The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. See our line-up of incredible Canadian literary talent at The Word On The Street Lethbridge for 2017....
Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.
American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.
S.M. Beiko has been writing and drawing strange, fantastical things since before she can remember. She currently works as a freelance editor, graphic designer, and consultant and is the co-publisher of ChiZine Publications and ChiGraphic. Her first novel, The Lake and the Library, was nominated for the Manitoba Book Award for Best First Book as well as the 2014 Aurora Award. Scion of the Fox is the first book of the Realms of Ancient trilogy. Samantha lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Svetlana Chmakova is an internationally published, award-winning graphic novelist, with over 10 published books and her work translated into over 13 languages. Born and raised in Russia, she moved to Canada, Ontario, at 16 years old to finish high school and then study Classical Animation at Sheridan College for 3 years. Becoming a full-time artist and writer after that, Svetlana has drawn and written for animation, how-to-draw books, toy designs, and most of all, comics and manga. Her full-length manga series include the fan-favorite romantic comedy “Dramacon”, the award-winning urban fantasy “Nightschool: The Weirn Books”, as well as the manga adaptation of the NYT bestselling “Witch & Wizard” by James Patterson. Svetlana’s current work is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning middle grade graphic novel “Awkward”, as well as its follow-up “Brave”, published by Yen Press.
Lauralyn Chow’s debut, Paper Teeth, follows the lives of the Lees, a Canadian-Chinese family and their friends who reside in Edmonton, Alberta. While playing with time and place, from Edmonton in the 1960s and 70s up to present-day Calgary, Lauralyn Chow creates a world of walking dolls, family car trips, fashion and frosty makeup, home renovations inspired by pop culture, and moving up to big, new houses. The interconnected stories found in Paper Teeth are fun, funny, and heart-warming journeys about the pursuit of identity and the crafting of home.
With domestic tomfoolery and through deft observation and prismatic-voiced humour—including ironic asides—Lauralyn Chow reveals how family nourishes hope.
Lauralyn Chow was born, raised, and educated in Edmonton, Alberta. Her first summer job was at a radio station, and she later worked as the first in-house lawyer for the Calgary Board of Education. She has a B.A. in Psychology, minoring in Sociology, and an LL.B. from the University of Alberta. When she visits Hawaii, which she does frequently, she is often mistaken for a local and once won an air ukulele contest during the Aloha Festivals. She currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.
Paper Teeth, her first story collection, was released September 2016. Paper Teeth is the winner of the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, is shortlisted for the 2017 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award and for Trade Fiction Book of the Year at the 2017 Alberta Book Publishing Awards, and was a finalist for the 2017 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction at the 2017 Alberta Literary Awards Shortlist.
RESIST!, a free print publication of political comics and graphic with the slogan, “Women’s voices will be heard,” is edited and produced by Françoise Mouly, art editor of The New Yorker, and her daughter, writer Nadja Spiegelman. RESIST! started with a single issue that was distributed at 58,000 copies by teams of volunteers at women’s marches nationwide the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Building on the success of the first issue, RESIST! Vol. 2: “Grab Back!” was published on July 4th, 2017, featuring contributions from artists around the world, including Calgary comics creator Sam Hester. www.resistsubmission.com
Sam Hester writes autobiographical comics. Her monthly strip about life her neighbourhood, “Sam Hester’s Ramsay,” has appeared in her community newsletter since 2012. Sam works as a graphic recorder, taking live illustrated notes for organizations all over Alberta. She captures their stories by drawing upon deep listening skills, a unique graphic style, a passion for community-building… and a lot of markers. Sam lives with her family in a really old house in Calgary.
Exquisitely imagined and hypnotically told, The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. Set in the early part of the 20th Century, it is an unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose fortune hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to escape one’s origins. It might also take true love.
Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their true talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing for the rich, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.
Separated as teenagers, both escape into the city’s underworld, where they must use their uncommon gifts to survive without each other. Ruthless and unforgiving, Montreal in the 1930’s is no place for song and dance. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes, the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make those dream come true. After Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls hit the stage and the alleys, the underworld will never look the same.
HEATHER O’NEILL is a novelist, short story writer and essayist. Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, and Daydreams of Angels, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in two consecutive years, and has won CBC Canada Reads, the Paragraph Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Danuta Gleed Award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there today with her daughter.
