Aug 29, 2020
Jael Richardson is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life, a memoir exploring her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. It was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. Richardson is a book columnist and guest host on CBC’s q. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and lives in Brampton, Ontario where she founded and serves as the Artistic Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). Her debut novel, Gutter Child, is coming out in January 2021 with HarperCollins Canada.
Jael's recent tweet about Canadian children's book publishers being racist caught my attention, and we agreed to talk about it via Zoom. During the second half of our conversation I present some of the feedback I received from Canadian publishers about the Tweet. During the first Jael talks about her memoir, life with her father, being black in Canada and the feeling of being lost. Among her key points: diversified hiring practices are good for business, it's important for young black students to meet black authors, and publishers should pay attention to who's making the money off the stories they choose to publish.
(Please accept my apologies for the annoying keyboard tapping sounds that occur at times during the course of the conversation. No idea why they're there. Perhaps it's the Russians trying to wreak havoc with the show, who knows).