PEN World Voices Festival presents STILL, THEY PERSISTED Sharon Bala, Marcos Aguinis
About This Show
Where do people find the inner resources, the determination, the doggedness and the sheer physical wherewithal to keep going in the face of adversity and torment? Each of these writers tells compelling stories of epic feats of persistence. Sharon Bala’s boatload of Sri Lankan refugees lands in Canada but instead of receiving sanctuary they are imprisoned because of fears that their group includes terrorists; their quest for freedom moves to the courts. Marcos Aguinis tells the extraordinary story of the Jewish intellectual who resisted the tortures of the Spanish Inquisitors in 16th century South America and fought to retain his faith. The common theme is the almost superhuman effort of individuals to persist in the face of danger and death.
Sharon Bala’s debut novel, The Boat People, was published by McClelland & Stewart and Doubleday US in January 2018. The manuscript won the Percy Janes First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Fresh Fish Award. A three-time recipient of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Arts and Letters award, she has stories published in Hazlitt, Grain, The Dalhousie Review, and others.
Photo Credit: Nadra Ginting
Marcos Aguinis wrote the definitive account of the life of Francisco Maldonado da Silva, who resisted the Spanish Inquisition in South America, with his novel Against the Inquisition (8/1/18). This book came highly recommended as a “stirring song to freedom” by Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
Photo Credit: Veronica Vissagio