Open Letters and Closed Doors:

How the Steven Galloway open letter dumpster fire forced me to acknowledge the racism and entitlement at the heart of CanLit


By Jen Sookfong Lee

Stress rashes. Insomnia. Blind rage. This is how I spent a good portion of 2016.

It’s a funny thing: last year, in most ways that were personal and intimate, was a good one for me. My latest novel, The Conjoined, was published by the wonderful ECW Press and reviewed well. I finished writing two non-fiction books. I started writing a poetry collection. I became the Fiction Mentor at The Writers’ Studio Online. My son and I marked our first full year in a new home.

But when the UBC Accountable open letter was published, my entire professional world disintegrated.

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HLR is the creation of Humber College’s Department of English, and its collective includes writers, academics, critics, visual artists, and linguists. Our goal is to share our enthusiasm for work that provokes, excites, and entertains — writing that makes you want to read more.