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Friday, 3 October 2014

Tonight: Vivek Shraya, Elisha Lim and Malaika Aleba!

Join us tonight at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate Vivek Shraya's novel She of the Mountains (illustrated by Raymond Biesinger) and Elisha Lim's debut graphic novel 100 Crushes (Koyama)! Guest reading by Malaika Aleba!

Vivek Shraya's She of the Mountains is a contemporary illustrated queer love story interwoven with a reimagining of Hindu mythology. Shraya weaves a passionate, contemporary love story between a man and his body, with a re-imagining of Hindu mythology. Both narratives explore the complexities of embodiment and the damaging effects that policing gender and sexuality can have on the human heart. The illustrations are by the Montreal-based artist Raymond Biesinger, whose work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker and the New York Times.

“The Hindu gods, with their constantly shifting personas and manifestations, add a clever and thoughtful layer to the novel and highlight the intricacies and power of a love that eclipses gender, time, and conventions. Strikingly illustrated by Raymond Biesinger, this is a lyrical ode to love in all its many forms.” - Publishers Weekly

Vivek Shraya is an artist working in the mediums of music, performance, literature, and film. He is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, nominated for both his young adult short story collection God Loves Hair and the multimedia book/film/website project What I LOVE about being QUEER. Winner of the We Are Listening International Singer/Songwriter Award, Vivek has released albums ranging from acoustic folk-rock to electro synth-pop. His most recent is Breathe Again, a tribute to the songs of R&B artist Babyface. He lives in Toronto.

Elisha Lim's 100 Crushes compiles five years of queer comics, including excerpts from Sissy, The Illustrated Gentleman, Queer Child in the Eighties, and their cult series 100 Butches, as well as new work. It's an absorbing documentary that travels through Toronto, Berlin, Singapore, and beyond in the form of interviews, memoirs, and gossip from an international queer vanguard.

Elisha Lim portrays the creativity, tenacity and power of being neither straight, nor white, nor cis-gendered. They have also successfully advocated for Canadian gay media to adopt the gender neutral pronoun ‘they’. They have exhibited and curated art and videos internationally, including the debut solo of Toronto’s notorious Feminist Art Gallery, and were awarded Best Emerging Director at the 2014 Inside Out film festival. They advise on racial and gender stereotypes in lectures, on juries, and on UN panels, and directed MontrĂ©al’s first Racialized Pride Week in 2012.

Lim's comics include the Bitch Magazine acclaimed Sissy Calendar, The Illustrated Gentleman, and most notably, 100 Butches, a collection of portraits and anecdotes about masculine queers, introduced by New York Times bestselling author Alison Bechdel.

Guest reader Malaika Aleba is a former editor at Autostraddle.com, where she penned the column A Prairie Homo Companion about being queer in the Canadian prairies. She now lives in Montreal where she freelance edits, co-facilitates a writing workshop, and works as a Fundraising and Development Coordinator at Head & Hands a nonprofit that runs programs for youth and about sexual education. She has blogged for the Sierra Club and the Media Co-op, and her work can also be found in the forthcoming Digging Deep, Facing Self course anthology.

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