Knox Presbyterian Church120 Lisgar st. (at Elgin)

The Truth of Who You Are
with Shani Boianjiu,
Sarah Dearing
and Ayad Akhtar

Hosted by CBC's Sandra Abma
"What a pleasure to encounter a first novel as self-assured and effortlessly told as Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish .... What distinguishes Mr. Akhtar’s novel is its generosity and its willingness to embrace the contradictions of its memorably idiosyncratic characters and the society they inhabit.
— The New York Times
Ayad Akhtar - Photo courtesy of Nina Subin
Sarah Dearing
Shani Boianjiu

Join us for an evening of international fiction exploring the relationships and situations that challenge us to discover our true nature. In the work of each acclaimed novelist we discover characters confronting their personal histories and discovering who they really are.


Israel’s Shani Boianjiu burst onto the international literacy scene in the pages of The New Yorker. Her debut novel, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, gives us a world where girls in the Israeli Defense Forces wait, endlessly – for womanhood, orders, war, peace. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts. And they find that their dreams have stranger repercussions than they have been trained to imagine.


Sarah Dearing, award-winning author of Courage My Love and The Bull Is Not Killed, returns with The Art of Sufficient Conclusions. Told that her long-dead father had been sold to a sculptor in 1920’s England, Dearing embarked on a fact-finding mission in the summer of 2001. The resulting father quest narrative blends fact and fiction to explore our changing relationship to truth, privacy and the emerging science of who we are.  Firmly set in the anxious atmosphere of 2002, Dearing’s account parallels the larger question of the day: In the presence of doubt, what do we choose to believe?


American Dervish is the debut novel by American actor and playwright Ayad Akhtar. The Washington Post calls it “[a] quintessentially American coming-of-age story.” Ayad offers readers a nuanced look inside the interplay of religion and modern life in the Midwest, exploring the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. 




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