The Book That Changed Your Life: Sheena Kamal

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      The Word Vancouver festival is gearing up for its 2017 edition with a huge and inclusive lineup of authors, appearing at venues around town from September 19 to 24.

      We asked a group of these acclaimed writers to tell us about their most memorable reading experiences. Which books shaped their imaginations early on? Which ones taught them about the power of the written word?

      Here’s what Vancouver’s Sheena Kamal told us. Alongside her work as an activist and journalist, Kamal has published a suspense-filled debut novel, The Lost Ones. She’ll discuss the book at 1:55 p.m. on September 24, in the Alma VanDusen Room of the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch.

      I have many favourites, but one book that particularly resonates with me is The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. It’s a brilliant book by any measure, but what stays with me is the main character’s ability to operate a truth-telling compass. She holds a question in her mind without thinking directly about it, and the compass provides the answer.

      In many ways, this reflects how I write. I hold something in my mind, some idea or the other, and my intuition guides me. So when I’m under deadline, trying too hard to make the words flow, I think of this compass trick. In this way, The Golden Compass has had a profound impact on my life because it informs how I approach my work. Plus, it has armoured bears. Who can resist that?