Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Late Report...

Several weeks late, here are some photographs form this years Eden Mills. A rainy affair, it was a less than average crowd -- usually measured in the thousands, it would be a surprise if there were more than a few hundred. Still, the rain held off for most of the day, and it proved a lovely

time. Book sales were brisk, considering, and it was good to see some familiar faces, including a couple of regular Thirsty readers. I met Kathleen Winter for the first time and we launched her new collection, boYs. She read beautifully, from a History of Zero, one of the stories in the book, and despite the small audience of 100 sold out the festival bookstore and then some.

Leon was in fine form, reading from a powerful new story. Goran Simic was supposed to be there as well, as part of a PEN panel, but got waylaid in Sarajevo, passport-less. Caroline Adderson was also there in support of her latest collection -- Pleased to Meet You, one of the best books of 2006 -- and it was delightful to spend some time with her again. She's just published her first children's book, Very Serious Children, which I picked up and am currently reading to my boys. It's a tale about two boys who grow up with their circus family, and are desperate to escape their rollmops and pink popcorn for lives as accountants and broccoli. Very funny, and a hit with the kids.

I met Steven Price for the first time, pictured at the Biblioasis booth with Chris Banks; also met Paul Glennon, pictured above with Leon, Stephen Henighan and myself. The bottom picture shows Kathleen with Neil Smith of Bang Crunch fame.

Kathleen brought with her E. M. Forster bookmarks, crocheted page markers she made and we gave away with each sold copy. I have a few signed copies left, with a Winter original bookmark loosely inserted should anyone be interested. They are quite lovely.

Kathleen is currently in Winnipeg, reading at the Thin Air festival with her brother. If you're in the area, check out her reading. And give her book a chance: in awarding her the 2nd Metcalf-Rooke award, John and Leon welcomed "a new and distinctive voice in Canadian writing." Her voice is certainly distinctive; I'd also add fresh and varied. There's more than one voice between these covers, though all are worth reading and savouring.

We're two for two with this Metcalf-Rooke Award thing. Can't wait to see what the current batch brings in.

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