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Author! Author!: The International Festival of Authors brings some of the world’s finest writers to Toronto.

The world’s most respected wordsmiths bring the fruits of their creative labours to Toronto during Harbourfront Centre’s renowned International Festival of Authors, taking place October 20 to 30. Begun in 1980 as a forum for showcasing the best examples of contemporary literature around the globe—in its nearly twenty-five year history the annual festival has brought more than 4,000 writers to Toronto including such authors as Martin Amis, Douglas Coupland and Michael Ondaatje—the International Festival of Authors has consistently managed to live up to its early promise and only continues to grow in scope and esteem. This year’s celebration features more than 100 writers from around the world and more than 50 events including readings, onstage interviews, lectures and panel discussions. On October 30 the festival ends on a celebratory note with readings by the 2004 Giller Prize finalists. Past winners of the Giller, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards, include Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler and Alice Munro.Established names and highly touted newcomers in fiction, non-fiction, biography and literary criticism, from the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Denmark, Germany, France and Greece to name a few, are set to participate and this year’s lineup boasts such literary luminaries as American writer Russell Banks (Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter), who will be offering up his latest work The Darling; India’s venerable Anita Desai (In Custody, Clear Light of Day) brings her latest The ZigZag Way; the UK’s Margaret Drabble (The Radiant Way) reads from The Red Queen; Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novelist Art Spiegleman brings his provocative new drawing series In the Shadow of No Towers; internationally renowned historian Margaret Macmillan and Professor of history at the University of Toronto reads from her influential and award-winning look at the Paris Peace Conference, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World, while influential cultural critic and author of more than a dozen books, Edmund White shares Arts and Letters, his new collection of essays.The crop of up-and-coming authors includes Canada’s own David Bezmogis, who over the past year has seen his short stories published in The New Yorker, Harper’s and Francis Ford Coppola’s highly regarded literary magazine Zoetrope. Bezmogis’ collection of short stories, Natasha and Other Stories, was published earlier this year. American writer, visual artist and a professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, Audrey Niffenegger, brings her debut novel The Time Traveler’s Wife. The whimsical tale was optioned by Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt and is currently being adapted for the screen by New Line Cinema.Also look out for the Jasper Fforde (Something Rotten), Dubliner Colm Tóibín (The Master), Belfast’s Ronan Bennett (The Catastrophist, Havoc, in its Third Year) and biographer Diane Middlebrook with her latest Her Hubby: Hughes & Plath, A Marriage. Tickets cost $15 per event and can be purchased online at www.readings.org or by phone 416-973-4000.THE WRITE STUFF
Readings and events to look forward to during the International Festival
of Authors:

Oct. 22, 8 p.m.: Russell Banks, Panos Karnezis, Jeffrey Moore,
Ernesto Quinonez
Oct. 24, 1 p.m.: Glenn Murray
(author of Walter the Farting Dog)
Oct. 26, 7 p.m.: Chip Kidd on book design
Oct. 27, 7 p.m.: Q & A with David Bezmogis and Andrea Levy (winner of the 2004 Orange Prize); interviewed by TV journalist Seamus O’Regan
Oct. 30, 1 p.m.: Round Table discussion on whether or not writing can be taught featuring Tom Barbash, Wayson Choy, Richard Bausch and Marilynne Robinson; moderated by Daniel Richler
Oct. 30, 2 p.m.: Onstage interview with Margaret Drabble
Oct. 30, 3 p.m.: Diane Middlebrook
(Hughes & Plath: A Marriage) shares her thoughts on the troubled coupling of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath—Flannery Dean

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OUR FULL Toronto COVERAGE

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