The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Please see the 2019 schedule below!
This session will be presented with a sign language interpreter.
Three years into the second millennium, Majestic, Alberta is a farm town dealing with weakened crop prices, international borders closing to Canadian beef, and a severe drought. Older farmers worry about their way of life changing while young people concoct ways to escape: drugs, partying, moving away. Even the church is on the brink of closing.
When local woman Annie Gallagher is struck by lightning while divining water for a well, stories of the town’s past, including that of Annie and the grandmother who taught her water witching, slowly emerge as everyone gathers for her funeral.
Told through the varied voices of the townspeople and Annie herself, The Death of Annie the Water Witcher by Lightning reveals Majestic to be a complex character in its own right, both haunted and haunting. Here, Audrey J. Whitson has written a novel of hard choices and magical necessity. It is as if the novels of Ami McKay took place in the West today.
Audrey J. Whitson’s first book, Teaching Places (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2003), a memoir about how the land teaches, was shortlisted for the Wilfred Eggleston Award, Grant MacEwan Author Award and ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year (body/mind/spirit category). Stories from The Glorious Mysteries (Thistledown, 2013)—a collection set in Alberta, California, and Mexico—were shortlisted for the Howard O’Hagan Award and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her latest book is The Death of Annie the Water Witcher by Lightning. Her poetry and essays have been published in many magazines and anthologies and have also won awards. Audrey lives in Edmonton. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreywhitson.com.