LiterASIAN Toronto 2019

LiterAsian 2019 logo

The theme for LiterASIAN Toronto 2019 is Looking to the Future: The evolving narrative of Asian Canadian fiction

Photos of this event can be found here: (No registration is required to view the photos).

Since the late-1700s, people of Asian origin have made important contributions to Canadian heritage and identity. Fiction written by Asian Canadian authors have evolved and diversified, ranging from the origin immigrant story to achieving the Canadian Dream to looking beyond into the future with science fiction and fantasy tales. Looking to the Future discusses how the world has changed over time and how fiction represents these changes. Each author panelist will discuss their work and how their narrative have evolved over time as the literary landscape changes continuously.

We are also celebrating the publication of Immersion, a book of fifteen Asian speculative fiction stories from around the world and a collaborative project by Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, Ricepaper Magazine and Dark Helix Press. Editor JF Garrard will be introducing the book and authors Derwin Mak and Serah Louis will be reading an excerpt from their short story published in this anthology.

This is a free event. RSVP:


  • Event Part I (3-5 pm): Panel 1 & Immersion book reading 1
  • Event Part II (5-6:30 pm): Panel 2 & Immersion book reading 2

Featured Authors:

Arlene Chan, author, Chinatown historian, and retired librarian, has written seven books and contributed to numerous publications about the history, culture, and traditions of the Chinese in Canada, some shortlisted for the Ontario Speaker’s Book Award, Heritage Toronto Book Award, Silver Birch Award, and Red Cedar Award. Her work has been recognized with the Heritage Toronto Special Achievement Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, and Woman of Distinction Award.

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo, published by Inanna Publications was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You, was released in 2018 by HarperCollins and in 2019 in the US by Liveright Publishing. It received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, and was named as one of the Best Books of 2018 by CBC, That Time I Loved You was awarded the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2019 and was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards 2019 and long listed for Canada Reads 2019.

Thea Lim is the author of An Ocean of Minutes, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and longlisted for Canada Reads 2019. Her writing has been published by Granta, The Paris Review, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, The Southampton Review and others. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston and previously served as nonfiction editor at Gulf Coast. She grew up in Singapore and now lives with her family in Toronto, where she is a professor of creative writing.

Derwin Mak’s story “Transubstantiation” won the Aurora Award for Best Short Fiction. The anthology The Dragon and the Stars, edited by Derwin and Eric Choi, won the Aurora Award for Best Related Work. Another anthology, Where the Stars Rise, edited by Lucas Law and Derwin, won the Alberta Book Publishers Award for Speculative Fiction. The anthologies have stories by overseas Chinese or Asian writers to get their viewpoints and experiences in science fiction and fantasy. His novels The Moon Under Her Feet and The Shrine of the Siren Stone are available again from Dark Helix Press. Derwin’s stories have a range of topics, especially the interaction of religion with science and politics (“Transubstantiation”, The Moon Under Her Feet), political power (“Songbun”), and LGBTQ+ issues (“XY-Girls”, “72 Virgins”).

Serah Louis is a 21-year-old Canadian writer of Indian descent. She is currently studying Biology and Professional Writing and Communications at the University of Toronto, Mississauga campus. She loves homemade biriyani and a good cup of chai and you’ll find her bookshelf cluttered with works ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien to Rabindranath Tagore.

LiterASIAN Toronto 2019, an extension of the LiterASIAN festival in Vancouver, is co-presented by the University of Toronto‘s Asian Canadian Studies program at University College, the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, and Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop.

Click here to view event photos on our Facebook page.

LiterASIAN 2019 poster


Event date
3:00 – 6:30 pm
Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library