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Double Toronto book launch: THE GOOD ARABS and PERSONAL ATTENTION ROLEPLAY
January 27, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFree
Once upon a time the brilliant Metonymy Press authors Helen Chau Bradley and Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch imagined launching their new books in Toronto at the iconic Buddies In Bad Times Theatre. Alas, while an event at Buddies would have more ambiance, right now the covid ambiance would overshadow it.
Instead, join them online on JANUARY 27 to talk about their books THE GOOD ARABS and PERSONAL ATTENTION ROLEPLAY. They’ll be in conversation with CASON SHARPE and JIAQING WILSON-YANG, and the event will be co-hosted by the inimitable Another Story Bookshop.
The stories in PERSONAL ATTENTION ROLEPLAY are propelled by queer loneliness, mixed-race confusion, late capitalist despondency, and the pitfalls of intimacy. Taking place in Montreal, Toronto, and elsewhere, they feature young Asian misfits struggling with the desire to see themselves reflected—in their surroundings, in others, online. Casey Plett calls the collection “A perfect album of stories.”
Swinging from post-explosion Beirut to a Parc-Extension balcony in summer, the verse and prose poems in THE GOOD ARABS ground the reader in place, language, and the body. Peeling and rinsing radishes. Dancing as a pre-teen to Nancy Ajram. Being drenched in stares on the city bus. The collection is an interlocking and rich offering of the speaker’s communities, geographical surroundings both expansive and precise, and family both biological and chosen. Zeyn Joukhadar says, “Even at its heaviest, this is a collection that insists on joy and on embodiment.”
HELEN CHAU BRADLEY is a writer and musician living in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). Their writing has appeared in carte blanche, Cosmonauts Avenue, Maisonneuve Magazine, the Montreal Review of Books, and elsewhere. They are the author of Automatic Object Lessons, a poetry chapbook. They are the Fiction Editor for This Magazine, and the host of Strange Futures, a speculative fiction book club. Personal Attention Roleplay is their first book.
ELI TAREQ EL BECHELANY-LYNCH is a queer Arab poet living in Tio’tia:ke, unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory. Their work has appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry 2018 anthology, GUTS, Carte Blanche, the Shade Journal, The New Quarterly, Arc Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. They were longlisted for the CBC poetry prize in 2019. You can find them on Instagram and Twitter @theonlyelitareq. Their book knot body was published by Metatron Press September 2020. The Good Arabs is their second poetry collection.
CASON SHARPE is a writer based in Toronto. His work has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Public Journal, and Brick, among others. Named a Queer Writer to Watch by THIS Magazine, Cason has presented work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Book Fair, the Prairie Art Book Fair, and the Hamilton Film Festival. His first collection of stories, Our Lady of Perpetual Realness, was published by Metatron Press in 2017.
JIAQING WILSON-YANG is a mixed race trans writer living in Toronto. She writes fiction and poetry. Her work as appeared in Room Magazine, Bound to Struggle, and Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths (Ed. Sheila Sampath). Her first novel, Small Beauty (Metonymy Press, 2016) received a Dayne Olgivie Honour of Distinction for Emerging LGBTQ Writers from the Writers Trust of Canada. She is working on upcoming works of short fiction and a second novel.