On Refugees, Running, and the Politics of Writing: An Interview with Lawrence Hill


A former journalist and political speechwriter, Lawrence Hill has published ten books of fiction and non-fiction. The impact of his work as a novelist, essayist, memoirist, activist, and educator speaks to the power of writing to effect social change. “Artists have voices,” he affirms in the interview below, “and their voices can help influence—profoundly, sometimes—the way we see ourselves, and the way we see our country and the world and our roles in them.” Hill’s voice has contributed widely to pressing conversations about race, Black history, and social justice in North America for over two decades. Laura Moss, Brendan McCormack, and Lucia Lorenzi joined Hill to discuss his most recent novel, The Illegal (2015), which explores the contemporary refugee crisis in a global context, as part of a larger conversation about the conjunction of art and politics in Hill’s work as an author, public intellectual, and prominent voice within the Canadian literary community.

This article “On Refugees, Running, and the Politics of Writing: An Interview with Lawrence Hill” originally appeared in Meanwhile, Home. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 232 (Spring 2017): 11-27.

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