Winner of the 2018 City of Vancouver Book Award
From Vancouver-based writer Chelene Knight, Dear Current Occupant is a creative non-fiction memoir about home and belonging set in the 80s and 90s of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Using a variety of forms, Knight reflects on her childhood through a series of letters addressed to all of the current occupants now living in the twenty different houses she moved in and out of with her mother and brother. From blurry non-chronological memories of trying to fit in with her own family as the only mixed East Indian/Black child, to crystal clear recollections of parental drug use, Knight draws a vivid portrait of memory that still longs for a place and a home.
Peering through windows and doors into intimate, remembered spaces now occupied by strangers, Knight writes to them in order to deconstruct her own past. From the rubble of memory she then builds a real place in order to bring herself back home.
About the author
CHELENE KNIGHT is the author of the novel Junie, which was longlisted for the inaugural Carol Shields Prize for Fiction; the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award and longlisted for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature; and Braided Skin. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American publications. Previously the managing editor at Room magazine and the director of the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver, Knight has also worked as a poetry professor at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia and as a literary agent at the Transatlantic Agency. Knight has now founded her own literary studio, Breathing Space Creative, through which she’s launched the Forever Writers Club, a membership for writers focused on creative sustainability; the Thrive coaching program; and the Rise author care program.
- Winner, City of Vancouver Book Award