVE THE DATE: Words Festival presents Shani Mootoo
In partnership with the Embassy Cultural House, the Words Festival is pleased to welcome acclaimed author Shani Mootoo. Having just received an honorary doctorate from Western University to recognize her creativity as a celebrated alumna, Shani Mootoo will join Richard Fung in conversation about her Giller Prize-nominated novel Polar Vortex.
Thursday, November 25, 2021
7-8 pm EST
Free. Online event. Register here.
That’s all for now dear reader! Please join us again in congratulating Shani Mootoo! Mootoo’s books are available through our online shop or your local independent bookstore. Happy reading!
Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland, grew up in Trinidad, and lives in Canada. She holds an MA in English from the University of Guelph, writes fiction and poetry, and is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited locally and internationally. Mootoo’s critically acclaimed novels include Polar Vortex, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, Valmiki’s Daughter, He Drown She in the Sea, and Cereus Blooms at Night. She is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Arts Award, a Chalmers Fellowship Award, and the James Duggins Outstanding Midcareer Novelist Award. Her work has been long- and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Award, and the Booker Prize. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.