Archive for September, 2011
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
A few months ago I quoted a short excerpt from Carl H. Klaus’s The Made-Up Self: Impersonation in the Personal Essay. Anyone interested in the essay’s history and vitality should pick up a copy of this thoughtful book. Read my review at the L.A. Review of Books, in the last of their Summer Shorts.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
What a magical night, and what an honour for Kingston. At our International Marquee, J.M. Coetzee and Paul Auster read from their correspondence, sharing their reflections on friendship and writing. It was a rich and fascinating discussion, but what made it feel so intimate and at the same time dramatic, was the epistolary form. It made me think again how close the essay is to the letter; how the best essays often feel like letters from a thoughtful friend. Both men are, of course, accomplished essayists and translators themselves, which probably helps—but there was something very moving in the leisurely pace of these letters. These were not quick notes or business memos (or, for that matter, blog posts). These were real letters; the kind that cast new light on the subject, on the author, and on the recipient all at once. What a pleasure.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Once again it’s time for Kingston WritersFest, and a brilliant festival it will be! As web content editor I got to write profiles of many of the artists who will be visiting us, and what a wonderful way to get a sense of the variety and excitement the festival will offer. I’m looking forward to so many of these events.
Several, in particular, should appeal to lovers of nonfiction, including In Praise of Older Women, with Lorna Crozier, Molly Peacock, and Merrily Weisbord; and Great Scots, with Richard Gwyn, Vincent Lam, and Ken McGoogan. There are still tickets to these events available, but several others are sold out, and it would be wise to order in advance rather than hoping to get seats at the door.
On Thursday, I’m delighted to be moderating a discussion between young adult writers Adwoa Badoe and Y.S. Lee. Adwoa’s Between Sisters is a gripping realistic account of a young girl caught by temptations that her background has ill prepared her for, while Ying Lee’s The Agency series is a gender bending mystery-romance set in Victorian London. But if you think these books have nothing in common, you are wrong. Join us at 10:45 a.m., Thursday, September 25, at Kingston’s Holiday Inn Waterfront, to find out what I mean.
I will also be hosting several other events during the festival and will be onsite most of the time. Really looking forward to it.
Sunday, September 11th, 2011
When my friend Kathy-Diane Leveille invited me to participate in the 50/50 project, Writers Who CARE, I jumped at the chance. Slated to launch at CARE INTERNATIONAL on October 1st, 2011, the 50/50 project will allow anyone who makes a donation of $50.00 to submit 50 pages double-spaced of a work-in-progress for a 1-2 page critique by one of the participating authors. All proceeds will go to a CARE fund for Somali refugees.
Read about Kathy’s inspiration for this project here.
If you are an emerging writer who would like a critique of your work with the knowledge that that your donation is going to a good cause, please consider signing up when the project opens! And if you are a published writer who would like to participate, please contact Kathy to find out if she can add your name to her list.