The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is pleased to announce that Toronto bookseller, community builder, and event coordinator Anjula Gogia is the recipient of the 2022 Freedom to Read Award. The award is presented annually by TWUC in recognition of work that is passionately supportive of access to books and the freedom to read. Past recipients include authors David A. Robertson, Ivan Coyote, Jael Richardson, Mohamed Fahmy, and Lawrence Hill, and bookseller Janine Fuller.
Anjula Gogia was long-time co-manager of the greatly missed Toronto Women’s Bookstore (TWB). Located on the edge of the University of Toronto’s downtown campus, TWB was in its time the largest non-profit feminist bookstore in Canada. Thanks in no small part to Anjula Gogia’s community outreach skills, TWB was a hub for authors, especially BIPOC, racialized, and those focused on social justice writing. Twice damaged in firebomb attacks on a nearby abortion clinic, TWB introduced generations of Canadians to diverse and boundary-pushing literature.
After TWB, Anjula Gogia became events coordinator at Another Story Bookshop (ASB) further in Toronto’s west end. Gogia was instrumental in continuing ASB’s schedule of author events and bookselling during the initial and subsequent lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anjula Gogia was nominated for the Freedom to Read Award by a Canadian author, who wrote:
“Anjula has spent decades building bridges between well known and unknown writers to enlarge CanLit, forging connections between academics and the general public, between various communities, and across difference.
Anju's knowledge, skill and approach to publishing and bookselling transcends any particular store, and transforms it. She is an astute reader, brilliant sales strategist, and unique book champion.”
February 20-26, 2022 is Freedom to Read Week in Canada: a national annual celebration that encourages Canadians to think deeply about and value access to print materials, and their rights to read, write, and publish freely. The week has become a regular feature of the annual programming of schools, libraries, and literary groups across Canada. Freedom to Read Week is a project of the Book and Periodical Council, the umbrella organization for publishing in Canada. TWUC is a proud partner and supporter of Freedom to Read Week. For more information, please visit freedomtoread.ca.
Date: February 17, 2022