Join us for an evening with Mariam Pirbhai, fiction writer and academic as she discusses her new novel, Isolated Incident, recently featured on the front page of the Waterloo Region’s The Record, for its ground-breaking depiction of “a community under siege but rarely given voice.”
Mariam Pirbhai is an award-winning author of a debut novel, Isolated Incident and a short story collection, Outside People and Other Stories. She is Professor of English in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University where she specializes in postcolonial studies and creative writing. Pirbhai is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants whose arrival in Canada followed a circuitous route from England, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines. She is currently working on a book of creative nonfiction that combines nature writing and memoir, and is based on her experiences as an “émigré-settler” in Waterloo, Ontario.
Isolated Incident, award-winning author Mariam Pirbhai’s debut novel, depicts the disturbing rise in hate-crimes directed at Canadian Muslims, while also calling into question issues of land and belonging for both immigrant and settler. Will the children of South Asian immigrants, like Kashif Siddiqui, be able to cultivate a new relationship to what is at once an Indigenous and colonized land, even as they are, themselves, under attack for their difference and their beliefs? Pirbhai enters provocative new territory in Canadian literature, calling attention to the way questions of faith and community, migration and citizenship, intolerance and Islamophobia, are central to the political and social tenor of our times.
This program is presented in partnership with Words Worth Books.