Penguin Canada's Prize-winning Canadian and International Authors Headline the 2011 IFOA
A-list authors coming to Toronto next week include 2011 Giller Prize shortlisted author Zsuzsi Gartner, past Giller winners Johanna Skibsrud and Joseph Boyden, along with D.W. Wilson, Lev Grossman, Amitav Ghosh, Clay Shirky and Helen Oyeyemi.
October 13, 2011 (Toronto) - Last year's Scotiabank Giller prize winner Johanna Skibsrud kicks off Penguin Canada's stellar IFOA line-up on Friday, October 21 at a reading from her already critically acclaimed short story collection This Will Be Difficult to Explain. Skibsrud is joined on stage by UK writer Harry Whitehead, whose debut novel The Cannibal Spirit is based on the life story of the historical figure George Hunt, a mixed-race shaman in British Columbia at the turn of the century.
Penguin is thrilled to participate in McLuhan 100, a series of readings and interviews in honour of the 100th birthday of media theorist Marshall McLuhan at this year's IFOA. On Friday, October 21, web guru Clay Shirky will present from his latest book, Cognitive Surplus, about how new technology is unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world. A professor at New York University, Shirky has consulted with a variety of Fortune 500 companies including Nokia, Lego and Microsoft, as well as the Library of Congress, the US Navy, and Libyan government. On Saturday, October 22, Brooke Gladstone, award-winning co-host and managing editor of the National Public Radio newsmagazine On the Media presents The Influencing Machine, a graphic novel on the complexities of the modern media. Finally, on Wednesday, October 26, renowned author and artist Douglas Coupland discusses his biography of Marshall McLuhan - part of Penguin's Extraordinary Canadians Series - in a YouTube talk hosted by CBC's Nora Young.
Heading into the weekend on Saturday, October 22, British author Joe Dunthorne, whose debut novel, Submarine, was released as a feature film earlier this year, will be on-stage with CBC personality Brent Bambury. Dunthorne will present his latest novel, Wild Abandon, a tale of two siblings raised on a secluded communal farm. Later that afternoon, Canadian humourist Will Ferguson, winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction, will read from his new non-fiction collection, Canadian Pie, and chat with CBC host Shelagh Rogers.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 25, internationally bestselling author Amitav Ghosh presents his historical novel, River of Smoke, a sequel to his Man Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies. Lev Grossman, book reviewer and lead technology writer for TIME magazine, discusses The Magician King - a riveting sequel to his New York Times bestseller, The Magicians, at a roundtable on fantasy literature hosted by Once Every Never author Lesley Livingston who will also take part in IFOA Ontario on Friday, October 21.
Canadian literary star Joseph Boyden reads from his Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel Through Black Spruce on Wednesday, October 26. The following day Thomas Pletzinger presents Funeral for a Dog - translated from German by Ross Benjamin - which looks at how young people's limitless choices liberate them from the bonds of geography, history, tradition, and expectation.
A stand-out at this year's YoungIFOA is New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer, who has brought her considerable talents to children's books with The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, about a magical Youth Scrabble Tournament, on Thursday, October 27. Wolitzer, author of eight previous novels, including The Ten-Year Nap, will also read from her new adult novel, The Uncoupling, on Saturday, October 29.
Another prominent headliner at YoungIFOA is Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist and author of the Bones series, all of which have been New York Times bestsellers and spawned a hit television show on the Fox network. Reichs presents Seizure, the second novel in the young adult Virals series on Friday, October 28.
Hamish Hamilton proudly presents two of its rising stars at readings on Friday, October 26. Vancouver native D.W. Wilson is already the recipient of the inaugural Man Booker Prize Scholarship and the recent winner of the 2011 BBC Short Story Prize. Set in British Columbia's remote Kootenay Valley, the stories in his debut collection Once You Break a Knuckle weave together a community's troubled history through the struggles of its young men. Helen Oyeyemi, who completed her first novel, The Icarus Girl, before her 19th birthday, reads from her latest work, Mr. Fox, a magical novel about a writer whose imaginary muse conjures herself up one sunny afternoon and confronts him about his dark denouements.
On Saturday, October 29 prominent Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah will discuss Crossbones, the final book of the Past Imperfect trilogy. Farah is the author of 11 novels that have been translated into 17 languages and winner of the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
Closing the Festival on a celebratory note, Zsuzsi Gartner, whose short story collection Better Living Through Plastic Explosives is shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, will join her fellow shortlisted authors in a special reading on the final day of the IFOA.