2015 Festival – Adult Authors

Thursday, September 10, 2015

8 pm, Eden Mills Community Hall, 108 York St, Eden Mills

Colin Campbell, author of Free Days with George, Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog. Special appearance by George.

After Colin Campbell went on a short business trip abroad, he returned
home to discover his wife of many years had moved out. Shocked and heartbroken, Colin fell into a spiral of depression and loneliness.
Soon after, a friend told Colin about a dog in need of rescue—a neglected 140-pound Newfoundland Landseer, a breed renowned for its friendly nature and remarkable swimming abilities. Colin adopted the traumatized dog, brought him home and named him George. Both man and dog were heartbroken and lacking trust, but together, they learned how to share a space, how to socialize, and most of all, how to overcome their bad experiences.

Then everything changed. Colin was offered a great new job in Los Naomi KleinAngeles, California. He took George with him and the pair began a new life together on the sunny beaches around L.A. When George encountered the ocean and a surfboard for the first time, he did a surprising thing—he jumped right on the board. Through surfing, George and Colin began a life-altering adventure and a deep healing process that brought them back to life. Colin learned how to follow George’s lead, discovering that he may have rescued George but that in the end, it was George who rescued him.

Free Days with George is an uplifting, inspirational story about the healing power of animals, and about leaving the past behind to embrace love, hope and happiness.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

1 pm, War Memorial Hall, University of Guelph

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and the author of the critically acclaimed #1 international bestsellers The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, which The New York Times called “a movement bible.”

No Logo won Canada’s National Business Book Award, was named one of Naomi Klein
the 100 most important Canadian books ever published by The Literary Review of Canada, and was chosen as one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Non-Fiction books since 1923. The Shock Doctrine was named Canadian Book of the Decade by Canadian Press and NOW magazine, and won the CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Klein is a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, a reporter for Rolling Stone, and a syndicated columnist for The Nation and The Guardian. She is a member of the board of directors of 350.org and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. PHOTO: KOUROSH-KESHIRI

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Festival Sunday, noon-6 pm, Village of Eden Mills


Michael Christie’s debut book of short fiction, The Beggar’s Garden, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction, and won the Vancouver Book Award. Prior to earning an MFA from the University of British Columbia, he was a sponsored skateboarder and travelled throughout the world skateboarding and writing for skateboard magazines. Born in Thunder Bay, he now lives on Galiano Island with his wife and two sons. If I Fall, If I Die is his first novel. PHOTO: CEDAR BOWERS


Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for acclaimed author of novels and short stories, Craig Davidson. Nick is the winner of the inaugural James Herbert Award for Horror Writing for his book The Troop.

Craig Davidson’s Cataract City was shortlisted for the 2013 Giller Prize. Stories from his Rust and Bone have been adapted into a play by Australian playwright Caleb Lewis and a film by French director Jacques Audiard. Craig/Nick lives in Toronto. His latest book is The Deep by Nick Cutter. PHOTO: KEVIN KELLY


Kim Echlin is the author of Elephant Winter, Dagmar’s Daughter, andInanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer. Her third novel, The Disappeared, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction. Her most recent book is Under The Visible Life. Kim lives in Toronto. PHOTO: SARA UPSHUR


Marina Endicott is the author of Good to a Fault, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, Canada and the Caribbean, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; The Little Shadows, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; and Open Arms, which was shortlisted for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Endicott has been an actor, director, playwright and editor, and lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where she teaches at the University of Edmonton. Her latest novel is Close to Hugh. PHOTO: JACQUELINE BAKER


Karyn L. Freedman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Guelph. Karyn’s first book, One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery, was published to critical acclaim in Canada and elsewhere. It won the 2015 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. It was also a Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of 2014 and one of Room Magazine’s 14 Feminist Books of 2014. Karyn lives in Toronto. PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Camilla Gibb is the author of four novels and has been the recipient of the Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and the CBC Canadian Literary Award and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She has a Ph.D. from Oxford University and is currently the June Callwood Professor for Social Justice at Victoria College, University of Toronto. Camilla’s latest book is a memoir called –This Is Happy (Sept. 2015) PHOTO: MARK RAYNES-ROBERTS


Elizabeth Hay is the author of the #1 nationally bestselling novel Alone in the Classroom, the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel Late Nights On Air, as well as three other award-winning works of fiction, A Student of Weather, Garbo Laughs, and Small Change. Formerly a radio broadcaster, she spent a number of years in Mexico and New York City before returning to Canada. She lives in Ottawa. Her latest noel is His Whole Life. PHOTO: MARK FRIED


The Illegal is Lawrence Hill’s fourth novel and tenth book. Hill’s last novel was The Book of Negroes, an international bestseller and winner of various awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. He travelled widely to deliver the 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his non-fiction bookBlood: The Stuff of Life. He co-wrote the adaptation for the six-part television miniseries of The Book of Negroes, which was filmed in South Africa and Nova Scotia and aired in 2015 on CBC in Canada and BET in the United States. He volunteers with Crossroads International, Book Clubs for Inmates, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society and Project Bookmark Canada. Lawrence Hill lives with his family in Hamilton, Ontario, and Woody Point, Newfoundland.PHOTO: LISA SAKULENSKY


Robert Hough’s novels have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His 2012 novel, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in Toronto. His most recent novel is The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan.PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Peter Kavanagh is a veteran of Canadian media, having worked for twenty-five years at the CBC in television and radio with programs such as The Journal, Morningside, The Sunday Edition and Ideas, as well as publishing in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and numerous publications in the United States and Europe. Peter’s memoir, The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times is a powerful meditation on walking and a memoir of a full life.

