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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.
Toronto is lucky to be the home of some of the best writers of Jamaican background, including Michener Fellow Garfield Ellis and Commonwealth Writing Prize winner Olive Senior, both of whom will read from their latest acclaimed books.
Everton Dorril discovers that his father has run off to track down a woman he has been in love with for thirty-five years. His father’s refusal to return home leads Everton to reluctantly join him on his quest. He discovers that his father, frightened and unhappy with the failings of his past, is seeking closure and reconciliation. Fearing this is his last chance to find out more about the father who had no time for him when he was growing up, Everton and his father set out on an adventurous quest across Jamaica, hoping to make up for lost time.
Garfield Ellis grew up in Jamaica. He is the author of five published books: Flaming Hearts, Wake Rasta, Such As I Have, For Nothing at All, and Till I’m Laid to Rest. His work has appeared in several international journals, including Callaloo, Calabash, the Caribbean Writer, Obsidian III, Anthurium, and Small Axe. Ellis has won the Una Marson Prize for Adult Literature for his collection Flaming Hearts (1997), and later for Till I’m Laid To Rest (2000). He also won the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for Short Fiction in 2000 and 2005, and the 1990 Heinemann/Lifestyle Short Story Competition.
The Pain Tree tells stories that speak to all aspects of Jamaican life. Olive Senior navigates the hills and valleys of narrative with natural ease, interweaving thick strands of emotion and insight yet never losing sight of a story’s ebb and flow. Her Pain Tree is an engaging, thought-provoking read that transports readers fully to another place where the unfamiliar and exciting clash and commingle with the universal.
Olive Senior is the winner of the first Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (1987) for her collection Summer Lightning. Her novel Dancing Lessons (2011) was a finalist for the 2012 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, a finalist for the 2012 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Senior is also the author of the non-fiction book Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal (2014); the children’s books Anna Carries Water and Birthday Suit; and the collections Discerner of Hearts and Arrival of the Snake Woman.