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Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series features Nitin Deckha on March 9

Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 7:00pm


York University
Accolade West Building, Room 206

York University welcomes Nitin Deckha to the Canadian Writers in Person series. Featuring poets, playwright and prolific fiction writers, the series highlights Canada's ever-growing literary talent.


Writing in the Age of Social Media

Over the last two Thursdays, I attended two symposia that sought to investigate the changing landscape of writing and book publishing in the twinned age of the internet and social media. The first, called The Written Word and the World of Books: An Interaction with Social Media, was held in conjunction with Social Media Week that took place in six global cities, including Toronto, during the first week of February. A range of speakers, headed by editor and Twitter-short story writer, Arjun Basu, spoke of the impact of social media on writing and publishing, assessing the impact on publishers, readers, and writers (often, lamentably, at least for me, in that order).

The benefits of literary festivals: A critique of Kriti

I had the opportunity to partake on a multiple levels at the 2009 Desilit Kriti festival of South Asian literature and arts in Chicago last weekend (June 11-14) I was only in town for June 12th and most of June 13th, but during that span of a day-and-half, I led or co-led two writing workshops (beginning and intermediate), was on a panel on “building the buzz,” about the creative and innovative ways to promote one’s work, and read from my work. I had the opportunity to meet a range of South Asian writers, mainly based in the US, as well as interact with a handful of emerging writers in the workshops as well as in informal settings, between panels, over dinner, while walking under the “L” train.

Readings and Interviews

Last week, I did a phone interview with Rashi Khilnani, a journalist at Radio Canada International, the international arm of CBC Radio. She presents a segment called the "Indo Canadian report" on a show called "The Link" that broadcasts internationally. What was interesting about the segment was that it is an audio collage of elements of my interview with Rashi and her discussion of my book, Shopping for Sabzi, with the host of "The Link". I did some campus radio interviews earlier in the season, but the questions Rashi posed pushed me to consider the book in a larger frame of how the book speaks to a generation coming of age. If you'd like to hear the segment, here is the link to the Link: presents an evening with Nitin Deckha: Shopping for Sabzi and other conversations presents an "Shopping for Sabzi and other conversations"

Please join us for a book reading and Q&A with Nitin Deckha as we celebrate the launch of his debut book, Shopping for Sabzi. Meet, mingle and network with other like minded individuals.

The interview will be led by Zenia Wadhwani of Desi-Lit, Toronto Chapter

Tickets will be available at the door for $10. Books will also be available at the event for $15 each.


$20 (entry + signed book)
$8 (entry only)

Ticket price includes complimentary

The Host
14 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, ON

(416) 962-4678

All ticket sales are final and non-refundable.

To purchase tickets, visit:

The Writer's Life

This is my final posting as Writer in Residence and it seemed fit to follow in the footsteps of other previous WiRs and say something about this nebulous, fabled thing called "the writer's life." It is also the day that I saw my book, Shopping for Sabzi in print, fresh off the press (and available in stores by next Wednesday!). AND, if that wasn't enough, it is also the day that my very first website,, went live. All on Hallowe'en, which casts a supernatural pallor on the whole thing.

Pushed through/Grades equals Money

Over the last five years, I have worked largely as an educator in college and university settings. Like my colleagues, I grumble about the consumer mentality of our students, of the unseemliness of edutainment that tends to be far more appreciated and the reluctance among students to take responsibility for their own learning and progress.

Ordinary, Extraordinary part 2

Some time ago, the precise moment of which escapes me, I signed up for regular emails from the Conference Board of Canada. Their missives are not frequent and I occasional take a side-long glance at them, wonder how anyone/everyone studies the economy and then go onto the next page of emails to answer. Yet, one factoid that always seem to pop up, in those interminable assessments of assessing and ranking cities and countries, is Canada's relative poor scores on innovation.

Can you hug a memory?

A memorable line from Anik See's Saudade (Coach House Books) is one, and I'm paraphrasing, says that you can't hug a memory. A hug conjures images of an embrace that's warm, comforting, reassuring, familiar. A hug suggests a re-affirmation, often without words, of a relationship. It may be a newly established one, such as a hug at the end of dinner party as someone makes their way out the door. Yet often the most meaningful hugs, the hugs we want to make again and again, represent existing relationships that are of some significance to us.

Official History vs. Collective Memory

My mother lives in a long-term care centre in Malton. For the last three years, the centre has had a Multicultural Festival. During the last two years, I have served as the "family" representative on the Centre's Diversity Committee whose signature project is to plan the festival. This year's festival was held in September. Consisting of vendors, performers, and community groups, we also featured a display about the history of Malton.

The organization, Heritage Mississauga, which is not affiliated with the city, organized the historical display. However, this display ended in the late 1950s, coinciding with the heyday of Malton's history of airplane manufacturing and bedroom community of workers at the nearby Malton (now Pearson) Airport.

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