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Junot Diaz

See and Hear the Biggest Names in Contemporary Writing at the International Festival of Authors


David Byrne and Cory Doctorow at a recent Harbourfront Centre literary event
(photo: Authors at Harbourfront Centre)

OCTOBER 18 TO 28 As readers, we turn to books to become inspired, to take a walk in someone else’s shoes, to experience new places and let our imaginations run wild. Each October, Harbourfront Centre gives us the opportunity to gain further insight into our favourite literary and non-fiction works—and meet their creators—as some of the world’s most celebrated contemporary writers gather for the International Festival of Authors.

This year, more than 180 participants are scheduled to appear in 70-plus events, including headline interviews with the likes of Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz (October 19), and Canadian essayist and novelist John Ralston Saul (October 21), as well as readings by the finalists for Canada’s most prestigious book awards: the Governor General’s Literary Award (October 22), the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (October 24) and the Scotiabank Giller Prize (October 27). Of course there are dozens of other happenings—from themed roundtable discussions to intimate readings to public book signings in the festival’s bookstore—that make the IFOA a locus for lovers of literature. Below, check out our picks of the fest’s best under-the-radar readings and more.

This year’s 33rd annual gathering also marks the first time that Festival Flex Passes are available, giving attendees the ability to purchase tickets to 10 events for only $120. (Single tickets are $18 and up.) As always, students can access most readings and discussions for free, subject to availability. Visit the festival’s website for further details.