If film buffs get the TIFF, art buffs get the Queen West Art Crawl, and hockey buffs get the NHL playoffs, then literary types get the IFOA. This year’s fest packs in dozens of authors and into 10 days worth of readings, panel discussions, interviews and parties. Yes, once in a while literary types put down their books and drink.
Torontoist lists the five events that piqued our interest in chronological order.
1) Mark Z. Danielwski, Alon Hilu, Marisha Pessl and Colson Whitehead (Reading), Saturday Oct. 21st 4pm, Brigantine Room
A good group of talented young writers in a festival that has a healthy share of them. Pessl is the author of the precocious Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which feels like a hyper-literate Wes Anderson film. Hilu is one of Israel’s brightest young authors. Danielewski is best known for his cult favourite debut House of Leaves. The evening is rounded out by New York city writer Colson Whitehead who wrote The Colossus of New York, one of our favourite books about NYC ever.
2) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Kiran Desai, Jonathan Safran Foer, Gautam Malkani (Roundtable) Sunday Oct. 22nd, noon, Lakeside Terrace.
Foer charmed us last year and we hope he can do a little of the same again this year. Gautam Malkani’s Londonstani has been raising hackles and gaining praise on both sides of the Atlantic. this panel just gets better with Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner Adichie and Booker Shortlisted Kiran Desai.
3) Caroline Adderson, Tom McCarthy, Eden Robinson and Timothy Taylor (Round Table) Thursday Oct. 26, 7pm, Studio Theatre.
We’re not sure what Brit Tom McCarthy is doing on a panel with three Vancouverites but we’re not complaining. Maybe it’s a panel on how rainy weather affects your writing? McCarthy is the big draw for us here. We started his off-kilter debut novel Remainder, about a man who suffers amnesia after an object falls from the sky and nearly kills him, and we’re impressed.
4) Ralph Steadman (Interview) Saturday Oct. 28, 1pm, Premiere Dance Theatre.
An iconic illustrator talks about his friendship with an equally iconic writer, you can’t go wrong with this. Steadman’s new book The Joke’s Over chronicles his friendship with Thompson. We expect many strange and drunken stories.
5) Readings by the Finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Sat. Oct.28, 8pm Premiere Dance Theatre
With no blockbuster names on the Giller shortlist we wonder whether attendance will suffer. The way we see it, the jury of the Giller took a risk by picking younger authors, published by less glitzy presses. We’d love to see the theatre packed and their choices proved right.
Stay tuned to Torontoist for more reviews, interview with authors and more.
Tickets for all events are $15, except for the Giller Prize reading which is $25. High School and Post-Secondary students can get free tickets. Call 416-973-4000 for more information.