ZALIKA REID-BENTA is a Toronto-based writer whose work has appeared on CBC Books, in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, and in Apogee Journal. In 2011, George Elliott Clarke recommended her as a “Writer to Watch.” She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University in 2014 and is an alumna of the 2017 Banff Writing Studio. She completed a double major in English Literature and Cinema and a minor in Caribbean Studies at University of Toronto’s Victoria College. She also studied Creative Writing at U of T’s School of Continuing Studies. Her debut story collection, Frying Plantain, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She is currently working on a young-adult fantasy novel drawing inspiration from Jamaican folklore and Akan spirituality.
Set in “Little Jamaica,” Frying Plantain follows one young girl from elementary school to high school graduation in twelve interconnected stories that expose the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation immigrants and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominantly white society.