With the largest number of events ever presented and 103 international and national authors appearing, this year’s Vancouver Writers Fest is set to be a magnet for Vancouver-area audiences. The Writers Fest takes place October 21 to 26 on Granville Island in Vancouver.
Over six days in October, some of the biggest European names in writing will join other national and international stars to present 86 events to thousands of fans at the annual festival. In addition, three special events lead up to the Festival and three more special events follow the Festival in November.
The annual Festival, now in its 27th year, features panel discussions, one-on-one interviews, spoken word performances, poetry jams, events for children in both English and French, and readings accompanied by musicians. Headlining the Festival from Europe are Ireland’s Colm Tóibín, Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, Herman Koch from the Netherlands, French author Maylis de Kerangel and Iceland’s Sjón, famed as the lyricist for superstar Bjork.
The award-winning lineup of authors also includes Canadian authors Ann-Marie MacDonald, Thomas King, Michael Crummey, Steven Galloway, Miriam Toews, Emma Donoghue, William Gibson, Terry Fallis, Caroline Adderson, Charles Foran and Kathleen Winter. From the UK, the Festival presents three-time Booker-prize nominated author Sarah Waters, Cory Doctorow, Kate Pullinger and award-winning mystery writer Louise Welsh.
American authors coming to the Festival include Pulitzer-Prize winner Jane Smiley, Man Booker Prize nominee Joshua Ferris, and famed crime fiction author James Ellroy. Rounding out the international roster are South Africa’s Damon Galgut, who has been a finalist for the Booker Prize twice, Australia’s award-winning authors Tim Winton and Christos Tsiolkas, Pakistan’s Musharraf Ali Farooqi, and Lebanon’s Rabih Alameddine.
“This national and international lineup reaffirms our role at the Writers Fest to introduce some of the most significant writers in the world to readers who may only have had a passing knowledge of them,” said Hal Wake, Artistic Director of the Festival. “We love to present authors who have achieved success alongside brilliant new writers who are about to become the buzz of the literary world.”
This year’s Festival also features a selection of non-fiction writers, including Daniel Levitin, whose previous book, This Is Your Brain on Music, spent more than a year on the bestseller lists, Bob McDonald, one of Canada’s best known science journalists, and Evan Osnos, New Yorker staff writer known for his coverage of China. Federal Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau presents his new memoir in a conversation with CBC’s Stephen Quinn on the Friday evening of the Festival.
For grades K to 12 students, the Writers Fest features daytime events in both French and English that will bring more than 5,000 young readers to Granville Island.
Six special events bookend the Festival. Mystery writer Louise Penny kicked off the Festival season on September 3. David Mitchell, whose new novel The Bone Clocks is nominated for the Booker Prize, appears September 27. World-renowned spoken word artist Shane Koyczan appears with his collaborators October 7 to talk about transforming Stickboy into a contemporary opera. Following the Festival, legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn presents his memoir, Rumours of Glory, on November 10. And on November 13, Alan Doyle, Newfoundland singer-songwriter and front man of Great Big Sea, talks about his new memoir at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island while at St. Andrew’s-Wesley, Conrad Black is the Festival’s guest as he presents his re-examination of the history of Canada.
The full lineup of events is online at www.writersfest.bc.ca Tickets for the Festival events went on sale to the public on Monday, September 8, online through vancouvertix.com or by calling 604-629-VTIX (604-629-8849). Tickets will also be available in person at the Writers Fest box office, 1398 Cartwright Street. Tickets for the six special events are on sale now at vancouvertix.com.
Feature Image: Working on a book via shutterstock