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Born in Congo-Kinshasa, TéaMutonji is a poet and writer based in Toronto. She holds a degree in media studies and minor degrees in English literature and creative writing from the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her debut collection of short stories, Shut Up You’re Pretty, was the first title from Vivek Shraya’s imprint, VS. Books, and named to several best-of-the-year lists, including the Globe and Mail and The Walrus, among others. Shut Up You’re Pretty won the 2020 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Téa is the non-fiction editor of Feel Ways: A Scarborough Anthology, published by Mawenzi House. She is the recipient of the 2021 Jill Davis Fellowship in Fiction at NYU.


Téa Mutonji on Shut Up You're Pretty

Award History

2019 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for Shut Up You’re Pretty

Jury Citation

"Téa Mutonji’s Shut Up You’re Pretty is a fiercely intelligent collection about the inner lives of young women, examining abortion, family conflict, and the emergence of sexual identity. In writing marked by bursts of intense language, Mutonji takes the reader into her nuanced study of a young Congolese immigrant, always refusing to look away from pain and uncertainty. Driven by its crisp, unsettling dialogue and meticulous psychological detail, this is a compelling work about the fear and yearning of our youth."

— 2019 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Dennis Bock, Michael Kaan, and Suzette Mayr)

Program History

2022 Rising Star

Rising Stars

Selected by

André Alexis


"What I admired most when I read Mutonji’s Shut Up You’re Pretty was the subtlety of detail, the way power and longing are related, and the extraordinary control of her language. It is a wonderful first book, a great collection of stories filled with promise. I feel honoured to be able to read her next work before anyone else and I look forward to learning from her."