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Ian Williams

Photo Credit: Luke Khomeriki

Ian Williams

Ian Williams’ debut novel Reproduction won the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and his debut nonfiction work, Disorientation, was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Award. His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and his new collection, Word Problems, won the Raymond Souster Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and his first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. He is a trustee for the Griffin Poetry Prize and was recently inducted into the City of Brampton Arts Walk of Fame. A tenured professor of English at the University of Toronto, Williams will be the Visiting Fellow at the American Library in Paris in 2022.

All Ian Williams's books

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An original essay by Ian Williams, author of REPRODUCTION, in honor of Mother's Day. First published in Hazlitt magazine.

Latest reviews

  • “Williams interrogates moments when Black people have their personal identities challenged by the powerful misperceptions of others. Williams turns these scenes of intimate and public disorientation into subtle, radical essays on self-realization.”
    — Boston Globe, Dec 9 2021
  • “Williams helps to bring Canada into the discussion of Blackness, especially as it relates to the country’s foundational and systematic discrimination of people of color, specifically Black people.”
    — Bookriot, Nov 30 2021
  • “A lyrical, closely observed contribution to the literature of race and social justice.”
    — Kirkus Reviews, Oct 13 2021
  • “Writing from his perspective as a Trinidadian Canadian, Williams extrapolates universal insight into the experience of living under white supremacy.”
    — Quill & Quire, Aug 27 2021
  • “Don’t let the 550-page count fool you: the writing style is the opposite of weighty and dense—it is mischievous, funny, moving, and full of stunning revelations about how strangers become family. Simply breathtaking!"
    — American Booksellers Association, Apr 29 2020
  • “Williams brings the characters’ struggles and flaws to life with compassion and intelligence, and the novel deftly explores themes of inheritance, race, money, sex, and love.”
    — BookRiot, Apr 25 2020
  • “Williams’s imaginative, intricate tapestries are dazzling [...] In his rich probes of language and intimacy, legacy and inheritance, he slyly shows that reproduction is consequential, but so is everything else.”
    — New York Times Book Review, Apr 21 2020
  • “Williams creatively and masterfully intersperses poetry, dialog, humor, pregnant asides, music lyrics, and descriptive passages to reveal what is going on inside the characters’ heads and outside in the world around them.”
    — Library Journal, Apr 1 2020
  • Reproduction is a very funny book that deals with serious topics.”
    — North Country Public Radio, Feb 17 2020
  • “A generation-spanning debut novel of unintended pregnancies and imperfect chosen families, winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize, by a black Canadian writer...A witty, formally thrilling family saga.” Read the full review in Kirkus Reviews
    — Kirkus Reviews, Jan 27 2020
  • “...two strangers meet while their respective mothers lie dying. What sounds lugubrious actually proves to be one of the most energetic, lively, funny, and sad novels of the year.”
    — Quill & Quire, Dec 4 2019
  • “This year’s Giller winner is a family saga like no other, with vivid characters and spectacular narrative twists.This is a fresh and exciting literary voice.”
    — Now Toronto, Dec 3 2019
  • “Polyphonic and big-hearted, the novel cycles between the center of Toronto and the suburbs around it, giving a geographical picture as kinetic as the story it tells.”
    — Electric Literature, Aug 26 2019
  • “Reproduction is an inventive and tender portrait of family life in all its forms.”
    — Rabble, Mar 21 2019
  • “A sprawling novel that is both funny and poignant, powerful and playful.”
    — Calgary Herald, Feb 9 2019
  • “Witty, playful, and disarmingly offbeat—even as it hums with serious themes.”
    — The Toronto Star, Jan 25 2019

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