Thursday, November 12: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Characterizing Climate Change

with Catherine Bush and Mahak Jain

“I don’t know how to write any more not in relation to the ecological crisis going on around us. How do we write now – this feels like the essential question.”

How can a work of fiction mobilize fact-based science? What are the powers—and perils—of stories about science? Join Catherine Bush and Mahak Jain as they discuss the research and writing process behind Catherine Bush’s latest novel, Blaze Island. This live conversation picks up where their interview with The New Quarterly left off. 


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  • CATHERINE BUSH is the author of five novels, including Blaze Island (2020), the Canada Reads long-listed Accusation (2013), the Trillium Award short-listed Claire’s Head (2004), andThe Rules of Engagement (2000), a New York Times Notable Book and a Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year. She was recently a Fiction Meets Science Fellow at the HWK in Germany and has spoken internationally about addressing the climate crisis in fiction. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph and Coordinator of the Guelph Creative Writing MFA, located in Toronto, Canada.

  • MAHAK JAIN writes fiction and poetry for young people and adults. She is the author of the picture book Maya (illustrated by Elly Mackay), which was a CBC Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in magazines across the US and Canada, and she has been long listed for the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Born in Delhi, Mahak has also lived in Dubai, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Montreal. She currently lives in Toronto, where she is a professor of creative writing.