Articles by Dan
On Friday October 25, author Aleksandar Hemon will be reading along side authors Kelly Braffet, Sam Lipsyte and Grażyna Plebanek in the Brigantine Room. The event begins at 8pm. Tickets are $18.
Then, on Saturday October 26 at 1pm, Hemon will be discussing his accalimed memoir The Book of My Lives with CBC Radio Writers and Company host Eleanor Wachtel in the Fleck Dance Theatre. Tickets are $18.
And on Saturday October 26, Lipsyte will be joining authors Janet E. Cameron, Lewis DeSoto, and Nicole Lundrigan for a reading at the Station on the Green in Creemore, Ontario. The event, a partnership with Curiosity House Books & Gallery, starts 7pm.
Lipsyte will be back in Toronto on Saturday afternoon for a round table with authors Nadeem Aslam, Jami Attenberg, and Peter Bagge in the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront. The discussion, hosted and moderated by Siri Agrell, begins at 12pm. Tickets are $18.
Immediately after Saturday's round table with Sam Lipsyte, Harvey Award-winning author and illustrator Peter Bagge will be in conversation with fellow cartoonist Seth and CBC radio's Brent Bambury at 2pm in the Studio Dance Theatre. Tickets are $18.
Bagge will be discussing his new book Woman Rebel, his biography of trailblazing activist Margaret Sanger, recently published by Montreal's Drawn & Quarterly.
Last, but not least, author and literary editor Amy Grace Loyd will be discussing her acclaimed debut novel The Affairs of Others with Margaret Atwood in the Studio Theatre on Wednesday October 30th at 8pm.
Latest year, Loyd interviewed Atwood in New York for PEN America'a Dialogue Series. You can watch a video of that conversation here.
Tickets to next week's event at Harbourfront are $18.
The Vancouver Writers Fest starts today and Raincoast has FOUR authors attending this year.
Annie Barrows, beloved author of the fabulously successful Ivy + Bean books, will be introducing the latest installment in the series, Ivy + Bean Take the Case, on Thursday October 24 at Performance Works, between 10am and 11am.
Tickets for the event, suitable for grades 1-4, are $17 or $8.50 for school groups.
For one night only, author and New Yorker staff writer George Packer will be talking about his critically acclaimed new book, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.
Described by the New York Times as "something close to a nonfiction masterpiece," The Unwinding is surely one of the 'must-read' books of 2013. Packer's sole Canadian appearance this year is not to be missed.
The event starts at 8pm on Thursday October 24th at the Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC. Tickets are $19.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon—whose most recent collection of poem is called The Word on the Street—is involved in a number of events during the festival.
On Friday, October 25, he will be taking part in Found in Translation, a panel with translator Susanna Basso and author/translator Wayne Grady in Studio 1398. The event starts at 1:00pm, and tickets are $17.
On Saturday October 26, Paul will be in conversation with John Freeman in the Waterfront Theatre. The event starts at 2pm, and tickets are $17.
Later on that evening, Muldoon will be joining Anne Carson, Brad Cran, Michael Crummey, Mathew Henderson, and Anne Michaels for the sold-out Poetry Bash, starting at 8pm at Performance Works.
In addition to his conversation with Paul Muldoon on Saturday, writer and critic John Freeman will be discussing his illuminating new book, How to Read a Novelist, with festival director Hal Wake on Sunday, October 27 at the Improv Centre.
The one-time president of the National Book Critics Circle, and the former editor of Granta, Freeman has reviewed thousands of books and interviewed scores of writers. In How to Read a Novelist, he pulls together his best profiles, and shares what he's learned.
The event begins at 2:00pm, and tickets are $17.
One of favourite new books of the last 12 months, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck, is out in paperback next month.
In the book, Speck, who is a designer and an urban planner, discusses not only why walking is good for us, but how we can make changes to cities so that we can walk more and live better. Although the book is ostensibly about American cities (it's right there in the subtitle!) and Canadian cities like Vancouver come out of the book looking pretty good by comparison — there are still lots of lessons for us north of the border, not least here in Toronto.
The paperback edition of Walkable City is published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and is on sale November 12.
Paul Pope's long-awaited graphic novel Battling Boy is finally released next week, and the award-winning American comic book artist will be in Toronto to launch the book with The Beguiling on the evening October 15th!
"A straight-up, kick-butt superhero book for kids and grown-ups alike," Battling Boy is the story of an untested hero charged with defending a city infested with monsters. The first of two hotly anticipated volumes, it's already the subject of much excitement in the comics world.
Starting at 7:00pm at the Revival Night Club, Pope — whose previous work includes the acclaimed 100%, Heavy Liquid, and Batman Year 100 — will be on stage to talk about his new work, before taking questions from the audience and signing copies of the book.
Join us if you can!
BATTLING BOY BOOK LAUNCH
Featuring author Paul Pope
@ Revival, 783 College Street, Toronto
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Doors at 7PM. Event starts at 7:30pm
I may have told you this before, but I first met Louise Penny in an elevator. It was in a hotel during the author's festival, and she graciously held the door for me as I was rushing to meet one of Raincoast's authors.
It was, I'm sure, my first year here and she didn't know me from Adam. It didn't stop her, however, from introducing herself and her husband Michael, and chattingly merrily all the way down to the lobby.
