Kevin Chong

Kevin Chong

Speaker Bio:

Kevin Chong is the author of six books of fiction and nonfiction, including most recently the 2018 novel The Plague.  Those titles have been named books of the year by Globe and Mail, National Post, and, listed for a CBC prize, a BC Book Prize, and a National Magazine Award, optioned for film and TV, and published in the US, Europe, and Australia.

His creative nonfiction and journalism have recently appeared in the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Rumpus, and the South China Morning Post. He lives in Vancouver but has recently begun teaching creative writing at UBCO in Kelowna.

Kevin will be in conversation with Hanif Abdurraqib about finding a way to focus on the needs of community, to create insular and sustainable uprising that can/will fuel the larger uprisings to come.

Plenary Presentation:

Kevin will be reading from his 2018 novel The Plague

Inspired by Albert Camus' classic 1947 novel, Kevin Chong's The Plague follows Dr. Bernard Rieux's attempts to fight the treatment-resistant disease and find meaning in suffering. His efforts are aided by Megan Tso, an American writer who is trapped in the city while on a book tour, and Raymond Siddhu, a city hall reporter at a daily newspaper on its last legs from the latest round of job cuts. Told with dark humour and an eye trained on the frailties of human behaviour, Chong's novel explores themes in keeping with Camus' original vision--heroism in the face of futility, the psychological strain of quarantine--but fraught with the political and cultural anxieties of our present day.

Breakout Session:

On the Needs of Community: A Reading and Conversation (with Hanif Abdurraqib)
This presentation will look at finding a way to focus on the needs of community, to create insular and sustainable uprisings that can/will fuel the larger uprisings to come.

UPDATED: February 15, 2023

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