Canada Reads

4 things to read, watch and listen to after you've read The Boat People

If you're inspired by the Canada Reads finalist Sharon Bala, here are some books, movies and music to check out.
Sharon Bala's novel The Boat People will be defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah. (CBC)

The Boat People documents people and families undergoing change in Canada. In it, the arrival of a ship full of Sri Lankan refugees tests the resolve of a father, his son, their lawyer and an adjudicator throughout a long hearing process. 

Sharon Bala's novel was defended by singer Mozhdah Jamalzadah on Canada Reads 2018.

Below is a list of stories to read, watch and listen that portray lives undergoing transformation.

Read: The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill the the author of the Canada Reads–winning novel The Illegal. (HarperCollins)

Winner of Canada Reads 2016, Lawrence Hill's novel is set in a land that deports its refugees. The novel keeps up with Keita, a runner, as he illegally flees into Freedom Land and hides from its government in the Underground with fellow refugees. Hill turns his attention to the hospitality of individuals in the face of a hostile nation.

Read: A Tale of the Dispossessed by Laura Restrepo

Laura Restrepo reinterprets the decades of violence in Colombia through a romance between refugees in the novel A Tale of the Dispossessed. (Carlos Duque/HarperCollins)

Displacement creates the perfect conditions for a particular kind of romance in Laura Restrepo's novel. A Tale of the Dispossessed chronicles the pilgrimage of a nameless narrator and her love interest, a man called Three Sevens, who searches for the woman responsible for taking him in as a child refugee. Restrepo picks and pulls at this love triangle to examine what war can do to the most basic of emotions.

Watch: Dheepan 

A former Tamil Tiger soldier leaves Sri Lanka to begin a new life in France under a false identity and with two women pretending to be his wife and daughter. Jacques Audiard's film traces a character who resists violence, but cannot distance himself from it long enough to rebuild his own identity. The film won the 2015 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Listen: X-amounts by controller.controller


Indie rock band controller.controller disbanded shortly after the release of X-amounts. It's lead singer Nirmala Basnayake, who is Sri Lankan Canadian, covers a range of social and personal subjects on the album, such as the story of a conflicted homecoming on the track Tigers Not Daughters


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