2018 – Ari Goelman
Ari Goelman is the award-winning author of The Innocence Treatment and The Path of Names. His debut novel, The Path of Names, won the Chocolate Lily Award (2014) and was shortlisted for the YA Sunburst Award (2014), the B.C. Book Prize Award (2014) and the Diamond Willow Award (2014). It also received a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor award (2013), a starred review from Booklist and a Junior Library Guild Selection (2013).
The Innocence Treatment is a young adult suspense novel set in the near-future. Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her—and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is changed. Is she a paranoid lunatic with violent tendencies? Or a clear-eyed observer of the world who does what needs to be done?
In addition to his writing, in 2005, Ari earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He teaches research methods at KPU in the Criminology and Business Quantitative Methods departments. His academic work has been published in journals including The Journal of Architecture, Planning and Research and Environment and Planning A, and has been covered in places as diverse as the Brookings Institute and The New York Times.
2017 – Anosh Irani
Anosh Irani has published three critically acclaimed and award-winning novels: The Cripple and his Talismans, a national bestseller' The Song of Kahunsha, which was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; and Dahunu Road, which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize. His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2006), and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award. He lives in Vancouver.
About The Parcel
The Parcel's astonishing heart, soul and unforgettable voice is Madhu—born a boy, but a eunuch by choice—who has spent most of her life in a close-knit clan of transgender sex workers in Kamathipura, the notorious red-light district of Bombay. Madhu identifies herself as a "hijra"—a person belonging to the third sex, neither here nor there, man nor woman. Now, at 40, she has moved away from prostitution, her trade since her teens, and is forced to beg to support the charismatic head of the hijra clan, Gurumai. One day Madhu receives a call from Padma Madam, the most feared brothel owner in the district: a "parcel" has arrived—a young girl from the provinces, betrayed and trafficked by her aunt—and Madhu must prepare it for its fate. Despite Madhu's reluctance, she is forced to take the job by Gurumai. As Madhu's emotions spiral out of control, her past comes back to haunt her, threatening to unravel a lifetime's work and identity. Here is a timely new novel that, like so much of Anosh Irani's extraordinary literary work, takes its inspiration from the world of Bombay, even as its characters enthrall and speak to us all.
2016 – Aislinn Hunter
Dr. Aislinn Hunter is an esteemed faculty member in the Creative Writing Department. She is the author of six books: two books of poetry, three books of fiction and a book of lyric essays. She is a contributing editor at Arc Magazine and has contributed to numerous anthologies. She has a BFA in The History of Art and in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria, an MFA from The University of British Columbia, an MSc in Writing and Cultural Politics from The University of Edinburgh where she has just completed a PhD in English Literature.