Larissa Lai, author of When Fox is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl – comes to Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner
Last year, Larissa Lai was a guest at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner. She enjoyed the event so much she is coming back… as our featured poet! At a reading event at the Vancouver Public Library, Larissa shared with me that she teaches Robert Burns to her students at University of BC. Wow… Perfect!
But Larissa is much more than that… She is an acclaimed poet in her own right, and the author of two novels – When Fox Is A Thousand, and Salt Fish Girl. Both books are in my personal collection. I first met Larissa back in 1994, when I wrote an article for the SFU Student Newspaper, and she was a featured poet for the Go For Broke Festival – the forerunner of Asian Heritage Month.
But I am sorry to share that we will NOT be serving Salted Fish at the 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner. While my mother used to (and still does) cook salted fish at home… I have selected pan-fried spicy salted prawns (Jew-Yim-Hah) for the 2010 Menu… one of my favorite dishes.
Larissa Lai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at
The University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD from the University
of Calgary. Her first novel, When Fox Is a Thousand (Press Gang 1995)
was shortlisted for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her
second novel, Salt Fish Girl (Thomas Allen Publishers 2002) was
shortlisted for the Sunburst Award, the Tiptree Award and the City of
Calgary W. O. Mitchell Award. In 2004, West Coast Line published a
special issue focussed on her work. She has been the Markin-Flanagan
Writer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary (1997-8), and
Writer-in-Residence in the English Department at Simon Fraser
University (2006). sybil unrest, her collaborative long poem with Rita Wong, was published by Line Books in 2009. Eggs in the Basement, a long poem based on a vocabulary exhaustion exercise, surprised its writer by telling the story of Moses and Monotheism. It was published by Nomados, also in 2009. Lai’s first solo full-length poetry book, Automaton Biographies, has just been released by Arsenal Pulp Press.