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Building Literary Homes: An Evening with Jane Cawthorne & Theresa Kishkan

November 24, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

On Thursday, November 24 at 6pm, join Massy Arts Society and Massy Books for the launch of two new novels: Patterson House (Inanna Publications) by Jane Cawthorne, a queer tale of love, loss and family shame taking place in 1930’s Toronto; and Blue Portugal & Other Essays (The University of Alberta Press) by Theresa Kishkan, braided essays that offers up a sense of wonder at the interconnectedness of all things.

Join both authors for readings and an intimate discussion on the overlapping themes of familial histories, loss and the ways in which we shape our own personal geneologies by making defiant choices amidst the ongoing culpability of colonialists and patriarchs.


Registration is free, open to all and mandatory for entrance.
Purchase Patterson House by Jane Cawthorne and Blue Portugal & Other Essays by Theresa Kishkan at Massy Books


Venue & Accessibility
The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.

Registration is free, open to all and mandatory for entrance. The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site.

Covid Protocols: Attendees must wear a mask (N95 masks are encouraged and recommended as they offer the best protection). We ask if you are showing symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.


The Books

Patterson House follows the story of Alden Patterson, the last member of the Patterson family, who lives in a decaying house in Toronto in the 1930s with Constance, a foundling, and John Hunt, an injured war veteran and the family’s former gardener. Although the Pattersons were once wealthy, William Patterson’s suicide left the family tainted. He is not at all at rest in his after-life and acts as a sometimes narrator and guide to the past, present and future. When Alden is reduced to taking in boarders, she thinks she has found a way to survive until the crash of 1929 leaves her truly desperate and one particular boarder threatens to destroy everything she thinks she wants.


Blue Portugal & Other Essays thinks deeply about the natural world, mourns and celebrates the aging body, gently contests recorded history, and considers art and visual phenomena using the richness of braided essays. Gathering personal genealogies, medical histories, and early land surveys together with the liminal spaces in memory, insights from music, colour theory, horticulture, and textile production, Kishkan weaves a pattern of richly textured threads, welcoming readers to share her intellectual and emotional preoccupations. With an intimate awareness of place and time, a deep sensitivity to family, and a poetic delight in travel, local food and wine, and dogs, Blue Portugal & Other Essays offers up a sense of wonder at the interconnectedness of all things.


The Authors

Jane Cawthorne writes about women on the brink of transformation. Her debut novel, Patterson House, is set in Toronto, her birthplace, and a city dear to her even when she lives elsewhere. Her short stories and essays are often anthologized and have appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and even scholarly journals. With E. D. Morin, Jane has edited two anthologies: Impact: Women Writing After Concussion, and Writing Menopause. She currently lives in Victoria, BC.

Theresa Kishkan lives on the Sechelt Peninsula with her husband, John Pass, in a house they built and where they raised their 3 children. She has published 16 books, most recently Euclid’s Orchard, a collection of essays about family history, botany, mathematics, and love (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2017); a novella, The Weight of the Heart (Palimpsest Press, 2020), in which a young graduate student attempts to create a feminist cartography with the works of Ethel Wilson and Sheila Watson; and Blue Portugal and Other Essays (University of Alberta Press, 2022), a collection of lyrical essays. Her books have been nominated for many awards, including the Hubert Evans Award and the Ethel Wilson Prize. Her interests include textiles, ethnobotany, music, human and physical geography, and colour theory, strands of which are braided together in Blue Portugal.


Donating to Massy Arts Society

Have you noticed our by donation ticket option? Massy Arts Society is primarily funded by Massy Books, an Indigenous woman-owned and operated bookstore on the unceded territories of XwMuthkwium (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. To date we haven’t received any operating funds from any grants and are now providing the option for folks to contribute to keeping our events accessible and doors open. All proceeds from your donation will go towards operation costs of our community hub while we focus on supporting the practices of Indigenous and over-excluded artists. Consider donating when you register for your next event.


November 24, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST