Téa Mutonji published her debut book Shut Up, You're Pretty in the spring of 2019. The short story collection traverses the vibrant inner-worlds of women, exploring themes of race, class, migration and femininity as they collide in Scarborough, Ont. Mutonji also contributed to the essay collection The Unpublished City, Volume II edited by Phoebe Wang, Canisia Lubrin and Dionne Brand.
Born in Congo-Kinshasa, Mutonji is now based in Scarborough, Ont.
CBC Books named Mutonji a writer to watch in 2019.
- Why Téa Mutonji wanted her first short story collection to challenge what diverse literature is supposed to be
- 19 Canadian writers to watch in 2019
- Toronto author's short-story collection gives readers another view of Scarborough
Books by Téa Mutonji
"I was first writing these stories independently and I realized that I was writing the same character for the protagonist. I wanted to explore why I was doing that. I didn't want to write a collection of short stories about a young black woman living her life and have it be suggested that it was the experience of all black women. I did understand, however, that it would probably be regarded as such because we don't have enough young women of colour writing.
That was important to me, to show that this is one woman experiencing different women in multiple ways and experiencing different experiences in multiple ways.- Téa Mutonji
"I decided to keep it to one character so this could be viewed as one experience. That was important to me, to show that this is one woman experiencing different women in multiple ways and experiencing different experiences in multiple ways. This is not at all the experience of every person of colour, of every women, of every immigrant and of every person from that Galloway neighbourhood."