Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Launch! Descant 162: Masala

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 7:00pm


No One Writes to the Colonel
460 College Street
Toronto, ON
M6G 4A3


Join the Descant Arts & Letters Foundation for the release of its Fall 2013 issue, Descant 162: Masala! Masala tells stories of the Indian diaspora, the scattering of peoples from an ancient civilization to contemporary times, through poetry, fiction, essays, memoirs and dance.

We are looking forward to readings by Montreal filmmaker Eisha Marjara, spoken word artist Sheniz Janmohamed and other contributors, including some surprise guests. We will be having delicious Indian food provided by Veda Healthy Indian takeout, and there will be a fundraising raffle at the end of the night including prizes from the National Ballet of Canada, Kinna Sohna Studios, the South Asian Visual Arts Centre and many, many more.

The theme of Masala breathes new life into stories of Indian peoples around the world. Wasela Hiyate’s “Gold” opens the issue, weaving a tale of a family tricked into boarding a ship to the new world, only to find themselves indentured labourers on a Guyanese sugar plantation. Sheniz Janmohamed’s poem “Peanuts” examines the passage from old to new, as everyday delights become haunting memories of past exclusions, while Madeline Coopsammy tells the tale of two girls visiting the dying days of a sugar empire in her poem “Brechin Castle to Shut Down.” These tales are brought alongside stories of how identity manifests itself in curious, cruel, and sometimes heartwarming ways, such as Howard Winn’s “Skin,” Evadne Macedo’s “Who Am I?” and Mona Zutshi Opubor’s “The True Story of a South Asian Miscegenator”.

The stories of Masala, whether they take place “here” or “there”, “now” or “then”, bring together what storytelling is truly about, as we see when Alberto Manguel visits a decidedly non-Indian literary giant in his essay on Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom, who celebrates following “the threads that intertwine where we live with what we do, and what we do with what we are.”

Masala is sure to delight and entertain, give pause for reflection on what we really mean by the word “home,” and hopefully provide a glance into fragments of the power of this ancient civilization, displaced and reimagined countless times through its history, now standing to claim its own heritage.

For further information, please contact:

Vera DeWaard, Managing Editor, Descant:
Melina Giannelia, Production Editor, D162:


No One Writes to the Colonel
460 College Street
Toronto, ON M6G 4A3 43° 39' 22.8744" N, 79° 24' 29.934" W

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