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For the past 27 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 that appeared at our 28th festival on September 24, 2017
A thunderstorm-triggered mind swap. A chance meeting at a local café dredging up memories of long-ago atrocities. A simple ride through New York turned to a dramatic bus-jacking. Step into the fantastic yet familiar worlds of today made interesting by Barbara Gowdy, Linden MacIntyre and Grace O’Connell as they showcase some of the greatest fiction released in Spring/Summer 2017.
During a week of thunderstorms in Toronto, Rose Bowan, the owner of a repertory movie theatre, finds herself entering the body and mind of another woman, a stranger.
Barbara Gowdy has been nominated repeatedly for The Giller Prize, The Rogers Writer’ Trust Fiction Prize, The Governor General’s Literary Award, The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and has been longlisted for The Booker Prize. She is a Trillium Book Award winner, a Marian Engel Award winner, a member of The Order of Canada, and a Guggenheim Fellow.
Pierre Cormier had secrets. Though he married twice, became a high-flying lawyer and a father, he didn’t let anyone really know him. He was especially silent about what had happened to him in Lebanon. In the midst of a corporate scandal, he went missing and his teenaged son Cyril didn’t know how to mourn him. But five years later, a single bone and a distinctive gold chain are recovered, and Pierre is declared dead. At the reading of the will, it turns out that Pierre wanted a “roast” at a bar no one knew he frequented–The Only Café. He’d even left a guest list that included one mysterious name: Ari. Cyril tracks down Ari and finds out that he is an Israeli who knew his father in Lebanon in the ’80s. Soon Cyril’s personal investigation is entangled in the larger news story.
Linden MacIntyre’s first novel, The Long Stretch, was nominated for a CBA Libris Award, his memoir, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence, won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction and the Evelyn Richardson Award. The Bishop’s Man, a #1 national bestseller, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dartmouth Book Award and the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award. He spent 24 years as the co-host of the fifth estate and is a distinguished broadcast journalist who has won ten Gemini awards.
This is not just the story of what happens to Veda on one shattering day – it’s the story of a life, and the bonds of loyalty and love. Veda’s story asks us to think what we might do in her shoes and how far we’d go to protect the people we love – both in moments of crisis and in the small moments along the way. The bravery Veda finds during the hijacking, and after, is an unexpected one that comes not from superior bravery, but from the raw honesty of the marginalized and the misunderstood.
Grace O’Connell is the author of The Globe and Mail Best Book Magnified World and 2014 winner of the Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award. She holds an MFA in creative writing, and her work has appeared in various publications including The Walrus, Taddle Creek, The Globe and Mail, National Post and Elle Canada. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto and works as a freelance writer and editor. @yesgrace