Toronto, Ontario

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Harbourfront Centre | 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

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For the past 26 years, The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming. See the lineup of incredible Canadian literary talent at the 27th festival on September 25, 2016.

A Pirate’s Life for Me

11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Avast, ye scurvy sea dogs! It’s time for lively adventure and rousing literature on the high seas. Whether it’s the adventures of a Bar Mitzvah boy on a Spanish galleon or a reimagining of Treasure Island, this harbour tour will delight you with nautical tales perfectly matched to the setting.

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The Hidden Keys

Inspired by a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure IslandThe Hidden Keys questions what it means to be honourable, what it means to be faithful, and what it means to sin. Parkdale’s Green Dolphin is a bar of ill repute, and it is there that Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes, meets Willow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance. Willow enlists Tancred to steal these objects from her siblings and help her solve the puzzle.

  • Fiction
  • Mystery/Suspense/Horror

André Alexis

André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His most recent novel, Fifteen Dogs, won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His other books include Pastoral (nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize), Asylum, Beauty and Sadness, Ingrid & the Wolf, Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa, and Lambton, Kent and Other Vistas: A Play.

Yiddish for Pirates

Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates recounts the story of Moishe, a Bar Mitzvah boy who leaves home to join a ship’s crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot who becomes his near-constant companion.
From a present-day Florida nursing home, this wisecracking yet poetic bird guides us through a world of pirate ships, Yiddish jokes and treasure maps. But Inquisition Spain is a dangerous time to be Jewish and Moishe joins a band of hidden Jews trying to preserve some forbidden books. He falls in love with a young woman, Sarah; though they are separated by circumstance, Moishe’s wanderings are motivated as much by their connection as by his quest for loot and freedom. When all Jews are expelled from Spain, Moishe travels to the Caribbean with the ambitious Christopher Columbus, a self-made man who loves his creator. Moishe eventually becomes a pirate and seeks revenge on the Spanish while seeking the ultimate booty: the Fountain of Youth.

  • Fiction
  • Humour

Gary Barwin

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and multimedia artist, and the author of 20 books of poetry, fiction, and books for children. His recent books include the short fiction collection I, Dr. Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457 (Anvil) and the poetry collections Moon Baboon Canoe (Mansfield) and The Wild and Unfathomable Always (Xexoxial). Born in Northern Ireland to South African parents of Ashkenazi descent, Barwin moved to Canada as a child. He is married with three adult children, and lives in Hamilton, Ontario.