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Reading Series 2009

The Charles W. Stockey Centre will once again be the home of the Parry Sound Books Reading Series. The authors who will attend this year are Donna Morrissey, Nino Ricci, Shani Mootoo, Helen Humphreys, and Anthony De Sa.

Donna Morrissey will open the series on Wednesday 25 March at 7:30 pm.

Donna Morrissey now lives in Halifax, but she grew up in Newfoundland. And it is Newfoundland she writes about. Her most recent book is What They Wanted, following three equally wonderful earlier novels Kit’s Law, Downhill Chance and Sylvanus Now. Donna writes about life in the Newfoundland Outports. The people who lived there and their descendents as they must find ways of making a living after the collapse of the fishing industry. Families who were once self sufficient, who left the Outports to work in the factories of the big fishing companies. Families whose children must leave not only for higher education but also to work in the oil fields of Alberta, far from home. Donna is not only an extraordinary novelist, she is a dynamic speaker. This will be an exceptional evening.

Nino Ricci will follow with a reading on Wednesday 15 April at 7:30 pm.

Nino Ricci won the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for his most recent novel Origin of Species. He also won the Governor General’s Award for his first novel, Lives of the Saints in 1990, which is on my personal list of the best books I have ever read. It was the first in the Vittorio Innocente Trilogy, followed by In a Glass House and Where She Has Gone. Nino Ricci is one of Canada’s most celebrated writers and it is truly an honor that he will be part of this series. 

Shani Mootoo will read from her most recent novel, Valmiki’s Daughter on Wednesday 13 May at 7:30 pm.

Shani Mootoo’s first novel Cereus Blooms at Night is another of my all time favourites, followed by the novel He Drown She in the Sea. Shani was born in Ireland and raised in Trinidad where much of her writing is set. She has lived in Western Canada for several years but is now living in Toronto, and with a new novel just published, it seemed to the time to invite this author, whose work I have admired for several years, to come to Parry Sound for the first time.

Helen Humphreys is no stranger to Parry Sound. She has read for us before and will return on Wednesday 16 September at 7:30 pm.

Helen is both a poet and a novelist, her early books After Image, Leaving Earth, and especially Lost Garden made her well known as an exceptional Canadian novelist. Her most recent novel Coventry is an exquisitely written and richly woven story of the days during the bombing of Coventry, and the days and years that followed in the lives of those who lived through it.

Anthony De Sa will present the final reading in the 2009 series on 14 October at 7:30 pm.

Barnacle Love is a collection of linked short stories, that read like a novel – about Portuguese fishermen, their lives at home in Portugal and their lives as immigrants to Newfoundland. The contemporary story is set in Toronto’s Little Portugal, rich with the culture from their homeland and the adventures of the children of these New Canadians.

A literary reading is an inspiring and exhilarating way to spend an evening. The authors invited each year are chosen because of their excellence of their novels – guaranteed to please!



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