Eternity Martis says this book by Dionne Brand changed the way she thought about writing
Eternity Martis is a Toronto-based journalist, author and senior editor at Xtra. Her first book, They Said This Would Be is a memoir about the difficulty of navigating through white spaces as one of the few students of colour on campus, and asks us to confront the systemic issues that define the college experience for racialized and marginalized students.
Martis told The Next Chapter about a book that change the way she thinks about writing.
"A book that was fundamental to my writing process and me becoming a writer was Dionne Brand's What We All Long For, which is about a group of four diverse people trying to navigate friendship and love in Toronto while they're in school. As a young person, I was in AP English when I was about 16 or 17 years old and it was the first time I was open to all these kinds of books. For a book assignment, I chose Dionne Brand's What We All Long For. It opened my eyes to the kinds of the lives that were out there, the lives that I felt I was living or wanted to live.
There was so much about friendship and love and queerness and what it meant to be a woman of colour and a queer woman of colour.
"There was so much about friendship and love and queerness and what it meant to be a woman of colour and a queer woman of colour. It opened my eyes. I was like, 'Wow, I could write this stuff.' So every now and again, when I'm doing my own writing, I think about that book and what it meant to me. I often wonder if it was the launching pad for my own writing career."
- Why Dionne Brand is fascinated with Toronto — and how the diverse love and lives of its citizens intersect
Eternity Martis's comments have been edited for length and clarity.