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Since 1990, The Word On The Street has presented thousands of Canadian authors for readers of all ages and literary appetites. This year's schedule includes over 200 presenters on 14 stages.
In these debut collections from Zalika Reid-Benta and Derek Mascarenhas, both writers craft a series of beautiful short stories about familial relationships, intergenerational trauma, being racially othered, and trying to exist in a way that makes sense.
In Coconut Dreams Derek Mascarenhas takes a fresh look at the world of the new immigrant and the South Asian experience in Canada. Through seventeen linked stories, the lives of the Pinto family are explored. Starting with a ghost story set in Goa, India in the 1950s, the collection weaves through various timelines and perspectives to focus on two siblings, Aiden and Ally Pinto, who tackle their adventures in a predominantly white suburb with innocence, intelligence and a timid foot in two distinct cultures. Published by Book*hug Press (2019).
Derek Mascarenhas is a graduate of University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program. Derek is one of four children born to parents who emigrated from Goa, India, and settled in Burlington. Derek currently resides in Toronto. Coconut Dreams is his first book.
Set in Toronto’s “Little Jamaica” neighbourhood, Frying Plantain follows one young girl from elementary school to high school graduation in twelve interconnected stories that expose the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominantly white society. (Astoria, House of Anansi)
Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer whose work has appeared on CBC Books, in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, and in Apogee Journal. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University in 2014 and is an alumnus of the 2017 Banff Writing Studio.