Joy Kogawa to speak on “Forgiveness” in New Denver area June 7 and 8

Famed Canadian novelist and memoirist Joy Kogawa will give a series of West Kootenay talks on the theme of “Forgiveness” beginning in the New Denver area on June 7 and 8.

Joy Kogawa
Image Credit: Yukiko Onley

Kogawa is the author of the 1981 Canadian classic novel Obasan, based on the author’s own internment down the lake at Slocan City during World War II. Kogawa is a member of the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia. In 2010 she received the Japanese government’s Order of the Rising Sun for her contribution to preserving Japanese-Canadian history.

This year Kogawa is the headliner at the annual Convergence Writers’ Weekend in Silverton. She will speak on the theme of “Writing Toward Forgiveness” on Friday, June 7 at 7 pm at the Silverton Gallery. Her talk is open to the public as well as Convergence registrants; cost to the public is $12.

Kogawa’s other talks are on the theme of “The Journey Toward Forgiveness.” She will speak at 2 pm on Saturday, June 8 at the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre in New Denver. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students or seniors.

On Sunday, June 9 at 3 pm, Kogawa will speak at the Nelson United Church, and on Monday, June 10, she will talk at Kaslo’s Langham Centre.

Gently to Nagasaki cover
Image Credit: Caitlin Press

The focus of Kogawa’s West Kootenay talks will be her most recent book, the 2016 memoir Gently to Nagasaki, which is available at Raven’s Nest. The Vancouver Sun’s Douglas Todd called the book “a mature work of history and spirituality, bravely detailing the intersection between mass global evils and those perpetrated intimately by members of one’s own family.

“Kogawa’s memoir deeply explores how denial works in regards to racism, paedophilia, nuclear power, Canadian internment camps and Japanese war atrocities,” Todd said. The Toronto Globe and Mail praised Gently to Nagasaki for “breaking the us/them dichotomy of victimization.”

(This post is based on the Convergence Writers’ Weekend press release. For more information visit <>.)