Literary Pride

Montreal’s Gay Pride begins this week. It’s also Canada Pride, which means there are more events than usual and the city expects more tourists.

I was asked to help program a series of English literary events for next week. Fierté Montréal gave me a small budget and with it I was able to secure travel and accommodation for a guest of honour. I choose journalist and non-fiction writer Kamal Al-Solaylee.

It’s not often we get writers like Kamal in town. Montreal has a very small English market for books, and publishers rarely send authors on book tours anymore. During the last few years, I reached out to Kamal several times to ask him if he thought he might be coming through Montreal. If he ever did, I told him, I’d be happy to build an event around his trip.

Thankfully now – with Fierté Montréal’s help – he will be my guest on Monday at Never Apart to talk about his two books. There is so much to talk about. Kamal’s first book, Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes recounts the story of his youth, growing up as a gay man in the Middle East. His latest, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone) is a fascinating look at what it is like to have darker skin in 10 different countries.

In addition to this event, I have programmed two others. The Violet Hour features readings and performances by LGBTQ writers and artists. And Authors in Undies is exactly what it sounds like – an evening of readings by writers in their underwear (it’s all for a good cause: the funds we raise will go to AIDS Community Care Montreal).

Monday, August 14: Literary Pride: Kamal Al-Solaylee
7 PM (doors at 6:30 PM)
Venue: Never Apart (7049 St. Urbain)
Admission: $5

Wednesday, August 16: The Violet Hour
6 PM (doors at 5:30 PM)
Venue: Stock Bar (1171 Rue Sainte-Catherine East), 18 and over
Admission: Free

Friday, August 18: Authors in Undies
6 PM (doors at 5:30 PM)
Venue: Stock Bar (1171 Rue Sainte-Catherine East), 18 and over
Admission: $5 suggested donation (all proceeds go to AIDS Community Care Montreal)

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