Why I Write

Farzana Doctor on why it's a great time to be a BIPOC writer in Canada

In this special CBC Books video series, Canadian authors talk about what literature means to them.

'There is this growing change, this shift that's happening in CanLit (right now).'

In this CBC Books video series, author Farzana Doctor on why it's a great time to be a writer from a racialized or Indigenous community. 2:00

Farzana Doctor is a Canadian novelist and social worker. She has published three novels to date, including 2015's All Inclusiveand won the 2011 Dayne Ogilvie Prize from the Writers' Trust of Canada for an emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender writer.

In the latest instalment of the CBC Books Why I Write video series, the author talks about why now is a great time to be a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) writer in this country.

Exciting times

"What excites me about the current literature scene in Canada is that there have been so many new voices, from racialized and Indigenous people. We're seeing the books of these individuals winning awards and doing well with Canadians. There is this growing change, this shift that's happening in CanLit that positions marginalized voices more in the centre."

An addiction to writing

"Writing is a bit of an addiction at this point. Ever since I started writing my first novel, it was something that I just had to keep going back to. And a day or a week doesn't really feel complete unless I've done some work on some poems or on my novel." 

What success looks like

"My mission in life is to be able to write from a place of spirit and of soul. It's not so much about fame or fortune although those things would be terrific to have!"

CBC Books's Why I Write series features authors speaking on what literature means to them. Shot on location at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre during the 2018 Canadian Writers' Summit. See episode one with Catherine Hernandez, episode two with Shyam Selvadurai and episode three with Drew Hayden Taylor.

Farzana Doctor's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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