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Heading from one harbourfront to another

Part 1: The Guys The 29th Annual International Festival of Authors hits the road to Parry Sound, bringing four authors for an afternoon reading at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Charles W. Stockey Centre on Parry Sound’s harbourfront.

headshot_03102008  Andrew Pyper has been to Parry Sound a couple of times in the past, once to do a reading for Parry Sound    Books, in the year 2000, from his first novel Lost Girls, which won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First  Novel, and became an international bestseller and a notable book selection in the New York Times Book  Review, London Evening Standard and The Globe and Mail.

 Andrew Pyper also visited Parry Sound when he was researching small Ontario towns for his first novel.  In Lost Girls, two 14-year-old girls go missing from a small town in Northern Ontario that bears a very  uncanny resemblance to Parry Sound. A big city lawyer comes to town, a very unsavory character, who  stays at a hotel that could be the one we walk by on the way to the LCBO.

Everyone believes that the high school English teacher is to blame – but no bodies have been found. I vividly remember reading this book and being astounded at the coincidental facts that existed in both our own small town and the fictional one in the novel – things that Andrew Pyper did not, in fact, know.

Andrew has gone on to write more best-selling novels of suspense, The Trade Mission was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by the Toronto Star.

His third novel, The Wildfire Season, was a national bestseller and acclaimed in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The Killing Circle, published this fall, has received excellent reviews, and is the novel that Andrew Pyper will read from to a Parry Sound audience.


 Paul Quarrington has also been to Parry Sound before, way back in 1991, reading from his novel Whale Music,  winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction in 1989.

 Paul Quarrington is often seen at the Festival of the Sound – his brother Joel Quarrington performs on the  double bass most summers.

 Paul Quarrington has written many novels and works of non-fiction over more than 20 years. His novel King Leary, published in 1987, was the winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, and found new life in 2008 when it was the Winner of CBC Radio One’s Canada Reads competition.

Quarrington’s most recent novel, The Ravine, is the novel he will read from at the Charles W. Stockey Centre.

A Quill & Quire article states, “The title is a reference to the ravines that run through Toronto’s Don Valley area, where both Quarrington and his fictional counterpart grew up. When Quarrington was still a kid, he went through a somewhat traumatic incident in one of those ravines – he won’t go into the particulars, but he says the incident may have formed a lot of his adult behaviour. The Ravine also hinges on a damaging childhood incident, and much of the novel’s surrounding material – about the adult Phil’s subsequent wreck of a life – is lifted straight from Quarrington’s recent past. ”

Quarrington himself said in an interview, “It’s about this writer who squanders his talents in television, drinks too much, screws around and ruins his marriage,” he says. “So, yes, I’ve been telling people it’s semi-autobiographical.”

On Sunday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m., join the audience on the harbourfront in Parry Sound.

Read more in next week’s book review.

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