He lives with his wife, Debi Goodwin, in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario.PHOTO: DEBI GOODWIN


Plum Johnson is an award-winning author, artist and entrepreneur living in Toronto. She was the founder of KidsCanada Publishing Corp., publisher of KidsToronto, and co-founder of Help’s Here!, a resource magazine for seniors and caregivers. In addition to her writing and publishing, Plum is an accomplished illustrator and portrait painter, having long surpassed her goal of “ten thousand hours on the brush”. Her memoir, They Left Us Everything, a poetic meditation on aging, grief and filial responsibility, was awarded the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize. Plum lives in Toronto.PHOTO: TOM DELAMERE


Ann-Marie MacDonald is an author, actor, playwright and broadcaster. Ann-Marie’s first novel, Fall on Your Knees (1996), was a critically acclaimed international bestseller.  It won the Commonwealth Prize, was short-listed for the Giller Prize, and won the People’s Choice Award and the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year. In 2002 it became an Oprah’s Book Club selection. It has been translated into 19 languages. Her second novel, The Way the Crow Flies (2003), was an international bestseller, a finalist for the Giller Prize, and a Good Morning America Book Club pick. It has been translated into 13 languages. Her newest novel is Adult Onset. Ann-Marie ives in Toronto with her partner and their two children.PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Alison Pick’s best-selling novel Far to Go was nominated for the Man Booker Prize and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award. It was a Top 10 Book of 2010 at NOW magazine and the Toronto Star, and was published to international acclaim. Alison was the winner of the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award for the most promising writer in Canada under 35. Currently on Faculty at the Humber School for Writers and the Banff Centre for the Arts, she lives and writes in Toronto. Her latest book is a memoir titled Between Gods.PHOTO: EMMA-LEE PHOTOGRAPHY


Andrew Pyper is the author of The Demonologist, which won the International Thriller Writers award for Best Hardcover Novel and was selected for the Globe and Mail’s Best 100 Books of 2013 and Amazon’s 20 Best Books of 2013. He is also the author of five previous novels, including Lost Girls and The Killing Circle, which was named New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. Four of Pyper’s novels, including The Damned, are in active development for feature film. He lives in Toronto.PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Nino Ricci‘s first novelLives of the Saints garnered international acclaim, appearing in fifteen countries and winning a host of awards, including Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction.Lives of the Saints formed the first volume of a trilogy that was completed by In A Glass House and Where She Has Gone, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fiction. The trilogy was adapted for a miniseries starring Sophia Loren, Sabrina Ferilli, and Kris Kristofferson. In 2006, Ricci was named the inaugural winner of the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement. In 2008, Nino received the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for his novel, The Origin of Species. Nino’s latest book comes out in Sept. 2015. It is calledSleep.PHOTO: PAUL-ANTOINE TAILLEFER


Jennifer Robson is the USA Today and #1 Globe & Mail bestselling author ofSomewhere in France. She holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and an SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children. Her new novel is After the War is Over.PHOTO: NATALIE BROWN


Jocelyne Saucier is the author of several novels and the recipient of the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie and the Prix Ringuet de l’Académie des lettres du Québec. She was born in New Brunswick and now resides in Abitibi, Quebec. Jocelyne’sAnd The Birds Rained Down was a finalist in 2015’s CBC Canada Reads and defended by Martha Wainwright. Her new book is Twenty-one Cardinals, translated by Rhonda Mullins.PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as was her translation of Élise Turcotte’s Guyana. Her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals — the English version of Les héritiers de la mine — will be released in June 2015.PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Neil Smith is a French translator and the author of the critically acclaimed bestselling short story collection Bang Crunch. He has been nominated for the Hugh McLennan Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Best First Book (Canada), as well as the Journey Prize. He has also won the First Book Prize from the Quebec Writers’ Federation. He lives in Montreal. Boo is his debut novel.PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Russell Smith is one of Canada’s funniest and nastiest writers. His previous novels, includingHow Insensitive and Girl Crazy, are records of urban frenzy and exciting underworlds. He writes a provocative weekly column on the arts in the national Globe and Mail, and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Guelph. He hates folk music. His new book isConfidence.PHOTO: SUBMITTED


