The Reading List is my blog about what I’m currently writing and reading for inspiration.  As a writer and ex lit prof, my approach to reading and writing is creative and experimental.  It’s a far cry from the dry, academic writing I used to do when I went by “Dr.” 

Three years ago, I had a breakdown, went AWOL on the ivory tower and returned to my hometown, Toronto, in search of inspiration and a new way of reading literature that would allow me to chat with literary characters in my head, as if they’re real people (the first thing I was taught never to do during my Ph.D. studies).

The Reading List tells the story of my strange journey of reading my way toward happiness, and pursuing my childhood dream of becoming a writer. 

My memoir was released in February 2012.  It won the 2012 Canada-Japan Literary Award.  For more information, click here.

With grant support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council, I am presently completing an historical novel.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

About Me

My photo
Toronto, ON, Canada
Leslie Shimotakahara is a writer and recovering academic, who wanted to be simply a writer from before the time she could read. Hard-pressed to answer her parents’ question of how she would support herself as a writer, Leslie got drawn into the labyrinthine study of literature, completing her B.A. in Honours English from McGill in 2000, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern American Literature from Brown in 2006. After graduation, she taught English at St. Francis Xavier University for two years. Leslie woke up one morning and realized that she’d had enough of the Ivory Tower. The fact that she wasn’t doing what she wanted to do with her life loomed over her, and the realization was startling. It was time to stop studying and passively observing life and do something real instead. She needed to discover herself and tell her own story. This blog and the book she has written under the same title (Variety Crossing Press, spring 2012) are her foray. Leslie's writing has been published in WRITE, TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and GENRE.