115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Gift

Leanne Dunic, University of British Columbia

Leanne Dunic is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, and writer. Her work has won several honours, including the 2015 Alice Munro Short Story Contest, and has appeared in magazines and anthologies in Canada and abroad. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Leanne is the Artistic Director of the Powell Street Festival Society and is the singer/guitarist of The Deep Cove. To Love the Coming End is her first book. 

Proposal: 

Leanne Dunic is the daughter of a Chinese mother and Croatian father. Born in Canada, she grew up on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. After opening fashion boutiques in Vancouver, Leanne sold her store to focus on writing.

She has published fiction, poetry, and non-fiction in various magazines and anthologies in Asia, North America, and the UK, as well as chapbooks by Leaf Press, Onzieme, and Bitterzoet. Being of mixed race, Leanne’s work explores identity and culturally diverse narratives. Environment is interpreted as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, where time and memory reveal the complex co-existence of tradition and modernity. She is intrigued by the elements of what makes one masculine/feminine, by the dualities within oneself, and aims for her stories to subvert expectations.

A truly multi-disciplinary artist, Leanne is the singer/guitarist for the band The Deep Cove, where she finds another outlet for her writing skills. Her debut album, To Love The Coming End Of The World, will be released November 2017 and is the companion work to her book, To Love The Coming End (BookThug/Chin Music Press 2017). Leanne is the Artistic Director for the Powell Street Festival, an annual Japanese-Canadian cultural celebration in Vancouver. 

**

It’s a month before Christmas. They meet for the first time at the pre-show event on Sunset Boulevard.

 

Her: black hair, a few grays. A denim skirt with brass buttons down the centre.

Him: baseball cap, Beatles T-shirt.

 

I’ve been looking for you for a long time, she says – as if they’ve been separated for years.

You’ve found me, he replies.

 

She doesn’t want his autograph. Instead, she presents him with a palm-sized box wrapped in ivy-printed foil. Don’t open until Christmas.

Sharp creases, perfectly curled gold ribbon, no sign of tape – the meticulous packaging makes him want to unwrap it the minute he is alone.

But she instructed him to wait. And so he will.