The eh List for Fall 2012: October and November
Here at 'eh List Central' we are keen to provide Toronto with the finest festival of Canadian letters anywhere in town. The fall 2012 list is pretty close to our model season: mystery, local flavour, literary titles, expert interviewers, some of the country's best mystery writers, great comedy... in all, a wide swath of Canadiana with enough variety to keep even the most critical minds happy.
In the last instalment of this blog, we looked at the September lineup. In this piece, we will look at the lineup for October and November. It's going to be a lot of fun!
Do you understand the American Empire and its hold on the world’s economy? Do you see it changing any time soon? Come out and hear a couple of experts who have studied the history and future of global capital, and who can explain it in language you will understand. Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin are the real deal and their new book will be a signal publication in the study of economics. Join us for the launch of their new book, The Making of Global Capitalism at the Toronto Reference Library, Oct. 4 at 7 pm.
Kamal Al-Solaylee is an openly gay Torontonian who hails from Yemen. As a child, his evident difference from other boys was a source of benign tenderness from his siblings and parents. As the Arab world witnessed a resurgence of religious fervour, his world, and his family, spiralled into intolerance and religious extremism. While he went abroad for education, his sisters traded in their bikinis for burkas and his brothers became intense in their devotion. There was no longer room for an openly gay man in the household or in the society. Al-Solaylee presents this memoir as an homage to his former Arab world: Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes. Join Al-Solaylee at North York Central Library auditorium on Oct. 17 at 7 pm.
Farzana Doctor’s newest novel, Six Metres of Pavement, tells the story of a father trying to come to grips with the tragedy of his baby daughter’s death and the guilt he feels for causing it. Finally, twenty years later, he begins to recover his life. Doctor is able to bring her reader into her visceral world, where we really care what happens. Join Farzana, TPL’s new Writer in Residence at 7 pm on Oct. 18 at Toronto Reference Library for a reading and discussion of this exciting new book.
When former Globe and Mail columnist Jan Wong suggested that there might have been a connection between Quebec nationalism and mass killings at Quebec educational facilities, all hell broke loose. Hate mail piled up in the mailroom. The editor-in-chief, who had personally vetted the story, immediately denounced it. The publisher excoriated one of his prize journalists. The Prime Minister wrote a damning letter to the editor. And Wong, for the first time in her life, suffered a mental collapse. Out of The Blue documents the issues, her clinical depression, her firing and the fallout. This important book was in serious jeopardy of never seeing print. Lawyers threatened and almost everyone involved backed away from Wong and her story. Wong is an engaging and fearless speaker. These visits will be up-front and personal. Don’t miss Jan Wong at Barbara Frum library on October 22 and at Taylor Memorial on Oct. 23. (Don’t worry: Lunch will not be served.)
When Peter Robinson releases a new book, half of the population of the British Isles dawdles along to the bookshop to pick up a copy. They can’t wait for the story to appear on the tube. The successful TV series DCI Banks will have to wait to get the latest instalment on the screen, but you can meet the author at your local library. Canada produces its fair share of police procedurals, but Robinson’s are among the best. Watching the Dark, the twentieth and most recent DCI Banks novel, will keep you thoroughly engrossed in what is said to be the best of the Banks stories. Come and meet Peter, buy or borrow a book, and ask him when we get to see the series here in Canada! Join Peter Robinson at Norh York Central Library on Oct. 14 at 7pm, or at Northern District on Oct. 26 at 12:30 pm.
Imagine a world where the things we have taken for granted for a generation begin to disappear. Scott Fotheringham takes us to the backwoods of Nova Scotia where a man with a secret past slowly withdraws from a world where catastrophe lurks like a wolf in the night. The Rest is Silence, Fotheringham’s portrait of environmental apocalypse, calls for a real life expert to help us fathom the magnitude of the issues in the book. Award-winning author and environmental journalist Alanna Mitchell will speak with Fotheringham about the size and scope of disaster and about the suspension of belief which drives both this book and our continued roulette game with the Earth. Join us for this one-time event at Toronto Reference Library on Oct. 25 at 7 pm.
By all appearances, Canadian politics has taken a decided turn to the conservative end of the political spectrum. For some people, that’s a good thing. For Warren Kinsella, Prime Minister Jean Chretin’s former special assistant, it is not a good thing. Not by a country mile. In Fight The Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse, he calls for liberals and progressives everywhere to dig in for the fight of their lives. This partisan author will not be treading on eggshells. If you want to know what outspoken Liberals and progressives are thinking, join us at Toronto Reference Library on Nov. 1 at 7 pm, and at Runnymede Library on November 8 at 7 pm.
This Just In: Award-winning author and journalist Noah Richler will join Warren at TRL for an on-stage interview. Richler's own newest title What We Talk About When WE Talk About War is a polemic which yearns for the Personian Era of Canadian and world poltics, when Kinsella's kind of guys were winning elections around the world. Tune in here for a meeting of progressive minds.
Terry Fallis is a very funny man. He probably thought it was funny that nobody would publish his first book, The Best Laid Plans. Until his self-published version started winning prizes. Before the dust cleared, he had a multi-book deal with a major publishing house, and the prizes and accolades kept on coming. CBC Canada Reads declared The Best Laid Plans “The Essential Canadian Novel of the Decade.” The TV mini-series is underway, and Fallis produced first a sequel, The High Road, and now, Up and Down, a hilarious romp through Cigar Lake B.C and the International Space Station. This is a very funny book. It’s quintessentially Canadian, and unless you snap to attention at the first bars of the Star Spangled Banner, you will find this a fun book that will leave you smiling and cheering for Team Canuk. Terry is scheduled for one night only: Barbara Frum Branch, Nov. 7 at 7.
If you have ever wondered why cereal gets soggy when you go to answer the phone, or if your friends make prank calls to your ex-girlfriend, you will probably have some sympathy for Jonathan Goldstein, hapless host of CBC’s Wiretap. In his latest inquiry into life and the workings of the world, I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow Goldstein laments his fleeting youth and his ponderous passage into the next stage of life. Join us for an unforgettable evening with Jonathan Goldstein at North York Central Library on November 7 at 7.
Things happen fast in Algonquin Bay. You would think this picturesque city on Lake Nipigon would be a sleepy northern town without much going on. And you would be dead wrong. Algonquin Bay, as created by Giles Blunt, is a very happening place with more gruesome murders and payback crime than the average crime-ridden big city. When a senator’s wife turns up dead, and a wandering wife disappears from a no-tell hotel, Inspector John Cardinal and Detective Lise Delorme are keenly aware of a pattern of frozen women. A floating ice island, a celebrity sex addict and a rogue Toronto cop populate Blunt’s newest novel, Until the Night. Join us for one appearance only at Northern District Branch on November 13 at 12:30 pm.
Our series concludes with a very powerful story by an emerging giant of Canadian fiction. Vincent Lam's The Headmaster's Wager takes place in Vietnam during the conflict which we in the West calls The Vietnam War. The war looks a lot different to Percival Chen, the Headmaster of Saigon's (ther former Ho Chi Minh City) most prestigious English acadamy. When his son's Chinese swagger attracts the attention of the Vietcong authorities, Percival requires all of his guile and influence to get his son out of danger. Join us for readings with this Giller Award winning author on Nov. 20 at Taylor Memorial and Nov. 28 at North York Central Library.