Born in Saigon, Montreal writer Kim Thúy came to Canada as a child of war in 1979. Her debut novel R, a rendering of a Vietnamese story much like her own, won the 2010 Governor General’s Award for French language fiction among numerous other prizes. The English edition, translated by Sheila Fischman, was published in 2012. The novel won the 2015 edition of Canada Reads, and was a shortlisted nominee for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prizeand the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award. Kim has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer and restaurant owner. She currently lives in Montreal where she devotes herself to writing. Her most recent novel is Mãn.PHOTO: BENOIT LEVAC


John Vaillant‘s first book, The Golden Spruce, was a #1 national bestseller, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Pearson Writer’s Trust Non-Fiction Award and the Roderick Haig Brown Regional Prize. The Tiger was a #1 national bestseller, a Canada Reads selection, a Globe and Mail Best Book, and won numerous awards. It has been translated into 15 languages. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic and The Walrus, among other publications. His first work of fiction is the recently released The Jaguar’s Children. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and children.PHOTO: JOHN SINAL


Anakana Schofield won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel Malarky.Malarky was also nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and named on many best books of 2012 lists. Schofield has contributed criticism and essays to the London Review of BooksBlog, The Guardian, The Irish TimesThe Globe and Mail and more. Irish-Canadian, she has lived in London and in Dublin, Ireland and presently lives in Vancouver.  Her forthcoming novel Martin John will be release in Canada this Fall.PHOTO: TOM DELAMERE


Pamela (‘Pam’) Mordecai is a poet, short fiction writer, and author of five children’s books and a reference work on Jamaica (with her husband, Martin). A former language arts teacher with a PhD in English and a prolific anthologist with a special interest in the writing of Caribbean women, Pam has edited ground breaking anthologies such as Jamaica Woman (with Mervyn Morris), Her True-True Name (with Betty Wilson), and From Our Yard: Jamaican Poetry since Independence. Her most recent anthology is Calling Cards: New Poetry from Caribbean/ Canadian Women. Born in Jamaica and educated there and in the USA, Pam and her family immigrated to Canada in 1994. Red Jacket is her first novel.


John Jantunen has never been jailed for his political views, fought in a war, or hallucinated giant lizards. He does, however, share the same convictions about writing with several authors who have. Namely, that only by fully engaging with the world can one create good literature, that memory is a writer’s most valuable tool, and that one’s imagination should only be used as a last resort. Prior to settling in Guelph, Ontario with his family, John traveled extensively across Canada. He has translated his experiences into three novels, numerous short stories and a dozen screenplays. His debut novel, Cipher, was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer’s Prize.


Sean Michaels was born in Stirling, Scotland, in 1982. Raised in Ottawa, he eventually settled in Montreal, founding Said the Gramophone, one of the earliest music blogs. He has since spent time in Edinburgh and Kraków, written for the Guardian and McSweeney’s, toured with rock bands, searched the Parisian catacombs for Les UX, and received two National Magazine Awards. His first novel, Us Conductors, won the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and was a finalist for the QWF Concordia University First Book Prize and the inaugural Kirkus Prize for Fiction.



Raised in Alberta, Canada, Emma Hooper brought her love of music and literature to the UK, where she received a doctorate in Musico-Literary studies at the University of East-Anglia and currently lectures at Bath Spa University. A musician, Emma performs as the solo artist Waitress for the Bees, and was awarded a Finnish Cultural Knighthood. She also performs with the Stringbeans Quartet and has toured with Peter Gabriel and Toni Braxton. She lives in Bath, UK, but comes home to Canada to cross-country ski whenever she can. Etta and Otto and Russell and Jame, a novel of magical realism, is her first novel.


Michael Crummey is an internationally celebrated novelist and poet; he has published nine books of poetry and fiction.Galore won the Canadian Authors Association’s Fiction Award, the Commonwealth Prize (Canada and Caribbean Region), and was short-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Award and the Governor General’s Award. Sweetland was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award in 2014. His most recent poetry collections are Under the Keel(Anansi, 2013) and Hard Light: Brick Books Classics 5 (Brick Books, 2015). He lives in St. John’s Newfoundland.

Michael will be reading at Rivermead as part of our celebration of Brick Books’ 40 years of publishing great Canadian poetry.


Tracey Lindberg is a citizen of As’in’i’wa’chi Ni’yaw Nation Rocky Mountain Cree and hails from the Kelly Lake Cree Nation community. She is an award-winning academic writer and teaches Indigenous studies and Indigenous law at two universities in Canada. Tracey has a Law degree from the U. of Saskatchewan, a Masters degree in Law from Harvard and a Doctorate (Law) from the U. of Ottawa. She won the Governor General’s Gold Medal for her dissertation and was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Laws. Tracey sings the blues loudly, talks quietly and is next in a long line of argumentative Cree women. Birdie, darkly comic and moving first novel about the universal experience of recovering from wounds of the past, is her first novel.