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Title:Gail Anderson Dargatz & Lisa Bird-Wilson with Meenakshi Alimchandani on Almost, Probably

Almost, Probably: The Microcosm of the Family Gail Anderson Dargatz and Lisa Bird-Wilson in conversation with Meenakshi Alimchandani Two engaging novels look at the microcosm of the family. Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s novel, The Almost Wife, is a tale of psychological isolation and family secrets set amidst the forests of Manitoulin Island and the shores of Lake Huron. The gripping thriller takes us through the journey of a woman faced with the question of trusting her loving fianće over his seemingly neurotic estranged wife. A Métis and nêhiyaw writer from Saskatchewan, Lisa Bird-Wilson’s latest work, Probably Ruby, is a searing fictional portrait of intergenerational trauma. Following the journey of a young adopted woman’s search for her indigenous identity, the novel creates a provocative yet compassionate mosaic of family, emotions and the sense of belonging. In a conversation with Meenakshi Alimchandani, Dargatz and Bird-Wilson speak of their inspirations and writing process. Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s first novel, The Cure for Death by Lightning, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the UK’s Betty Trask Award, the BC Book Prize for Fiction and the Vancity Book Prize. Her second novel, A Recipe for Bees, was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Spawning Grounds, her first novel after the 2007 bestseller Turtle Valley, was published in 2016, nominated for the Sunburst Award and the Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and short-listed for the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for fiction. She taught for nearly a decade within the MFA program in creative writing at the University of British Columbia and now mentors writers online. Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer. Herfiction book, Just Pretending, won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including 2014 Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award, and was the 2019 One Book, One Province selection. Her debut poetry collection, The Red Files, is inspired by family and archival sources, and reflects on the legacy of the residential school system and the fragmentation of families and histories. She is the chair of the Saskatchewan nskohk Writers Circle Inc. (SAWCI) — the group that hosts the nskohk Indigenous Literature Festival and the CEO of the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research Inc in Saskatoon. Toronto-based literary consultant Meenakshi Alimchandani specializes in South Asian literature and authors. She has curated the South Asian Segment of the Toronto International Festival of Authors as well as the Tartan Turban Secret Summer Readings. She consults for Canadian publishers and promotes well-known authors like William Dalrymple, Gurucharan Das, Amitava Ghosh, M.G Vassanji, Anar Ali, Lisa Ray and Ruby Lal to name a few. She has been a moderator at JLF Toronto 2019: Alichandani has also been a speaker at Jaipur Bookmark and the Apeejay Kolkata Litfest as well as the Kerala Litfest. She is also a coordinator of a book club called Books that Bind that is focussed on diverse and multicultural authors.


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