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History in Novels: Sarah Mughal & Xiran Jay Zhao – Hope Ablaze & Iron Widow

March 3 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST

On Sunday, March 3rd at 2pm, join Massy Arts, Massy Books and St Martin’s Press for the launch of Hope Ablaze by Sarah Mughal Rana in conversation with Xiran Jay Zhao and Emily Varga as they discuss how colonial history and their cultures inspired and shaped their writings.

With a touch of magic and poetry sprinkled throughout, Canadian author Sarah Mughal Rana’s Hope Ablaze is heartbreaking, often funny, and ultimately uplifting, not only celebrating the Islamic faith and Pakistani culture, but simultaneously confronting racism and Islamophobia with unflinching bravery.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

Venue & Accessibility

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

Registration is free and required for entrance. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/hope-ablaze-by-sarah-mughal-rana-plus-xiran-jay-zhao-and-emily-varga-tickets-816023768057?aff=oddtdtcreator

The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site.

Please refrain from wearing scents or heavy perfumes.

For more on accessibility including parking, seating, venue measurements and floor plan, and how to request ASL interpretation please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility

Covid Protocols: Masks keep our community safe and are mandatory (N95 masks are recommended as they offer the best protection). We ask if you are showing symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

About the book:

Hope Ablaze (St. Martin’s Press, 2024)

All My Rage meets The Poet X in this electric debut that explores a Muslim teen finding her voice in a post-9/11 America.

Nida has always been known as Mamou Abdul-Hafeedh’s niece – the poet that will fill her uncle’s shoes after he was wrongfully incarcerated during the war on terror. But for Nida, her poetry letters are her heart and sharing so much of herself with a world that stereotypes her faith and her hijab is not an option.

When Nida is illegally frisked at a Democratic Senatorial candidate’s political rally, she writes a scathing poem about the politician, never expecting the letter to go viral weeks before Election Day. Nida discovers her poem has won first place in a national contest, a contest she never entered, and her quiet life is toppled. But worst of all, Nida loses her ability to write poetry. In the aftermath of her win, Nida struggles to balance the expectations of her mother, her uncle, and her vibrant Muslim community with the person she truly wants to be.

About the author:

Sarah Mughal Rana, author of the debut novel Hope Ablaze, is a writer and student at Oxford University, pursuing her MPhil at the intersection of human rights and policy. She is a BookTok personality and the co-host of On the Write Track Podcast where she enjoys spilling tea with her favourite authors about the book world. Outside of school, she falls down history rabbit holes and trains in traditional martial arts. These days can find her on Instagram Tiktok .

About the guest:

Xiran Jay Zhao is the #1 New-York-Times-bestselling author of the Iron Widow series and Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor. Their books have been a finalist or winner of many awards, including the Nebula, BFSA, and Locus awards. A first-gen Hui Chinese immigrant from small-town China to Vancouver, Canada, they were raised by the Internet and made the inexplicable decision to leave their biochem degree in the dust to write books and make educational content instead. You can find them on Twitter for memes, Instagram for cosplays and fancy outfits, TikTok for fun short videos, and YouTube for long videos about Chinese history and culture.

About the moderator:

Emily Varga is a YA Fantasy author with a fondness for getting lost in bookstores, eating copious amounts of rice, and watching a lot of terrible reality tv. She has lived all over the world, but currently calls the Rocky Mountains of western Canada home, where she lives with her family and their menagerie of pets. When she’s not writing, Emily works as a family lawyer, where she learned more about storytelling than she ever expected. Emily’s debut novel FOR SHE IS WRATH is a Pakistani-inspired Count of Monte Cristo retelling meets Kill Bill and is out in fall 2024 with Wednesday Books.

Venue

MASSY ARTS SOCIETY
23 East Pender Street
Vancouver, BC Canada
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