The Story Behind the Photo
Award Winning Author - Kamal Al-Solaylee
Kamal Al Solaylee's first book Intolerable was nominated and won numerous prestigious book awards including the Toronto Book Award. It was also shortlisted for Canada Reads 2015.
A few months after Canada Reads 2015 I noticed on the TPL (Toronto Public Library) website that Kamal Al-Solayee was doing a reading at the Victoria Village Library in Scarborough. Although it was quite a distance to travel, I thought it would be fun to attend. I had really enjoyed his book and thought it would be a great opportunity to hear him speak and to get my book signed.
The event took place in the lower level of the small library nestled on a tree lined street in Scarborough. Of the 25 or 30 people in attendance that evening the majority were from a local book club along with a photographer from the community-based newspaper The Snap.
After most of the book club members had gotten their books signed and had their pictures taken it was my chance to speak to him. He was quite surprised and pleased to know that not only had I attended Canada Reads but had purchased each of the books. It was an added bonus for me that evening that the photographer hung around and took a picture of Kamal and I as he was signing my book.
It was about a year later when Kamal’s second book Brown was released. When I saw that he was doing a book launch at Ryerson University, I decided to attend. On my way into the venue I saw him standing outside the room where we exchanged greetings and I added that I had met him the year before at Victoria Village Library in Scarborough. He said oh yes, I remember. I have a picture of you on my phone. I don't know if I was more surprised or happy, but I do remember thinking it was pretty cool that he'd remember me after a year.
After the reading I got my book signed. I also had brought along a copy of the picture of the two of us from the previous year. He was a little hesitant about writing on the picture but after some convincing he finally did.
The following Saturday I was standing in front of the Canadian Tire at Yonge and Church trying to hail a cab when I heard someone call my name. I turned around to see it was Kamal. What a surprise! We spoke for a minute or two before he was on his way and a taxi pulled up to bring me home.
Since then, I have run into Kamal a few times at literary events including Word on the Street and the Appel Salon when his book Brown was nominated for the Toronto Book Award. It is always a pleasure to see him and to have a chance to say hello.
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Coming soon to The Story Behind the Photo is Diana Galbaldon, Terry Fallis, Judy Blume, Bryan Baeumler, Carol Shields (Anne and Nicholas Giardini), Nino Ricci, Getty Lee, Salman Rushdie, Kim Thuy, Ami McKay, Joseph Boyden, Elizabeth Strout, and many more.
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My name is Faith Van Wart, I’m a Certified Photo Manager and a member of The Photo Managers (formerly APPO Association of Personal Photo Organizers). I help people organize and digitize their printed photos so they can tell the stories behind their photos.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to meet some interesting people and wanted to begin to share those photos and the stories behind them. I hope you enjoy photos and the stories.
As the old saying goes every picture tells a story. If your photos could talk what stories would they tell?