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Authors and audience connect at PEC Authors’ Festival

Authors Susan-Swan, Iain-Reid, Ania-Szado and Susan-Glickman. Carolyn Barnes photos

Authors Susan-Swan, Iain-Reid, Ania-Szado and Susan-Glickman. Carolyn Barnes photos

Iain Reid

Iain Reid

By Carolyn Barnes
Eight authors connected with large and enthusiastic audiences at the Prince Edward County Authors Festival on the weekend.
Saturday’s all-day program of readings in the Lipson Room above Books & Company in Picton began with a morning devoted to poetry. Four poets delighted their audience with varied works, some yet to be published, ranging from Paul Vermeersch’s musings on recreated reality, Moez Surani’s sparely worded sketches of places around the world and John Terpstra’s potent appreciation of Hamilton’s urban landscape, to Oana Avasilichioaei’s astonishing layers of real-time and recorded words and sounds.

The crowd swelled in the afternoon for readings of fiction and nonfiction. Iain Reid, who first appeared at the 2011 Festival, returned this year to read from The Truth About Luck. As predicted, he had the audience in stitches again, sharing a passage from this funny account of five insightful days he spent with his 92-year-old grandma.

Susan Glickman appeared next. She had battled poor weather on the 401 the previous day to arrive at Wellington Public Library in time to lead an inspiring afternoon writing workshop, “Story into Story,” the Festival’s first event.  She returned Saturday to intrigue her audience with a taste of the fantasy, history and storytelling she has woven into her latest novel, The Tale-Teller.

Next to read was Ania Szado whose new book, Studio Saint-Ex, has just been released. She piqued interest with an excerpt from her romantic tale, part fact, part fiction, set in 1940s Manhattan.

Authors-Festival-Susan-SwanSusan Swan rounded out the afternoon’s readings. Her latest novel, The Western Light, creates, in compelling detail, the preoccupations of a fictional 1950s Ontario small town and pays tribute to her father, a medical doctor in just such a town, and to the longing his daughter felt for more attention from this man the whole community depended on.

Both morning and afternoon ended with questions from the audience, and  thoughtful, thought-provoking responses from the authors.

There was also a large, appreciative crowd at the Festival’s kick-off event Friday as County residents Treat Hull, Noreen Kalman, Cynthia Peters, Bridget Stevenson and George Underhill waged a good-humoured battle of their chosen books in The County Reads.
Click here to visit the PEC Library website to cast your vote in County Reads 2013.  
Treat Hull – A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly, by John Sloan
Noreen Kalman – Good to a Fault, by Marina Endicott
Cynthia Peters – Still Life, by Louise Penny
Bridget Stevenson – 419: A Novel, by Will Ferguson
George Underhill – The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt.

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