Arts·Q with Tom Power

How staying true to herself helped Zalika Reid-Benta become an award-winning author

The Canadian writer sits down with Q's Tom Power to talk about her new novel, River Mumma — a fantasy that unequivocally pays homage to her roots.

The Canadian writer discusses her new novel, River Mumma

Head shot of a woman, the writer Zalika Reid-Benta, with blue and purple braided hair.
Zalika Reid-Benta in the Q studio in Toronto. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

Zalika Reid-Benta was only 28 when she took the book industry by storm. Her debut book, Frying Plantain, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. But here's the thing, Zalika almost didn't finish writing it after some initial feedback deemed the manuscript "too Jamaican" and "too Canadian."

Now, she's back with her second book and debut novel, River Mumma — a fantasy that unequivocally pays homage to her roots. Reid-Benta talks to Q's Tom Power about her new novel and how her unwavering commitment to her roots paid off. 

The full interview with Zalika Reid-Benta is available on our podcast, Q with Tom Power. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Interview with Zalika Reid-Benta produced by Nikky Manfredi.