Honour

In Memory: Wayson Choy Video

Produced by Elwin T. Xie

Wayson Choy (April 20, 1939 – April 28, 2019) was a friend and mentor to many. Publishing two novels and two memoirs in his lifetime, he is considered both one of the most important pioneers of Asian Canadian literature in Canada, and an important figure in LGBT literature as one of Canada’s first openly gay writers of colour to achieve widespread mainstream success and an important figure in LGBT literature as one of Canada’s first openly gay writers of colour to achieve widespread mainstream success. Choy was born in Vancouver in 1939 and spent his childhood in the city’s Chinatown. Choy published a number of short stories while studying creative writing at university, with one of his stories appearing in the annual Best American Short Stories anthology, but after graduating he devoted himself primarily to teaching and taught at Humber College in Toronto from 1967 to 2004. Choy was the author of the novel The Jade Peony (1995) which won the Trillium Book Award and the City of Vancouver Book Award.  His memoir Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood was published in 1999.  His second novel, All That Matters, was published in 2004 and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.  In 2009 Choy published Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying, his second and final memoir. On July 27, the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW), UBC Asian Canadian Studies & Migration Studies Program, UBC Creative Writing, the Vancouver Public Library, and Pacific Heritage Canada Centre (PCHC-MoM) organized a public memorial event “In Memory: Wayson Choy.”  

Hosts

  • WINNIE CHEUNG – Executive Director of PCHC-MoM
  • TODD WONG – President of the ACWW

Presenters (in order of appearance)

  • SILK ROAD MUSIC 
  • ROBERTA PRICE – First Nations Elder
  • GLENN DEER – Professor of English at UBC
  • JIM LOWE – Nephew of Wayson
  • ALMA LEE – Founder of Vancouver International Writers Festival
  • ERIC LI – Vice-President of ACWW, friend of Wayson
  • CYNDA YEASTING – Author 
  • JULIE ZILBER – Daughter of Jacob Zilber, who was Wayson’s instructor 

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