Books·Canada Reads 2019

Winnie Yeung

Winnie Yeung is a Canadian writer.

Co-author of Homes, defended by Chuck Comeau

Winnie Yeung is an Edmonton, Alta.-based teacher who helped her student Abu Bakr al Rabeeah tell his family's story in the book Homes. (CBC)

Winnie Yeung's book Homes, co-written with Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, will be defended by Chuck Comeau on Canada Reads 2019.

The 2019 debates are happening March 25-28, 2019 and will be hosted by Ali Hassan

About Winnie Yeung

Winnie Yeung is an English teacher from Edmonton, Alta. She published her first book, Homeswith Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, in 2018. The book is an account of al Rabeeah's experience as a young boy in Syria during the civil war and his family's journey to safety in Canada. 

Homes was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction.

What Winnie Yeung learned writing Homes

"As a teacher I ask my students to write so much and I forget that it's an exercise in vulnerability. You're putting yourself out there. For me, I had to push through my own fears and insecurities about writing just so that I get through it and literally hand the pages over to Abu Bakr.

The best gift that we can give to anyone who's going through any kind of trauma, big or small, just to listen.- Winnie Yeung

"The thing that I learned the most is just to push through those scary insecure parts in writing. Listening became the thing that I had to learn how to do in terms of trying to listen without my own preconceived notions getting in the way — that was big. As a teacher especially, we're so used to jumping in and offering comfort or offering advice. To be able to just sit back and be quiet and let Abu Bakr tell the story that he needed to, that was hard for me to do. Now I'm realizing that is the best gift that we can give to anyone who's going through any kind of trauma, big or small, just to listen."

Read more in Winnie Yeung's interview with CBC Books.

Books by Winnie Yeung

Interviews with Winnie Yeung

Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung on why we need to understand the refugee experience

5 years ago
Duration 3:52
Featured VideoIn this special Canada Reads 2019 edition of the CBC Books' video series, the co-authors of Homes talk about how caring for others is a part of our shared humanity.
Featured VideoCanada Reads contenders Winnie Yeung & Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah talk to Shelagh Rogers about their book, HOMES: A Refugee Story. (CANADA READS SELECTION)
Featured VideoWinnie didn't imagine at first that she would write a novel based on Syrian refugee Abu Bakr al-Rabeeah's life, but that's exactly what happened. Homes, a novel based on her student's story, has topped the bestseller list in Edmonton.