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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.
No one likes to have a reputation. Whether she’s the girl who used to live in a Bolivian Mennonite town, the girl whose mother abandoned her, or the girl who offers to help the boys lose their virignities, the heroines of these novels face a future full of uncertainties, both terrifying and hopeful.
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time – the kind Mercedes never had herself. When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to salvage her own reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn went to school for journalism and later worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris. She lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and her chihuahua. Firsts is her first novel but she is currently working on another book of contemporary fiction. She is represented by the amazing Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Ana grew up in a tiny Mennonite colony in Bolivia. Her mother fled the colony when Ana was a young girl. Now Ana and her father have also fled, and Ana doesn’t know why. She only knows that something was amiss in their tight-knit community. Arriving in Toronto, Ana has to fend for herself, completely isolated in a big city with no help and no idea where to even begin. But begin she does: she makes a friend, then two. She goes to school and tries to understand the myriad unspoken codes and rules. She goes to the library, the mall, parties. And all the while, she searches for the mother who left so long ago, and tries to understand her father – who has secrets of his own.
Trilby Kent was born in Toronto, but grew up in cities on both sides of the Atlantic. After completing degrees at Oxford University and The London School of Economics, she worked in the rare books department at a prominent auction house before turning to journalism and finally writing with her first book, the critically acclaimed Medina Hill. Her most recent book, Stones for My Father, won the TD Children’s Literature Award. After years living in England, she now resides in Toronto with her family.
Watching Traffic is a stunning debut novel about that uncertain summer after high school graduation. Emily has finally finished high school in the small town where she has lived her whole life. At last, she thinks, her adult life can begin. But what if you have no idea what you want your new life to look like? What then?
Jane Ozkowski has a BA in English and Creative Writing from York University. She works in the office at a motorcycle driving school, and although she does not have a motorcycle, she does have her license in case she needs to make a quick getaway. Watching Traffic is her first novel.