Zalika Reid-Benta '14 to Debut Story collection 'Frying Plantain' in 2019

May 9, 2018

The debut short story collection from Alumna Zalika Reid-Benta '14 will be published by House of Anansi Press' Astoria imprint in spring 2019.


The collection, titled Frying Plantain, is a series of interconnected stories rooted in the Toronto neighborhood of Eglinton West and Marlee. The book follows the main character, Kara Davis, who transitions from girlhood to young womanhood over the span of the collection.


Reid-Benta "uses everyday experiences to explore the conflation of Canadian and Jamaican identity," according to an announcement publicizing the news, and she deals effectively "with family dysfunction and intergenerational cycles."


She is currently working on a fantasy YA novel, and her work often explores race, identity and culture through the lens of second-generation Caribbean Canadians.


Reid-Benta was born and raised in Toronto, and in 2011 Canadian playwright and poet George Elliott Clarke dubbed her a 'Writer to Watch.' She has worked on the staff of Diaspora Dialogues, a Canadian organization that supports culturally diverse writers and offers a robust mentoring program.


Her work has appeared on the CBC website, in the TOK 7 anthology and in Apogee Journal. She is an alumna of the 2017 Banff Writer’s Studio.