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Episode 9 - Interview with Jackie Lau, plus Crazy Rich Asians, and Outrageous Acts of Science

Jackie Lau (,, joins us for a lively conversation. We talk about indie vs. traditional publishing, writing ethnically diverse characters respectfully, writing humour that eschews damaging stereotypes, and having a great sense of place in a story. Margrit watched Outrageous Acts of Science ( because hashtag children on...


Episode 8 - The Fosters and Hidden Figures

Lin has been bingeing The Fosters on Netflix (, and she recommends it for broad representation of diversity, in terms of race/ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, as well as disability. It doesn’t hurt that the writers have nailed the dramatic structure, so that each episode ends on a cliff hanger. You have no choice but to binge-watch! In the mean time, Margrit has caught up to 2016! They watched finally watched Hidden Figures...


Episode 7 - Seven Fallen Feathers and Echo

Tanya Talaga’s non-fiction book Seven Fallen Feathers illustrates the vicious confluence of racist attitudes and a colonizing culture through the stories of seven indigenous children who died in similar circumstances in Thunder Bay, Ontario. We talk about how much of the history and reality of indigenous people living in Canada is still obscured and rendered invisible today. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan weaves the fictional stories of three musically gifted children who live in politically...


Episode 6 - Green Book Revisited, Care Work, and Disability Kid Lit

We revisit Green Book, and discuss how marginalized people—or parts of a marginalized existence—are left out of mainstream stories told from a more privileged perspective. Lin rejoices in the rich conversations about disability at the launch of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Margrit brings up some middle-grade novels featuring disabled protagonists. In some of them, living with disability is the main plot point, e.g., El Deafo by Cece Bell,...


Episode 5 - Charlotte Gray's 2018 Harold Innis Lecture and Less

Lin went to the promisingly titled “Telling Stories in the Age of Historical Amnesia” 2018 Harold Innis Lecture at the University of Toronto, and found it did not live up to the expectations. Charlotte Gray, a highly acclaimed author of historical non-fiction, insisted on the need to understand and critique events in their historical context. We found it troubling when Gray used as an illustrative example the removal of the statue of John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first prime minister, from...


Episode 4 - Happiness and Dating You/Hating You

Hope in trying times. Margrit finds refuge in Thích Nhất Hạnh’s book Happiness that combines meditation practices by the renowned Buddhist monk and activist with anecdotes from his daily life. We chat about the West’s penchant for appropriating spiritual practices like meditation and yoga and stripping them of their roots. Lin’s quest turns sour when the rom-com she chooses, Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren, turns out to be a study in barely challenged sexism. With a heroine...


Episode 3 - Everything I Never Told You and The Marvels

Lin liked Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You for its complex and unflinching portrayal of life as a racialized minority in 70’s America. The well-crafted story elicits strong emotions through the interwoven narrative strands that revolve around coping with grief and with oppressive social dynamics. Another interwoven narrative, Brian Selznick’s The Marvels is a touching middle-grade story set against the background of the AIDS crisis in the early nineties. Margrit loved it for the...


Episode 2 - Kat Chow's If We Called Ourselves Yellow, Glasses, and Webtoon

Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch wrote about using the term "yellow" to describe East Asians in her article If We Called Ourselves Yellow. Lin discusses her unease with the term and its association with disease. From there, a conversation about acetate glasses manufactured to fit only a narrow strip of the population evolves into how stereotypes about races and ethnicities still reign in the popular imagination. Finally, Margrit raves about Webtoons and their rich and entertaining library...


Episode 1 - Green Book and Kids Baking Championship

Lin talks about how much she loved Green Book, winner of TIFF’s People’s Choice Awards, and its realistically diverse supporting cast surrounding the main story. Margrit tries to learn about North-American middle-graders from Kids Baking Championships, but comes out with questions about why the onus is always on the minority to conform to dominant cultures. Plus, what the heck are bar cookies? Question of the episode: What stories have you seen that actually walks the talk of diversity?...


#0.5 Introduction Episode

Welcome to the World of Stories podcast! This is a biweekly show hosted by Hudson Lin and Margrit Talpalaru. Join us as we discover diverse stories the world over.