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2016 IFOA PARRY SOUND FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER

Once again as summer truly turns to fall, and the autumn leaves turn colour the Charles W. Stockey Centre will host The International Festival of Authors Parry Sound.

Since 2008 The International Festival of Authors in Parry Sound has been hosting some of the worlds most acclaimed authors. This year, on Friday 28 October at 7:30 pm we will present Sunila Galappatti, Peter Geye and Marnie Woodrow.

Sunila Galappatti is a Sri Lankan writer who has worked with other people to tell their stories, as a dramaturg, theatre director and editor.  She started her working life at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Live Theatre, Newcastle and is a former Director of the Galle Literary Festival.  She has recently been a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Brown University; reflecting on processes carried out in different parts of the world to curate public histories.

 

Sunila Galappatti will discuss her book A Long Watch, the story of Commodore Boyagoda who became the highest-ranking prisoner detained by the Tamil Tigers during Sri Lanka’s long civil war. For eight years, he lived at close quarters with his declared enemy, his imprisonment punctuated by high-level talks about his fate, but also by extended conversations with his jailers and scratch games of badminton played in jungle clearings. Throughout, he observed his captors and fellow prisoners acutely, and with discreet empathy for the lives of others undone by war. Sunila Galappatti tells the story in Ajith Boyagoda's temperate voice, an unblinking relation of experiences difficult, moving and ironic. From going to sea, to war, imprisonment and eventual homecoming, he accepted successive realities as ordinary, in order to survive them.

 

Peter Geye is an American writer who grew up in Minnesota, his youth was spent ski jumping competitively, and going into the woods on canoe trips with his father. He left the north to do his Master of Fine Arts Degree at the University of New Orleans where Joseph Boyden was his teacher. Both of these men write about the wilderness as only those who know it can. Peter Geye writes about the not too distant past, and the lake that somehow becomes part of who we are when we live on a the shore of a great body of water – whether it be Lake Superior or Georgian Bay.

Peter Geye is the author of Safe From the Sea, Lighthouse Road and most recently Wintering. His editor at Knopf has guided the likes of Raymond Carver, Patricia Highsmith, and Cormac McCarthy.

Wintering is story of a man and his son, whose journey into the Minnesota wilderness begins as an adventure to spend a winter in the woods; what it becomes is a scheme devised to settle an old debt with a bitter foe. Kirkus Reviews likens Geye to Jack London and Jon Krakauer; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo calls Wintering “profound” and “menacingly beautiful.”

Though Peter Geye’s three novels are quite different, they are all set on Lake Superior’s North Shore, a place that Peter genuinely loves. The landscape of Safe from the Sea and The Lighthouse Road is not too dissimilar to our own – we feel that we know the geography of this place.

Marnie Woodrow is the acclaimed author of two short fiction collections, Why We Close Our Eyes When We Kiss, In The Spice House, and a novel Spelling Mississippi, a love story set in pre-Katrina New Orleans.

In Marnie Woodrow’s second novel, Heyday, she weaves together the story of two lively girls who meet on a rollercoaster in 1909 and that of a modern-day woman who grieves the loss of a partner with whom she was not in love. This two-era love story set on Toronto Island, captures both bygone and present day Toronto with graceful prose. Heydey is a story about nostalgia, the soul’s quest for pleasure, and the power of love to endure through lifetimes.

Heyday was short listed for the Toronto Book Award, and has won a 2016 award from the Golden Crown Literary Society in the USA.

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