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A Grateful, Pay-it-Forward Diverse Booklist

December 3 is International Day of Disabled Persons, and we're proud to be marking this day with a recommended reading list by one of CanLit's foremost disability activists, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, whose latest book is the memoir Falling For Myself. An underlying message of this powerful, fierce, and often funny book is the importance of solidarity, allyship, and community, which Palmer celebrates properly here in the collection of authors and books that she's assembled.

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One of the things that continually feeds me as a reader is the work of other authors I respect, those who continue to share, collaborate, and produce fabulous, thought-provoking diverse books, often will little thanks. With this list I want to thank and boost the books I loved recently published by those authors who kindly took time from their working days to write a blurb for my memoir, Falling for Myself. They reflect the best of the craft and community of CanLit.

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All Inclusive, by Farzana Doctor

About the book: A story about one all-inclusive resort, the ghost of an unknown fat …

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When I’m 64: Dorothy Ellen Palmer on Age, Disability, and CanLit

Book Cover When Fenelon Falls

Novelist Dorothy Ellen Palmer (When Fenelon Falls) makes the case that notions of diversity must be broadened to include seniors and disabled people, and that in order for this change to be meaningful, the literary world (and its people) are going to have to change. We dare you not to be inspired and galvanized by the eloquence, passion and common sense displayed in her guest post today.

 And along those lines, please do have a look at With Age Comes Seniority, our list of authors whose writing careers have been established even beyond their fabulous forties. 

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I was born in 1955. I’m 61. I remember the Kennedy assassination, Expo ’67, Woodstock, the moon landing, watching the Beatles on a rooftop and onEd Sullivan, not to mention the night the Leafs won the Stanley Cup. I saw the first Trudeaumania, the Black Panthers, Vietnam protests, AIDS hysteria, the end of apartheid and the Berlin Wall. I attended my first Woman’s Liberation meeting in 1976 and as a young teacher mourned the murder of women students on December 6, 1989. After three decades in my union, one as Branch President organizing strikes to defend education from Mike Harris, after a career combating high school sexism, racism, sexual harassment, and homophobia, I know what it means to devote …

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Amanda Leduc: On Owning It and The FOLD

the FOLD logo

The very first Festival of Literary Diversity turned out be everything that we were hoping it would be. It was galvanizing, thought-provoking and inspiring, starting conversations that we hope will continue on and on. And so to that end, we are pleased to publish this essay by Amanda Leduc, who is The FOLD's Communications, Development, and Accessibility Coordinator about what it meant to be part of this extraordinary event and how it brought about a change in her own point of view. 

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In February of 2016, I started working for the FOLD. The job promised something that was, at long last, in my field—a job that wasn’t pulling espresso shots or taking minutes or picking strawberries or faxing things or opening a locked door for psychiatric patients, as valuable and full of stories as all those jobs had been. A few days after I accepted the job offer I was driving to Brampton, having suddenly become one of Those People who make a semi-regular commute over the 400-series highways.

It was a lovely drive, actually. My training session was lovelier still—we took a walk through PAMA, the museum that would be hosting the festival, we went over the FOLD’s social media accounts, we started to look at what the next few months would look like as we pulled the festiva …

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