Scarborough shows off its literary side

Scarborough isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of literature and culture, but Lit City’s Eastern Edge challenges that idea.

Lit City is part of Toronto’s 175th Birthday celebration and the Toronto Public Library’s campaign Keep Toronto Reading, which takes place from April to May.
Many literary cultural events happen in Scarborough, but this time it’s formally recognized by the city, said Tina Srebotnjak, project manager of TPL.

“We’re very aware of our Scarborough constituency and wanted people to take another look at Scarborough,” Srebotnjak said.

Eastern Edge highlights authors from Scarborough and books that are inspired by the neighbourhood. It includes performances and readings for kids — wine tastings and discussion panels for adults. Events take place at library branches across Scarborough from Danforth to Malvern.

The demand came from Scarborough residents and librarians who said they were tired of Toronto hogging the limelight when Scarborough is just as vibrant and culturally diverse as Toronto.

Scarborough native David Chariandy’s first novel Soucouyant was inspired by his community and uses the Bluffs as his book’s backdrop. It’s a coming of age narrative that describes what it’s like to grow up in Scarborough as someone of Caribbean descent.  He talked about his award-winning novel at Taylor Memorial Branch during a lunch event on April 22. Chariandy now lives in Vancouver and teaches English at Simon Fraiser University.

All events are free except for the wine tasting. So far, the community has responded with a high turnout, she said.

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