Fall Preview Part I was all about the books I’m excited to read. Today, we’re talking Edmonton literary festivals and giveaways.
Actually, three giveaways. Edmonton hosts three excellent literary festivals, and despite my grumbling about a lack of Word on the Street (but for real, Lethbridge and not Edmonton?) I am excited to get into festival season. Read on for my picks, and for your chance to win your way into three of my most-anticipated events!
I had a great time at my first LitFest last year and I’m super bummed that I can’t make it to any of these fine events. If I could, I would go to:
- And Home Was Kariakoo (M.G. Vassanji) October 23, 7:30 p.m. at Stanley Milner Library. I am so sorry to miss this. I read The Magic of Saida last year and it was brilliant. Here’s my review in which I dub the author M.G. “Mother-effing Genius” Vassanji.
- Me, My Selfie, and I October 23, 5:30 p.m. at Kids in the Hall Bistro. I went to this event last year and it was so fun! They’ve changed it up a bit this year and are including selfie lessons which I sorely need. My kids take better selfies than I do.
- Headliner Naomi Klein was on The Colbert Report this week and you can see her October 20, 7:00 p.m. at the Winspear. She’s pretty feisty on Twitter, too:
LitFest is also running Words on the Square, in partnership with Edmonton Arts Council, bringing authors to Churchill Square at lunch time on Tuesdays to read and… well I’m not sure what else. I just have to run across the street to get there, so I’m in!
LITFEST GIVEAWAY: I have two tickets to the M.G. Vassanji event to give away! Just comment on this post and let me know you want the tickets. I may ask you to take my copy of The Magic of Saida and get it signed. If that’s cool with you.
I’m excited to attend the St. Albert Reader’s Festival for the very first time. I love that the focus is squarely on readers. Sometimes at literary events I feel like I’m the only one who’s not an author too. It’s weird.
- Joseph Boyden: The Soul of an Author October 23, 7:00 p.m. at Arden Theatre, St. Albert. This is the reason I can’t attend the LitFest Vassanji event. How did two of my favourite CanLit authors end up appearing at the same exact time? Talk about #CanLitProblems! I’d already bought my tickets for Boyden and he probably would have won anyway, as I have a well-documented crush on him.
- Yann Martel: The Power of Literature October 29, 7:00 p.m. at Arden Theatre. I enjoyed Life of Pi and hope to watch the movie one day; as soon as I get a spare couple of hours alone in the house (i.e. never.) Martel has done lots of other stuff since LoP and I need to catch up.
- Padma Viswanathan: Loss, Identity and Faith October 19, 2:00 p.m. at Forsyth Hall. I’ve had Viswanathan’s The Toss of a Lemon sitting on my shelf for a few months now. Its time may be coming.
Boyden hitting us with some content marketing:
STARFEST GIVEAWAY: I have two tickets to the event of your choice to give away! Just comment and let me know which event you choose. Pick a back up if you want to see Boyden as it may sell out. Maybe reveal your own literary crush, too.
Festival of Ideas
When Margaret Atwood is the appetizer, can the main course compare? Atwood and Alanis were here last year as a pre-festival event. Joyce Carol Oates is like the crazier, American version of Atwood (on Twitter, anyway) and I must find out for myself what she’s really like. My picks:
- Joyce Carol Oates November 23, 7:00 p.m. at the Winspear Centre ($30) for reasons stated above. I snagged We Were the Mulvaneys at a library sale and have had it recommended it me more than once.
- Colm Toibin November 20, 8:00 p.m. at The Citadel ($24) because The Testament of Mary is brilliant. It earned a rare five-star review from me (obviously, everyone’s go-to metric) and showed me that brilliant novellas are not just found in the classics section.
There are more controversial tweets, yes, but to book bloggers, dissing Jane Austen is a throwdown:
FESTIVAL OF IDEAS GIVEAWAY: I have two tickets to Joyce Carol Oates to give away! Just comment and let me know you’re interested. Maybe tell me your favourite JCO book, or link to her craziest tweet.
Did you catch all three giveaways in this post?
All you have to do is comment on this post and let me know which pairs of tickets you’re interested in:
- M.G. Vassanji at LitFest (October 23)
- Winner’s choice at STARFest (events in October and November)
- Joyce Carol Oates at the Festival of Ideas (November 23)
You can say you’re interested in more than one. Go for all three if you like! I’ll do a random draw for each pair of tickets and announce the winners on Friday, October 3. No airfare or hotel, I’m afraid, so make sure you’ll actually be in town. I’m not going to make you subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Twitter, or share this post, to enter. You should definitely do all those things, though.
Thank you LitFest, STARFest, and Festival of Ideas for generously providing these prizes! I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to this festival season, whether you’re in Edmonton or not.
I’ve been working away at a Year in Review mega-post for a while now, but realized if I wait to finish the whole thing, it’ll probably never get posted. So I’m posting it in pieces. Here’s a fun one to start with. Literary crushes: Not just for Twilight Moms.
This is also probably a good place to announce that I won a Bare it For Books calendar. So this list might grow after I receive it!
2. Anton Chekhov. I was looking at some Wikipedia page about Russian authors, probably trying to determine if there were any women writing in the 1800s (seems not) when something caught my eye. It was Anton with his excellent hair and bone structure, and let’s just ignore the beard. If Bangable Dudes in History was still updating, I would submit this in a second.
3. Joseph Boyden. The lovely folks at Penguin Canada are sending me a copy of The Orenda so I can finally join in the award-snub outrage! In the meantime, check out Joseph’s holiday message for the Penguin Delights campaign – great smile, no pants, yes please:
1. David Slaney from Lisa Moore’s Caught. David is one of those people who can seduce you by walking into a room. There’s a memorable scene where he is hiding from the police in a bride’s hotel room. She’s minutes away from walking down the aisle, and while they don’t, they come so close… dang. In my head, David looks like James McAvoy circa The Last King of Scotland:
2. Jimmy from Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. The secret’s out: Part of the reason I love O&C so much, and wasn’t as into the other Maddaddam books, is that I have a massive crush on Jimmy. Unlike David, who could have anyone, Jimmy only preys on vulnerable women. He’s got a massive inferiority complex. Mommy issues abound. He’s awful, actually. I’m not sure what this says about me. If I were casting Jimmy, I’d go with 12 Monkeys era Brad Pitt. You know, a little dirty, a little crazy.
So, fess up: Who were your literary crushes this year?