Episode #33 Wayne Grady

Kim Davids Mandar

Author Wayne Grady was on stage at the eBar in Guelph on November 6th, sharing insights into the writing of his recently published novel, Up From Freedom, published by Penguin Random House in 2018. Interviewed by author Lawrence Hill, Wayne goes into some detail about how this novel began as a work of non-fiction, but refused to be written that way.

The making of the novel begins with Wayne learning that his father is Afro-Canadian. This was a surprise to him and to his mother, since Wayne Grady’s father “passed” as a white man. Upon learning this information, Wayne set out to write about it in a non-fiction piece. Many years later, it was becoming evident to Wayne that the story needed to be told in the form of a novel.

The conversation meanders through issues including: the politics of race; historical and current event trends; writing choices when an author’s identity is far removed from the context and characters in the work being written; and storytelling’s impact on the author’s personal growth.

Hear the conversation, courtesy of CFRU.ca, the authors and Stephanie and Ben Minett of The Bookshelf.

Read an article by Wayne Grady about his novel in Quill and Quire.

The music from today’s episode is from Carey West‘s CD Made of Clay.

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