Shut Up You're Pretty is a Canada Reads finalist!
About the announcement, Téa says, “My first thought was, Oh my God, what is happening, this book is the gift that keeps giving. And then that song 'this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine' giggled in my head like it’s done in the past when I’m both ignited and just straight up terrified.”
Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first book in the VS. Books imprint, a series curated and edited by writer-musician Vivek Shraya featuring work by new and emerging writers who are Indigenous, Black, or people of colour.
“I launched VS. Books in 2017 with a humble open call and a lot of hope,” Vivek says. “I remember reading Téa’s first draft and immediately being captivated by her stories. It blows my mind that seven years later, Shut Up You’re Pretty is a Canada Reads finalist! It’s been an incredible journey with Téa and this book and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Stay tuned for the next open call coming soon!”
The 23rd edition of the great Canadian book debate takes place March 4–7, 2024, where Shut Up You’re Pretty will be championed by Kudakwashe Rutendo.
Kudakwashe Rutendo is an actor to watch, originally from Fort McMurray, Alberta, and now based in Toronto. Kudakwashe is known for her breakout role in the new feature film Backspot, which made its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Kudakwashe was also honoured and named as one of the prestigious 2023 TIFF Rising Stars.
“Finding out that Kudakwashe is going to be championing it unlocked something so precious in me,” Téa says. “She’s a young Black artist just like me wanting to tell stories, all kinds of stories but especially our stories, and to be on this journey together feels like the whole point of my mission as an artist.”
Congratulations to all the other authors and publishers shortlisted. Let the debates begin!