Tuesday, February 4, 2020 | 7 PM
CSI Annex, 720 Bathurst St, Toronto

Tickets: Pay-What-You-Can $0 | $10 | $15


The Koffler Centre of the Arts is thrilled to announce the return of it’s year-round Books & Ideas series for 2020 with Texas-based writer and social commentator, Bryan Washington, in conversation with Toronto-based author Adnan Khan.

Dubbed “the rising star of literary Houston” (Literary Hub), Bryan Washington is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Recipient, the recipient of an Ernest J. Gaines Award, and the recipient of an O. Henry Award. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Vulture, The Paris Review, Tin House, One Story, GQ, among others.

Lot, Washington’s critically-acclaimed first collection of linked short stories, was released in 2019. Set in Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the book traces the coming-of-age of a young man growing up Black, Latino and gay. Lot captures Houston’s culturally-rich yet gritty urban landscape, revealing the vulnerable existence of communities living under the shadow of poverty and violence with raw power and tenderness. Offering rare insight into what makes a community, a family, and a life, Lot explores trust and love in all its unsparing and unsteady forms.

Selected to The New York Times 100 Notable Books and included on Barack Obama’s favourite books of 2019, The Guardian called Lot a “bruising, enthralling debut collection of interlinked tales portray[ing] precarious lives in Houston.” The New York Times called it “a profound exploration of the true meaning of borders, written very much for and about our current cultural moment.”

Adnan Khan has written for VICE, The Globe and Mail, and Hazlitt. He has been nominated for a National Magazine Award and in 2016 won the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. There Has to Be a Knife (2019) is his first novel.

Photo Credit: David Gracia.

Wednesday February 5, 2020 | 11 AM – 2 PM
Paintbox Bistro | 555 Dundas St E, Toronto

Designed for youth and emerging writers interested in writing through a personal voice. Led by author Bryan Washington, participants will explore issues of identity, place and personal narrative. This is a free workshop but registration is required to attend. Applications are open on a first come, first serve basis. DEADLINE TO APPLY: Thursday, January 30, 2020.


*Includes complimentary ticket to Bryan Washington & Adnan Khan

Refreshments and workshop materials provided.



Presented in partnership with the Regent Park Film Festival.

Koffler Centre of the Arts’ Books & Ideas series spotlights provocative writers, artists and thinkers, celebrating literary excellence and fostering critical dialogue through compelling book launches, author talks and on-stage interviews. With a thematic focus on counter-narratives, the series features books that employ fiction, memoir, and photography as tools of resistance.

The 2020 Books & Ideas series foreground authors and books that explore the complexities of gender, race, sexuality and the diasporic experience. Full details on upcoming 2020 series are coming soon.

Books & Ideas presented in partnership with:


With generous support from Dorothy Shoichet & Family, the Estate of Joseph Koenig, the Koffler Family Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council and CIBC Wood Gundy. 

Books & Ideas Media Partner:

Flowers generously provided by: