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Readings

October Hot Date: International Festival of Authors

CanLit icon Alice Munro (photo by Derek Shapton).

CanLit icon Alice Munro (photo by Derek Shapton).

OCTOBER 21 TO 31 The International Festival of Authors turns 30 by celebrating more than 50 top names in Canadian and global fiction and non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, children’s literature and everything in between. During 11 days of readings, panel discussions and book signings, catch CanLit staple Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood) and American novelist John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River) among others. The PEN Canada benefit gala has everyone buzzing—Man Booker International Prize winner Alice Munro (Too Much Happiness) talks with British publishing maven Diana Athill. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., $8 to $15 (free for students); call 416-973-4000 or visit here for more details.

BONUS! Simultaneously, on October 27, 29 and 30, the YoungIFOA takes place for wee ones who love to read. Book-making workshops and author events are part of the fete for kids in kindergarten to grade eight.

Luminato, To-Do Day Six

Reinvigorate yourself mid-week with more entertaining options courtesy of Luminato.

Pierre Brault channels guitarist Lenny Breau in 5 O'Clock Bells (photo by Christina Riley).

Pierre Brault channels guitarist Lenny Breau in 5 O'Clock Bells (photo by Christina Riley).

Wednesday, June 10

5 O’Clock Bells
Lenny Breau might have been a man of few words but his cultural impact continues to this day. On Monday the NFB screened a documentary about him, and today you’ll be able to catch Pierre Brault’s one-man show inspired by the jazz guitarist’s short and tragic life. The show, directed by Brian Quirt, wowed audiences during a sold-out run in Ottawa; expect a similar reaction when it premieres in Toronto tonight.
Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.), 7:30 p.m., $35.

Gothic Toronto—Writing the City Macabre
We always knew there was something ominous about the CN Tower; now we have our proof. Luminato and Diaspora Dialogues commissioned six Toronto writers, including Michelle Wan, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Andrew Pyper, to write short stories about the city. But there’s a twist: each one falls within the realm of gothic literature, so expect a spook or two. Bring a friend along because after a night of spine-tingling tales you probably won’t feel like heading home (or back to your hotel) by yourself. And be sure to pick up one of the limited-edition “chapbooks” compiling all the stories before they disappear into the ether.
The Music Gallery (197 John St.), 7:30 p.m., free.

The Canadian Songbook—A Tribute to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall
It’s hard to imagine Neil Young as an upstart musician still trying to prove his worth as a singer-songwriter. Yet that’s exactly what he was when he took the stage at Massey Hall on January 19, 1971, and played his soon-to-be-iconic songs including “Helpless” and “Old Man.” As part of Luminato’s music programming (particular those events celebrating the guitar), an assemblage of such top Canadian musicians as the Cowboy Junkies, Holly Cole, Steven Page and Carole Pope come together to recreate Young’s landmark performance.
Massey Hall (178 Victoria St.), 8 p.m., $59.50 to $79.50.