One of Canada’s most cherished authors, Joy Kogawa will tour the West Kootenay in early-June to speak in four different communities on the theme of “The Journey Toward Forgiveness.”
The four events are a partnership between the Selkirk College Mir Centre for Peace and the Convergence Writers’ Weekend. Best known for her novel Obasan, Kogawa will present her Mir Lecture Series talks in Silverton (June 7), New Denver (June 8), Nelson (June 9) and Kaslo (June 10).
The Selkirk College Mir Centre for Peace is helping sponsor four talks by cherished Canadian author Joy Kogawa. Best known for her novel Obasan, Kogawa will present her Mir Lecture Series talks in Silverton (June 7), New Denver (June 8), Nelson (June 9) and Kaslo (June 10). Photo courtesy Yukiko Onley
“We are so pleased to help welcome Joy Kogawa to the Kootenays,” says Jennie Barron, the chair of the Mir Centre for Peace. “Her beautiful body of work as an author and the impact she has had in helping people understand the importance of Japanese Canadian history is multi-generational in its reach. We are honoured to have her as a Mir Lecture speaker and be part of her visit to a region that has such strong connections to her own personal story.”
Body of Work Essential Reading
Kogawa was born in Vancouver to first-generation Japanese Canadian parents. Three months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Kogawa and her family were sent by the Canadian government to the Slocan internment camp.
Obasan was released in 1981 and is considered one of the most important novels in the history of Canadian literature. The semi-autobiographical novel is set during World War II and examines important themes of memory, tolerance, prejudice, identity and justice. It is required reading at many post-secondaries across Canada.
Now 83, Kogawa will be speaking about her most recent book that was released in 2016. Gently to Nagasaki is also semi-autobiographical and takes on many of the same themes as Obasan. Set in Vancouver, Toronto, Coaldale and the Slocan, the new book is ultimately a story about forgiveness.
Kogawa is a member of the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia. In 2010 she received the Japanese government’s Order of the Rising Sun for her contribution to preserving Japanese-Canadian history.
Kogawa’s talks will take place at the Silverton Gallery on June 7 at 7 p.m., on June 8 in New Denver at the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre at 2 p.m., on June 9 at the Nelson United Church at 3 p.m., and on June 10 at Kaslo’s Langham Centre at 7 p.m. The cost for each event varies and tickets are available at the door.