BETWEEN BORDERS: MIGRATION AND IDENTITY
Hosted by Jeanette Kelly
Love, loss, and longing are central to Sharon Bala’s bestselling debut novel The Boat People and Nilofar Shidmehr’s debut collection of short stories Divided Loyalties. Both include narratives of migration, refugees, war, resilience, and the promise of a new life. Inspired by real events, their books explore perilous situations and the lives of those who fight to survive despite the chaos, risks, what they leave behind, and expectations forced upon them.
About the authors
Sharon Bala’s bestselling debut novel, The Boat People, was a finalist for Canada Reads 2018, the 2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and was on the long-list for the Aspen Words Literary Prize 2019. She won the 2017 Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for her short story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and had a second story on the long-list. Her short fiction has been published in: The Journey Prize 29, Hazlitt, Grain, Room, PRISM international, The Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Maisonneuve, Riddle Fence, and in a collection called Racket. Sharon is a member of The Port Authority, a St. John’s writing group. Visit her at: sharonbala.com
Nilofar Shidmehr is a poet, essayist, and scholar, and the author of six books in English and Farsi, including Between Lives and Shirin and Salt Man, a BC Book Prize finalist. She writes and delivers lectures on women’s rights, migration and diaspora, and social and political issues in Iran. A specialist in the literature and cinema of modern Iran, she teaches in the Continuing Studies program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, where she lives with her husband.