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Lawrence Hill to speak at City of Words

Lawrence Hill

Celebrated Canadian novelist Lawrence Hill will visit UTSC on Feb. 1 to deliver the next installment of the City of Words reading series.

Hill is a multiple-award-winning author of many works of fiction and non-fiction. He is best known for his novel The Book of Negroes, which won the 2008 Commonwealth Writer's Prize and the 2007 Rogers Writer's Trust Fiction Prize, and which has sold more than 500,000 copies in Canada alone.

City of Words is a popular reading series that features writers of note who are from Scarborough or who have written about issues related to the region.

"Young writers and young readers often think that important things are happening elsewhere," says Karina Vernon, professor of English at UTSC and lead organizer of City of Words. "I think it's exciting for students to look at a writer and see a potential future there. Also, they get to see that this place matters, that writing about this place matters. Their place in the world matters."

Past participants in the event have included Sheniz Janmohamed, a writer, poet and spoken-word artist from Scarborough, and David Chariandy, whose award-winning debut novel, Soucouyant, was set in Scarborough.

UTSC's Vernon herself is from Vancouver, but she appreciates the richness that Scarborough offers writers. "One of the reasons Scarborough has produced interesting writers is that it is an interesting place all by itself," observes Vernon. "It's paradoxical: [Scarborough is] both a suburb and an urban centre. On the one hand, it's super suburban; on the other hand, it's an immigrant community. It's a really complex space. It's ripe for writing about and investigating."

Hill will deliver his reading on Wednesday, February 1 at 11:00 am in the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre.

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