Acclaimed author Ruby Slipperjack delivers a haunting novel about a 12-year-old girl’s experience at a Residential School in 1966.
Violet Pesheens is struggling to adjust to her new life at Residential School. She misses her Grandma; she has run-ins with Cree girls; at her “white” school, everyone just stares; and everything she brought has been taken from her, including her name—she is now just a number. But worst of all, she has a fear. A fear of forgetting the things she treasures most: her Anishnabe language; the names of those she knew before; and her traditional customs. A fear of forgetting who she was.
Her notebook is the one place she can record all of her worries, and heartbreaks, and memories. And maybe, just maybe there will be hope at the end of the tunnel.
Drawing from her own experiences at Residential School, Ruby Slipperjack creates a brave, yet heartbreaking heroine in Violet, and lets young readers glimpse into an all-too important chapter in our nation’s history.
RUBY (FARRELL) SLIPPERJACK was born in Whitewater Lake, Ontario. She learned traditional stories and crafts from her family. In the 1960s she attended a Residential School in northern Ontario for most of a year, and later, high school in Thunder Bay. She has written 5 novels for middle grade and teen readers: Dog Tracks, Little Voice, Silent Words, Weesquachak, and Honour the Sun, and indigenous story contributions to the Dear Canada anthologies Hoping for Home: Stories of Arrival and A Time for Giving. Ruby lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Two friends. Five months. One car. Ten provinces. Three territories. Seven islands. Eight ferries. Two flights. One 48-hour train ride. And only one call to CAA. The result: over 100 incredible Canadian recipes from coast to coast and the Great White North.
In the midst of a camping trip in Squamish, British Columbia, Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller decided that the summer of 2013 might be the right time for an adventure. And they knew what they wanted that adventure to be: a road trip across the entire country, with the purpose of writing about Canada’s food, culture, and wealth of compelling characters and their stories.
37,000 kilometres later, and toting a “Best Culinary Travel Blog” award from Saveur magazine, Lindsay and Dana have brought together stories, photographs and recipes from across Canada in Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip. The authors write about their experiences of trying whale blubber in Nunavut, tying a GoPro to a fishing line in Newfoundland to get a shot of the Atlantic Ocean’s “cod highway,” and much more.
More than 80 contributors–including farmers, grandmothers, First Nations elders, and acclaimed chefs–have shared over 90 of their most beloved regional recipes, with Lindsay and Dana contributing some of their own favourites too. You’ll find recipes for all courses from Barley Pancakes, Yukon Cinnamon Buns, and Bannock to Spot Prawn Ceviche, Bison Sausage Rolls, Haida Gwaii Halibut and Maritime Lobster Rolls; and also recipes for preserves, pickles and sauces, and a whole chapter devoted to drinks.
Feast is a stunning representation of the diversity and complexity of Canada through its many favourite foods. The combination of Lindsay and Dana’s capitivating journey with easy-to-follow recipes makes the book just as pleasurable to read as it is to cook from.
Dana hails from Sarnia, Ontario and moved to British Columbia in 2009 as the result of a previous cross-Canada road trip. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from St. Stephen’s University, has spent time studying in South East Asia and Europe, and is working towards a Certificate in Food Security from Ryerson University. Prior to the launch of the blog FEAST: An Edible Road Trip, she was a program administrator at an English school for immigrants and refugees and authored the recipe blog, Spoon! While working on the book, FEAST: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip, she worked at a vegetarian Mexican brunch place on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive, and is now the Communications Manager for the restaurant. In between book tours and events, she’s a freelance writer and communications consultant.
“Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost.”
Lola Starke’s latest case involves the mild-mannered philatelist down the hall from her office. The client insists something bad’s happened to her husband, but Lola isn’t so sure. After all, what possible harm would come to a man who spends his days looking at stamps?
Of course, it’s always the quiet ones that surprise you…
SG Wong is the creator of the Lola Starke series of novels and of the Crescent City short stories, written in the tradition of the hard-boiled detective genre, with two-fingers’ worth of noir and a liberal sprinkling of magic and ghosts thrown in for good measure.
SG Wong has been a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Awards, in the Best First Novel and Best Short Story categories, as well as a nominee for the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Based in Edmonton, she is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and Crime Writers of Canada, and currently serves as President of the Canada West chapter of Sisters in Crime. sgwong.com