Sheila Heti | Pelham Edgar Distinguished Visitor in the Humanities
Sheila Heti is the author of ten books, including the novels Pure Colour, Motherhood and How Should a Person Be? She recently published her second children’s book, A Garden of Creatures, illustrated by Esme Shapiro. In early 2024, Alphabetical Diaries will be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Knopf Canada. The book, which was excerpted over 10 weeks in the New York Times, has been optioned for a television series by Hulu.
This fall, she is in residence at Yale as the Franke Visiting Fellow, and as Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer in Religious Studies.
She was named one of "The New Vanguard" by The New York Times; a list of fifteen writers from around the world who are "shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century." Her books have been translated into twenty-five languages.
Motherhood was chosen by the book critics at the New York Times as one of the top books of 2018, and New York magazine chose it as the Best Book of the year. How Should a Person Be? was named one of the 12 “New Classics of the 21st century” by Vulture. It was a New York Times Notable Book, a best book of the year in The New Yorker, and was cited by Time as "one of the most talked-about books of the year.”
Pure Colour is the recipient of the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.
Women in Clothes, a collaboration with Leanne Shapton, Heidi Julavits, and 639 women from around the world, became a New York Times bestseller. She is also the author of a children’s book titled We Need a Horse, with art by Clare Rojas.
Her play, All Our Happy Days are Stupid, had sold-out runs at The Kitchen in New York and Videofag in Toronto.
She was Interviews Editor at The Believer magazine, and has conducted many long-form print interviews with writers and artists, including Joan Didion, Elena Ferrante, Agnes Varda, Sophie Calle, Dave Hickey and John Currin. Her fiction and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Bookforum, n+1, Granta, The London Review of Books, and elsewhere.
A six-hour writing class and lecture, delivered in the Spring of 2021, can be purchased through the Shipman agency.
She is the founder of the Trampoline Hall lecture series, and appeared in Margaux Williamson’s 2012 film Teenager Hamlet, and in Leanne Shapton’s book, Important Artifacts. She lives in Toronto and Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.
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The Pelham Edgar Distinguished Visitor in the Humanities
Each year, we host a lecture by a notable visitor in the Humanities. Funding for this endeavour was established by Dr. Johanna L. Metcalf of the Victoria College Class of 1957 to fund visiting scholars and scholarly activities for Vic One. This lecture series is named in honour of Oscar Pelham Edgar (1871-1948). Born in Toronto, Ontario, Pelham Edgar was an accomplished teacher and academic, ultimately dedicating the majority of his working years to the Department of English at Victoria College. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1915 and received its Lorne Pierce Medal for distinguished service to Canadian literature in 1936.