life rattle show no. 1178

Presented on Sunday, NOVEMBER 13, 2011

 

Hosted by LAURIE KALLIS

featuring

Vic Gaysheyongai reading his story
"Buckeroo Bez and the Escape from the City of Lost Cause"

and

Donna Kakonge reading her story
"Superwomon"

tonight's Show

Tonight, on Life Rattle Number 1178, we present two stories by
Vic Gaysheyongai and Donna Kakonge.

“Buckeroo Bez and the Escape from the City of Lost Cause,” by Gaysheyongai, and “Superwomon,” by Kakonge, share more than a reference to the fantastic; they also share hopeful determination.
Both writers’ masterful use of subtle detail creates a dull, uncertain “here and nows” full of quiet desperation. In these bleak settings, we meet central characters who display incredible optimism and humour, and a degree of naive innocence, in their quest for a brighter future, with love and security and an ideal home.

Vic Gaykesheyongai was born in 1957 in Little Creek, Ontario, on Manitoulin Island. Vic, the second eldest of four children, moved with his family to Espanola when he was six. When Vic was eight years old his parents divorced. His mother met another man in Espanola, had a child with him, then the family moved to Kapuskasing for two years before moving, for a while, to Thessalon, Ontario. Vic's mother left their step-father, and took three children to Blind River, Ontario, where Vic and his younger brother and sister stayed with a white foster family. Vic's elder sister moved to Toronto. In 1973, Vic, his brother, both sisters and mother moved back to the Birch Island Reserve on Manitoulin Island. Vic took the bus to Espanola daily to finish his high school.

After high school, Vic came to Toronto with $180 dollars in his pocket. He rented a room near Spadina and Bloor, and got a job at a car park. Vic stayed for about a year then moved back to the reserve for the summer. He returned to Toronto, worked for another year, went to George Brown College for a one-year electrical and mechanical drafting program. Afterward, he worked as a bike courier, then as a driver for Canadian Linen. In 1989, Vic took a writing class at George Brown College, where he met Arnie Achtman.

Arnie Achtman described Vic Gaykesheyongai’sstories as subtle and gentle, full of everyday details that glide by effortlessly. They feel like being in a canoe without paddling, drifting along a river. You observe the scenery, time passes, and then you notice that you have arrived at some place different than where you started.

Donna Kakonge was born in 1972 in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada. Her dad, from Uganda, has a PhD in biology and currently delivers newspapers for the Toronto Star and owns residential properties. Her mom, from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, studied psychology and sociology. Kakonge is the first born. Her brother Kevin works as an immigration officer and her sister Lisa works as a speech pathologist. Kakonge, the aunt of two nieces, grew up and attended university in Toronto. She studied journalism at the undergraduate and graduate level, and currently studies curriculum, teaching and learning development at the doctoral level. She loves reading and writing, loves teaching and loves working in the world of education. Donna Kakonge is single and, for now, that helps her to focus on her career.

Kakonge’s writing has a distinctive voice and rythym that brings her characters to vibrant life. Tonight’s story will treat you to turns of phrase that will tickle your ears. Kakonge’s lyrical, vibrant prose absolutely engages.

Please note: this story includes language that some listeners might find offensive. Parental discretion is advised.