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    Wordfest presents Shyam Selvadurai hosted by Zain Velji

Wordfest presents Shyam Selvadurai

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$15 + GST & FEES (In-Person Ticket)
Memorial Park Library, 1221 2 St. SW, 2nd floor, Calgary AB
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Wordfest is thrilled to present Shyam Selvadurai, the bestselling, award-winning author of Funny Boy, and his new novel Mansions of the Moon, a breathtaking reimagining of ancient India through the extraordinary life of Yasodhara, the woman who married the Buddha.

The hour-long conversation, hosted by Eric Volmers, starts at 7:00 p.m. MT and will be followed by a book signing. The next day you’ll also receive our Digital Doggie Bag, a handcrafted event recap with bonus extras sparked by the conversation.

We are grateful to Penguin Random House Canada for making it possible for us to connect you in person with Shyam Selvadurai.

Our Collective Safety & Comfort 

To provide a community-first return to live programming for patrons, authors, Wordfest staff, volunteers and the venue staff, we will be taking the following precautions.

  • Masks are strongly encouraged. We recommend wearing your mask at all times while at the venue when not eating or drinking, including when seated in the theatre and in the post-show signing line.
  • Bar Service will be available pre- and post-show to enjoy socially distanced in the lobby or while seated in the theatre.
  • We will also offer “London Book Service” as an alternative to the post-event book signing. (Patrons can pre-purchase books through Owl’s Nest Books in advance or at the door and authors will sign these copies prior to the event, allowing pre-purchased copies to be picked up before and after the show from a table separate from the book signing line.)

About Shyam Selvadurai

Shyam Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He came to Canada with his family at the age of 19. Funny Boy, his first novel, was published to immediate acclaim in 1994. It was shortlisted for the prestigious Giller Prize, was a national bestseller, won the W. H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Lambda Literary Award, and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. In 2020, it was made into a feature film by director Deepa Mehta. His second novel, Cinnamon Gardens, was shortlisted for the Trillium Award. His third book, The Hungry Ghosts, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Selvadurai is also the author of an acclaimed novel for young adults, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in Toronto.

About Mansions of the Moon

In this sweeping tale, at once epic and intimate, Shyam Selvadurai introduces us to Siddhartha Gautama –who will later become “the enlightened one,” or the Buddha – an unusually bright and politically astute young man settling into his upper-caste life as a newlywed to Yasodhara, a woman of great intelligence and spirit. Mansions of the Moontraces the couple’s early love and life together, and then the anguished turmoil that descends upon them both as Siddhartha’s spiritual calling takes over and the marriage partnership slowly, inexorably crumbles. Eventually, Yasodhara is forced to ask what kind of life a woman can lead in ancient India if her husband abandons her – even a well-born woman such as herself. And is there a path she, too, might take towards enlightenment?
Award-winning writer Shyam Selvadurai examines these questions with empathy and insight, creating a vivid portrait of a fascinating time and place, the intricate web of power, family and relationships that surround a singular marriage, and the remarkable woman who until now has remained a little-understood shadow in the historical record. Mansions of the Moon is an immersive, lively, and thrilling feat of literary imagination.

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