Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Guest Blogger: Lawrence Hill at UTSC

by Arif Hussain

            UTSC recently had the privilege to welcome internationally acclaimed and award winning local author, Lawrence Hill at Leigha Lee Theatre.  Introduced by Dr. Karina Vernon, English Literature professor at UofT, on the topics of mixed identities and black writing in Canada, Hill was positively received by undergraduates, professors and community members all alike.  His writing has the capacity to appeal to folks in all walks of life and meeting the author in flesh only fulfilled that belief.   

Hill discussed his life, growing up in Don Mills and his trials and tribulations leading to his now very successful career. He also read an excerpt from an upcoming book titled “The Illegal”, a fictional narrative in an imagined world much similar to our own world (he warns us), about a runner coming to a freedom state without any papers and runs marathons illegally in order to support his livelihood. Afterwards, he answered questions and had discussions with audience members! 

Meeting Lawrence Hill was an absolute pleasure as he is a very kind individual with a sweet personality and takes the time to address his readers’ inquiries. The Book of Negroes was a popular topic during the two hour-long gathering. In this exchange, Hill demonstrated through his conduct that his passion for understanding people and discussing important topics that are otherwise not often discussed is not only limited to his fictional characters but towards the people he is writing for as well.     

City of Words is a popular reading series that features writers of note who are from Scarborough or who have written about issues related to the region.

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