To wrap up the literary portion of this year’s arts celebration, the Luminato Festival offered up a “day of literary intensity” on Sunday, June 15th. Trinity Bellwoods, the iconic downtown park, played host to A Literary Picnic, which featured a theme of “Toronto, the Unseen.” More than 45 writers took to several stages, and a bookmobile, an Author Confessional Booth for deep, dark reader secrets, and many food trucks spread through the park on the perfect, sunny Sunday afternoon. And three Literary Walks took intrepid readers through different parts of Toronto. Alissa York, author of Fauna, led a group through the Don Valley, Carey Fagan and his explorers tackled Kensington Market, and Russell Smith brought some of us along to chat about his vision of Queen Street West.
The Luminato Festival has always had strong visual and performing arts components. This year also features a more robust literary program, celebrating the art of the written word. On June 11th, 2014, the Toronto Reference Library’s Appel Salon hosted a unique round-table event: #ReadWomen2014 Luminato.
The #ReadWomen2014 hashtag for Twitter was created by author and illustrator Joanna Walsh as a year-long celebration of women writers. The parameters are flexible as readers shape what exactly #ReadWomen2014 means to them. The hashtag has been promoted by bookstores, publishing houses, literary critics, and readers. Issues have ranged from the Vida count and CWILA count to the “girly” covers for books that happen to be written by women (See Maureen Johnson’s coverflip challenge from last year), celebrations of women writers’ awards, and recommendations of women writers’ works. Luminato has joined the discussion with its #ReadWomen2014 panel, featuring Lisa Gabriele (The S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy as L. Marie Adeline), Heather O’Neill (The Girl who was Saturday Night), Elizabeth Renzetti (Based on a True Story), and Miriam Toews (All My Puny Sorrows). A mix of readings, round-table discussions about writing and motivation, and Q&A, the evening was moderated by Luminato’s Literary & Ideas Curator Noah Richler. “So why gather these four great novelists?” Richler asked. “If only for the company!”
If there’s one thing Toronto loves, it’s a big festival. If it’s about the arts and outdoors, so much the better. Nuit Blanche, The International Festival of Authors, Caribbean Carnival, Word on the Street, Pride, the Toronto International Film Festival, Buskerfest…Food-driven, music-fuelled, culture-obsessed…we love to celebrate. And we’re about to have a big, diverse, mind-bending party. If you can’t make it, you can follow the fun on my blog this week.
Last chance! The Twelve Books of Christmas Giveaway ends TOMORROW AT MIDNIGHT EST!
Books are the gift that keep on giving all year long, right? Right! Enter from November 15th to 30th to win one of twelve book prizes! One book prize will be announced each day from December 1st through 12th. You could win an advance reading copy, trade paperback, or hardcover. Some are autographed by the author!
Prizes (please note that I’ve read most of these, but gently. They are in good to excellent condition):
On the 1st day of Christmas
my blogger gave to me
Someday, Someday Maybe
Someday, Someday, Maybe
On the 2nd day of Christmas
my blogger gave to me
Two Justin Halperns
Shit My Dad Says AND
On the 3rd day of Christmas
my blogger gave to me
Three Fox Girls
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CONTEST CLOSED! Congratulations to Christine. Enjoy the show!
In Toronto? Want to see the film STAY based on the book by Aislinn Hunter? Tonight at 10 pm! I have two tickets to give away, generously furnished by Random House of Canada (thank you!).
You have to be in Toronto and able to pick the tickets up downtown.
Movie details here: http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/festival/2013/stay
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to enter. All entries received before 7 pm EST will be entered into a random draw. Good luck!
I recently reviewed Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman for Chatelaine. You can read the review here: http://www.chatelaine.com/living/chatelaine-book-club/freuds-mistress-by-karen-mack-and-jennifer-kaufman/
Seven women in seven different eras contemplate reading and art in Katie Ward’s ambitious debut novel Girl Reading. Each section introduces a new story, a new set of characters and circumstances, and a new work of art that was inspired by and includes the likeness of a girl or woman reading.
“I look through your notes again and they seem so delicate, dropped leaves. I like the unfinished poems best because it feels as though you have been interrupted momentarily, called away to make a decision about the horses or the baking, will be back shortly to shine them up.”
– Girl Reading, Katie Ward
Seven women in seven different eras contemplate reading and art in Katie Ward’s ambitious debut novel Girl Reading. Each section introduces a new story, a new set of characters and circumstances, and a new work of art that was inspired by and includes the likeness of a girl or woman reading. In doing so, Ward gets to create rich stories in different time periods while discussing the nature of art and the role of reading in women’s lives.
While called a novel, this is, in fact, much closer to a set of seven themed short stories or very short novellas. They range in place, time, and context, while maintaining a similarity of tone throughout. First is Italian master Simone Maritni using an orphaned girl as his model of Mary in his Annunciation in 1333; next a deaf woman named Esther works as a maid in the household of Dutch artist Pieter Janssens Elinga in 1668; third, a celebrated female portraitist paints a likeness of a dead poetess for her grieving lover, a Lady in British society who has fallen into despair in 1775. Continue reading “To experience the art: A review of Girl Reading by Katie Ward”