Today is Winter Solstace, the darkest day of the year. It is also the one with the greatest promise of light and spring and renewal. For Canadian book lovers, this is a message: There are Great Books coming with the light! And The eh List Author Series is going to light up your spring reading! To whet your whistle, here are a few of the many fantastic programs we have coming up this spring.
We open the season with Esi Edugian and Half Blood Blues, her award-winning novel which has taken the country by storm. Esi's novel was a finalist for the Man Booker, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction, the Governor Genera's Literary Award for Fiction, and was finalist and winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for 2011. With all these accolades and a brand new baby, you can bet Esi wasn't keening to leave sunny Victoria to fly East in April, but, always a trooper, Esi will be with us on April 4 and 5. Watch for it. April 4, NYCL 7 pm. April 5, TRL, 12:30 pm.
Also in from Victoria, B.C., is author, poet, thinker and traveler Gary Geddes whose book Drink the Bitter Root; A Writer's Search for Justice and Redemption in Africa has taken him around the world to discuss his findings and his insights into African justice. In these days of omnibus crime bills and debates over restitution and retribution, it is simply a good time to reflect on justice as it is applied around the world. Come out to hear what Geddes has to add to the conversation.
CBC's Middle East coverage is considered among the best available. Much of that is due to the extensive experience and knowledge of their senior correspondent, Nalah Ayed. Ayed will visit with her new book A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter's Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring. Come and meet Nalah at Toronto Reference Library on April 19th 12:30 pm.
If you are old enough to remember the sexual revolution, then you will want to read and hear from Michele Landsberg. In 'Writing The Revolution' Landsberg reprises some of her most salient articles from her 25 year stint as Canada's most visible feminist writer. If you are not old enough to remember reacting to her ground-breaking essays, here's your chance. But Landsberg isn't finished with activism; she may no longer be a part of your Toronto Star morning, but she and husband Steven Lewis are hardly sitting on their hands waiting for someone to ask them to dance. She will be interviewed by Now Magazine's Susan G. Cole, May 3, 12:30 pm at Toronto Reference Library.
English Canadians don't get many opportunities to meet Michel Tremblay in Toronto. We are providing two such opportunities. One in either Official Language. Tremblay and his translator, Sheila Fischman will discuss the process and tribulations of translation, and will speak about his most recently translated novel, Crossing the Continent. English: Wednesday, May 23, 7 pm at North York Central and French: Thursday, May 24, 7 pm at Northern District.
And speaking of solitudes, another great Quebecer will be discussed at NYCL on Wednesday, April 18 when Max and Monique Nemne will present the second volume in their exhaustive biography of Pierre Elliot Trudeau; Trudeau Transformed: The Shaping of a Statesman 1944-1965.
Hoping this sneak preview will give you something other than sugar plums to dance in your seasonal heads, I'm Joseph Romain, and I'll be back very soon with some more highlights from the upcoming season.