Award-winning author to speak at BU

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Brandon University (BU) will host novelist, poet, and writer Larissa Lai next week for two events open to the public.

On Monday, Nov. 25, Lai will read from her work. On Tuesday, Nov. 26 she will lead a creative writing workshop. Lai’s talk and workshop are the first instalments of this year’s Literary Exchange Speaker Series, organized by BU’s Department of English and Creative Writing.

Head and shoulders photo of woman
Larissa Lai will come to Brandon University for a reading and to lead a writing workshop. (Photo by Monique de St. Croix)

Lai has authored three novels, The Tiger Flu, Salt Fish Girl and When Fox Is a Thousand; two poetry collections, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s.

A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers’ Awardshe has been a finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Tiptree Award, the Sunburst Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the bpNichol Chapbook Award, the Dorothy Livesay Prize and the ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism.

Lai was born in La Jolla, Calif., and grew up in St. John’s, N.L. A practicing writer and cultural organizer, she did many interesting things through the 1980s and1990s, including sitting on the organizing committee for Writing Thru Race, working as assistant curator for the contemporary media exhibit Yellow Peril: Reconsidered, working as coordinator at SAW Video (Ottawa), and curating two shows at the grunt gallery in Vancouver.

Lai has been writer-in-residence at the University of Calgary, the University of Guelph and at Simon Fraser University, as well as guest professor at the University of Augsburg. At the University of British Columbia, she served as Assistant Professor of Canadian Literature for seven years before relocating to the University of Calgary where she is currently Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of English. There, she directs The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing.

Lai’s reading on Monday will take place at the John E. Robbins Library Gathering Space, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and will include a question-and-answer session. Attendance is free, and everyone is invited to hear from this exciting novelist.

On Tuesday, Lai will lead a writing workshop in Clark Hall, Room 104, from 12:40 to 1:30 p.m. Space for the workshop is limited, so please RSVP to Deanna Smid at if you plan to attend. Again, attendance is free.

These two events are made possible with assistance from the Dean of Arts and the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund with Gender & Women’s Studies.


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