Canada Reads is getting ready to celebrate its 20th season.
Ali Hassan will return to host the 2021 edition of the great Canadian book debate, which will take place March 8-11.
Hassan is an actor, comedian and host of CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud and a frequent guest host of q. He can also be seen in his recurring TV roles on Designated Survivor (ABC), Odd Squad (PBS Kids) and Cardinal (CTV).
Hassan has hosted Canada Reads since 2017.
“I just love being part of a national debate — a national event — that’s a great feeling. But also, Canada Reads kind of restores my faith in humanity every year. You get to a point where you’re like, ‘Is anybody reading anything?’ ‘Does anybody care about literature?’ And then you’re reminded about how many people get engaged in this process. They’re reading, they’re talking, they’re deliberating about intelligent, important things and it’s great,” Hassan said in an interview with CBC before Canada Reads in 2019.
The 2021 shortlisted books and panellists will be announced in January.
We Have Always Been Here is an exploration of the ways we disguise and minimize ourselves for the sake of survival. As a child, Habib hid her faith from Islamic extremists in Pakistan and later, as a refugee in Canada, endured racist bullying and the threat of an arranged marriage. In travelling the world and exploring art and sexuality, Habib searches for the truth of her identity.
Other past Canada Reads winners include Lawrence Hill’s The Illegal, defended by Olympian Clara Hughes, Kim Thúy’s Ru, defended by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey and Lisa Moore’s February, defended by comedian Trent McClellan.