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.

Not Your Mother’s Motherhood

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

In the Trillium Award-winning The Bad Mother, Marguerite Andersen offers a fictional retelling of how she left an abusive home – and her children in the process. Margaret Christakos looks at the life of contemporary mother and all that entails – menopause, daughters, depression, selfies, and more – in her multidisciplinary work, Her Paraphernalia. Join these two authors as they explore the choices of mothers and the ways they love their children.

The Bad Mother

As the world labels her a wife, a mother, and eventually a bad mother, the character of Marguerite wrestles with her own definition of personhood. Can you love your children and want your own life at the same time? This fictionalized account of the author’s life is written with brutal honesty, in spare, pithy, and often poetic prose, as she expresses her conflicted feelings concerning a difficult time and the impact it had on her sense of self. Andersen confronts the large and small choices that she made—the times she was there for her children and the times she wasn’t—all the while asking, “What kind of mother am I?”

  • Fiction

Marguerite Andersen

Marguerite Andersen is an accomplished writer and lecturer. She has taught French and translation (English, French, and German) at several universities and has also worked as a translator and interpreter for diplomats and writers. Dr. Andersen was the editor of Canada’s first feminist anthology in the 1970s, Mother was not a person. She has written several novels, short story collections, and plays. She lives in Toronto.

Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies

Margaret Christakos’s latest book, Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies, is a love song to her mother and daughter. Formed of ten intimate études that move from considerations of mothering, sex and photography to settler bloodlines, erasure and divorce, Her Paraphernalia profoundly embodies the feelings of living as a woman and a mother in all its tumult and precocity and promise.

At once daring, erotic and original, Her Paraphernalia explores the beauty of the selfie, menopause, daughters, lust, solo travel, depression, the death of a parent, the writing life and women’s transgenerational vitality, among other interwoven themes.

  • Biography/Autobiography
  • Nonfiction

Margaret Christakos

Canadian writer Margaret Christakos has published nine collections of poetry, including Multitudes (2013), Welling (2010; A Globe100 book), Sooner (2005; a Pat Lowther Memorial Award nominee), and Excessive Love Prostheses (2002; winner of a ReLit Award), as well as a novel, Charisma (2000; a Trillium Book Award nominee). Christakos designed and facilitated Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon from 2006 to 2012 and was Canada Council Writer in Residence at the University of Windsor (2004–05). Her latest book is Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies (BookThug, 2016).