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  • Literary Lecture Series 2020-21 (ONLINE)- Tuesday Series

Literary Lecture Series 2020-21 (ONLINE)- Tuesday Series

  • 22 Sep 2020
  • 8 Jun 2021
  • 9 sessions
  • 22 Sep 2020 (EDT)
  • 6 Oct 2020 (EDT)
  • 17 Nov 2020 (EST)
  • 26 Jan 2021 (EST)
  • 16 Feb 2021 (EST)
  • 23 Mar 2021 (EDT)
  • 13 Apr 2021 (EDT)
  • 11 May 2021 (EDT)
  • 8 Jun 2021 (EDT)
  • Online


Tuesday Series: 2020-21

September 22- K.D. Miller: Late Breaking

Inspired by the paintings of Alex Colville, Late Breaking offers a chilling portrait of a small and aging community. The linked stories explore the vulnerability of the elder heart and prove that love and sex and heartbreak are not only the domain of the young. Each character appears in at least two stories, in a greater or lesser role, the most common being a ghost who “haunts” the book throughout. Death is a constant, in both peaceful and violent forms. Together, the stories crystallize into something more than a novel, and confirm its author as one of the country’s best. 

Finalist for the 2019 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction.

October 6- Steven Price: Lampedusa

 In sun-drenched Sicily, among the decadent Italian aristocracy of the late 1950s, Giuseppe Tomasi, the last prince of Lampedusa, struggles to complete the novel that will be his legacy, The Leopard. With a firm devotion to the historical record, Lampedusa leaps effortlessly into the mind of the writer and inhabits the complicated heart of a man facing down the end of his life, struggling to make something of lasting worth, while there is still time. Read The Leopard once you have read Lampedusa. It is considered an Italian masterpiece in its depiction of Sicily in the second half of the 19th century.

Finalist for the 2019 Scotia Giller Prize

November 17- Anthony de Sa: Children of the Moon

Tanzania, 1956. A Maasai woman gives birth to a child with albinism. The child is seen as a curse upon her tribe, and so begins Pó's tumultuous story. As Pó navigates the world, she must claim her life in the face of violence and ostracism. 

Further south, in Portuguese-controlled Mozambique, Ezequiel struggles for acceptance too. Adopted by missionaries, he is not recognized by his Portuguese father's community, or by his Makonde mother's tribe. When civil war erupts, he must choose who to fight for and who to leave behind.

January 26- Mike Barnes: Be With: Letters to a Caregiver

 Drawing on the author’s seven years of caring for his mother through Alzheimer’s, Be With: Letters to a Caregiver is what its title promises: four dispatches to an anonymous long-term caregiver. In brief passages that cast fresh light on what it means to live with dementia, Barnes shares trials, insights, solace—and, ultimately, inspiration.

Mike Barnes writes with sensitivity and grace about fellowship, responsibility, and joyful relatedness—what it means to simply be with the people that we love.

Shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award

February 16 -Gil Adamson: The Ridgerunner

Part literary Western and part historical mystery, Ridgerunner is the sequel to Gil Adamson’s award-winning and critically acclaimed novel The Outlander.

November 1917. William Moreland is in mid-flight. After nearly twenty years, the notorious thief, known as the Ridgerunner, has returned. Moving through the Rocky Mountains and across the border to Montana, the solitary drifter, impoverished in means and aged beyond his years, is also a widower and a father. He is determined to steal enough money to secure the future of his son who has been left in the care of Sister Beatrice, a formidable nun, who keeps him in cloistered seclusion in her grand old house. Though he knows his father is coming for him, the boy runs away to the family’s cabin deep in the wood and takes with him something the nun is determined to get back — at any cost.            

The novel is set against the backdrop of a distant war raging in Europe and a rapidly changing landscape in the West.

March 23- Karma Brown: Recipe For a Perfect Wife

In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband–and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.

When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home’s basement, she is captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner–1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages Nellie left clues about her life–including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother. Soon Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but.

April 13- Ben Lerner: The Topeka School with Sandra Martin

 Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of 1997. His mother, Jane, is a famous feminist author; his father, Jonathan, is an expert at getting "lost boys" to open up. They both work at the Foundation, a well-known psychiatric clinic that has attracted staff and patients from around the world. Adam is also one of the seniors who brings the loner Darren Eberheart--who is, unbeknownst to Adam, his father's patient--into the social scene, with disastrous effects.            

This is the story of a family's struggles and strengths: Jane's reckoning with the legacy of an abusive father, Jonathan's marital transgressions, the challenge of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a riveting prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the trolls and tyrants of the new right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.

A Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a Barack Obama’s Top Pick.

May 11- Jessica McDiarmid: Highway of Tears

For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. Highway 16 is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis.

Journalist Jessica McDiarmid, investigates the devastating effect these tragedies have had on the families of the victims and their communities, and how systemic racism and indifference have created a climate where Indigenous women and girls are over-policed, yet under-protected.      

Through interviews with mothers and fathers, siblings and friends, McDiarmid offers an intimate, first-hand account of their loss and relentless fight for justice. Examining the historically fraught social and cultural tensions between settlers and Indigenous peoples in the region, McDiarmid links these cases to others across Canada - now estimated to number up to 4,000. 

Finalist for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction           

June 8- Helen Humphreys: Rabbit Foot Bill

Canwood, Saskatchewan, 1947. Leonard Flint, a lonely boy in a small farming town befriends the local tramp, a man known as Rabbit Foot Bill. Bill doesn’t talk much, but he allows Leonard to accompany him as he sets rabbit snares and to visit his small, secluded dwelling. 

Being with Bill is everything to young Leonard—an escape from school, bullies and a hard father. So his shock is absolute when he witnesses Bill commit a sudden violent act and loses him to prison.

Fifteen years on, as a newly graduated doctor of psychiatry, Leonard arrives at the Weyburn Mental Hospital, both excited and intimidated by the massive institution known for its experimental LSD trials. To Leonard’s great surprise, at the Weyburn he is reunited with Bill and soon becomes fixated on discovering what happened on that fateful day in 1947.

Based on a true story, this page-turning novel from a master stylist examines the frailty and resilience of the human mind.


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