Vivek Shraya launched her imprint VS. Books with Arsenal Pulp Press to highlight bold work by new and emerging Indigenous or Black writers, or writers of colour. Scarborough writer Téa Mutonji’s debut collection Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first work to be featured.
Canisia Lubrin calls the collection “a chronicle of millennial malaise, gendered and seaming with a discontent that does not sleep on the status quo of any page. Téa Mutonji is a writer who is assured and measured with a style all her own, holding a hand up to greats like Hurston and Kincaid. She takes back the 21st century in this delicious feast of stories as vivid and taut as they are understated.”
Téa Mutonji is an award-winning poet and writer. Born in Congo-Kinshasa, she now lives and writes in Scarborough, Ontario, where she was named emerging writer of the year (2017) by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization. Shut Up You’re Pretty is her debut short story collection, and the first book published under Vivek Shraya’s VS. Books imprint with Arsenal Pulp Press.
We start off May in conversation with Catherine Hernandez, a multi-genre artist whose savvy debut novel Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press) has been generating lots of buzz.
In praising the book, writer Vivek Shraya says, “Scarborough showcases a necessary shift from the singular voice novel to create space for many voices to be heard—especially ones that are often forgotten. In her dexterous debut, Catherine Hernandez powerfully centres the margins by interlacing narratives that spotlight the beauty that thrives beyond the big city.”
Catherine Hernandez's one-woman show, The Femme Playlist, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as part of the afterRock Play Series. Her other plays include Singkil, Eating with Lola, Kilt Pins and Future Folk. She has served playwright residencies at Theatre Passe Muraille, Carlos Bulosan Theatre, Shaw Festival Theatre, Blyth Festival Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Nightswimming Theatre. Her children’s book. M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book was published by Flamingo Rampant. Scarborough is Cathe …