Sarah Henstra

Sarah Henstra’s latest novel, The Red Word (2018), was published in the US by Grove Atlantic and in Canada by ECW. The UK edition will be published in 2019 by Tramp Press. Her previous novel Mad Miss Mimic (Penguin Canada, 2015) is an historical tale for young adults. A new YA novel, We Contain Multitudes, is coming from Penguin Random House (Canada) and Little, Brown (US) in Spring 2019.

Sarah is a professor of English literature at Ryerson University, where she teaches courses in Gothic Horror, Fairy Tales & Fantasies, Psychoanalysis & Literature, and Creative Writing. She grew up on the wild, wet coast of British Columbia, but now she lives in Toronto, Ontario.

On Festival Sunday Sarah Henstra will be part of our “The Things We Do for Love” set at Rivermead from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

We Contain Multitudes

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets I’ll Give You the Sun in an exhilarating and emotional novel about the growing relationship between two teen boys, told through the letters written to one another.

Thrown together by a zealous English teacher’s classroom-mailbox assignment, notorious scrapper, Adam “Kurl” Kurlansky, and Jonathan Hopkirk, a flamboyant Walt Whitman wannabe, have to write an old-fashioned letter to each other every week. 

Kurl is a senior, an ex high school football player, held back a year, while Jo is a nerdy, out tenth grader with a penchant for vintage clothes and a deep love for poetry. They are an unlikely pair, but with each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying and familial abuse, Jonathan and Kurl must struggle to overcome their conflicts and hold onto their relationship, and each other.