That chance meeting proved fortuitous the following year when I needed an endorsement for a book Raincoast was publishing. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale was the true story of a Victorian murder investigation, and even though I'd only met her the once, Louise seemed a perfect reader. Politely pretending to remember who I was, she kindly obliged and blurbed the hell out of it.
It felt like strange serendipity then, when I found out a couple of years ago that Raincoast was going to be Louise's Canadian distributor, and I was going to be assigned to her and the seventh Chief Inspector Gamache novel A Trick of the Light.
We all felt a certain weight of responsibility when the book came out I'm sure—we all wanted it to do so well for Louise who had been so patient for success—but I think I felt it particularly keenly. I was pretty sure I owed her.
Fortunately the book was a great success, although it was a nail-biting few weeks. And the next book, The Beautiful Mystery, did even better.
Now, two years later, I'm no longer Louise's publicist but it still fills me great pleasure to see her new book, How the Light Gets In, debut at #1 this week on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction bestseller list and #1 on the Bookmanager Hardcover Fiction list. With a sell-out event at the Toronto Public Library on September 17th, I couldn't be happier for her. And only MaddAddam has kept Louise off the #1 spot on Globe and Mail Fiction list this week, and I can't begrudge Margaret Atwood that too much—she used buy books from my store, and kindly tell me what to read. I don't suppose she remembers though...
When the badly beaten body of a young journalist is found in the canal, Dublin pathologist Quirke and his sometime partner Inspector Hackett find the investigation into his death obstructed Roman Catholic priest and a notorious, tight-lipped 'tinker' called Packie Joyce.
As with all the Quirke novels, the joy of Holy Orders, is not in the plot (the whodunit is almost beside the point), but in the stylish prose and vivid characterization of the gloomy, slowly disintegrating Quirke and his world—the rainy streets, smoky pubs, and dark apartments of Dublin in the 1950s.
There is an appropriately noirish tone to all Black's writing (the pen name is surely not a coincidence). The Dublin of the novel is secretive and claustrophobic, and the loneliness, fear, and impending violence that haunt Holy Orders comes to head an uncompromising, but satisfying ending that will leave readers anxious for the next book.
Crime fiction fans should be delighted that Black has penned a new Philip Marlowe story, The Black-Eyed Blonde, to be published in 2014.
Robert Charles Wilson (The Chronoliths, Darwinia, Spin, Vortex) and Karl Schroeder (the Virga series) will be in conversation at 5:30pm, Thursday August 22nd, at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto as part of IFOA at the EX.
The two acclaimed Canadian authors will be discussing “Science and Fiction: The Craft of Creating Other Worlds” with moderator Bert Archer. More details and ticket information are available on the Authors at Harbourfront website.
Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan, first published by Drawn Quarterly in 2007 (and now available in paperback), is one of my favourite debut graphic novels of recent years. Set in modern-day Tel Aviv, and drawn and coloured in a beautiful, contemporary ‘ligne claire’ style, the book is a portrait of modern Israel, a place where sudden death and dissolution of family ties is an everyday reality.
I met Rutu in Toronto at the International Festival of Authors shortly after Exit Wounds. One of the first cartoonists to be invited to the literary festival, she was a witty, charming and down-to-earth advocate for both the medium and women in comics. It's not surprising that they have invited many more cartoonists since.
Now six years(!) later, Rutu has brought a similar combination of wit, style and realism, to her second full-length graphic novel The Property. Like Exit Wounds, it's a book that deals with family, relationships, and harsh truths. In a recent interview with The Comics Journal, Rutu discussed her own background and family, as well as the influences and ideas that informed The Property:
The idea for The Property came to me after I finished “Mixed Emotions.” One of the stories was about my grandmother. She was this tough, unpleasant old woman, the type that is called in the US “Yiddisher Mama” and in Israel “a Polish lady.” I got very emotional responses to this story in particular. It seems that everyone in the world has “a Yiddisher grandmother,” Italians, Koreans, Japanese, everyone. Maybe it’s not so much about being Jewish. So one night I was lying in bed, just about to fall asleep when suddenly it just came to me. I said, ‘I’ll do a story about this young woman who is going with her grandmother to look at the property.’ I thought it would be a good combination of family relations and money and history, with the Holocaust in the background, but only in the background.
It’s funny because I met Joe Sacco at Angoulême a year ago and we were talking about this book and I said ‘It’s not a Holocaust book, but the Holocaust is in the background.’ I told him I didn’t want to make the grandmother a Holocaust victim. That’s why she came to Israel before the war, because making her the victim is like saying that you can’t touch her. I said, ‘for me, it’s more interesting for the characters to be attached to the drama but not in the middle of it,’ and he said, ‘wow, that’s exactly like Exit Wounds.’ <laughs> I said, ‘oh, I didn’t think about it, but actually, yes. It’s the same.’ <laughs>
The Property is available now.
The animated 'doodle' is based on Bass' film title credits, film posters and corporate logos. Bass passed away in 1996, but if you would like to see more of his work be sure to check out Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design, written by his daughter Jennifer Bass with design historian Pat Kirkham. Published in 2011, it was the first book to be published on Bass, one of the greatest American designers of the 20th Century, and it has more than 1,400 illustrations, many of them never published before. It really is the definitive study of Bass's work.