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Deceit and Honesty, Duplicity and Candor: The Paradox of Researching a Story of Human Rights

Date & Time:
September 14, 2018 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
TIA House (SS 1059)
Denise Chong
Photo by Monique de St. Croix

Please join the U of Calgary Creative Writing Research Group and TIA House for a talk by former CDWP Writer-in-Residence Denise Chong: "Deceit and Honesty, Duplicity and Candor: The Paradox of Researching a Story of Human Rights." Everyone is welcome!

Denise Chong, an internationally published and award-winning writer, is best known for The Concubine’s Children, a memoir of three generations of her family set between Canada and China. Called “beautiful, haunting and wise” by the New York Times Book Review, it was a Globe and Mail bestseller for 93 weeks. Her subsequent books were equally ground-breaking social histories: The Girl in the Picture, about the Vietnam War’s most famous casualty; Egg on Mao, a mediation on human rights which pivots on a young bus mechanic's act of defiance during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests; and Lives of the Family, an exploration of exile and isolation in overlapping stories about a handful of Chinese immigrants who find themselves in small town post-war Canada.

Born in Vancouver and raised in Prince George, Denise earned a BA in economics from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in economics and public policy from the University of Toronto. She began her working life in the federal finance department, went on to become senior economic advisor in the office of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and on his retirement in 1984, turned to writing. She published her first book at age forty.

A board member of the Writers' Trust of Canada, Denise is a past faculty member of the Sage Hill Writing Experience, where she led the non-fiction workshop. In Ottawa, she participates enthusiastically in a program that puts authors in classrooms.