“Shawna Lemay is the author of the recently released novel, Rumi and the Red Handbag which made Harper’s Bazaar’s #THELIST (must-reads for Fall 2015), the “Most Anticipated” list on the popular Canadian book website, 49th Shelf, and was selected for Maria Shriver's fall reading club. Nathalie Atkinson chose Rumi and the Red Handbag for Fall's Must-Read Fashion Books in the Globe and Mail.
“She has also written six books of poetry, a book of essays, and an experimental novel titled, Hive, which is about the possibility of the existence of a woman art forger. All the God-Sized Fruit, her first book, won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Calm Things: Essays was shortlisted for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction. She has an M.A. in English from the University of Alberta. She writes a weekly blog titled, Calm Things.
“Rumi and the Red Handbag follows the lives of Shaya and Ingrid-Simone, working together one winter at a second- hand clothing shop. Theodora’s Fine Consignment Clothing shop becomes a small world where Shaya, an academic who abandoned studying the secrets of women writers, finds in Ingrid-Simone a reason to begin writing again, on scraps of paper and post-its. Fresh, unique and intelligent, Rumi and The Red Handbag is a journey to the Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam, a journey to find Rumi, the soul, and the secret hidden in a red handbag.”
Lemay joined me live onstage at Authorpalooza 2 at Cha Island Tea Company in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona district on December 2, 2014. She talked about:
But we began by discussing poetry as a daily practice and why she is compelled to create verse. And now on MF GALAXY, my conversation with Shawna Lemay.