The Literati: Coach House Hits Hillside, Good Calls Gillers Incestuous, Gowdy Gets Out Of Town
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The Literati: Coach House Hits Hillside, Good Calls Gillers Incestuous, Gowdy Gets Out Of Town

Every Tuesday afternoon, Torontoist rounds up the city’s literary news, including book deals, events, local sales, author happenings, and insider information from the book industry.
The 25th annual Hillside Music Festival happens in Guelph this weekend and Toronto’s Coach House Books will be along for the ride. The indie press will be packing up some of its authors and bringing them to the site, allowing attendees to catch some lit alongside great musical acts like Hayden, Broken Social Scene, and the Cowboy Junkies. On Sunday, July 27, at the spoken word stage, Coach House presents an hour of readings by authors Jessica Westhead (Pulpy and Midge), Sean Dixon (The Girls Who Saw Everything), Tanya Chapman (King), and Rachel Zolf (Human Resources). Sunday tickets are still available on the Hillside website.
The Scotiabank Giller Prize is facing criticism yet again. This week magazine industry expert D.B. Scott reported on a “withering attack” by Alex Good in the summer issue of Canadian Notes and Queries. Good accuses the Giller of being administered by a “poisoned pool of peers,” and having grown “sclerotic and incestuous.” He asks readers: “what kind of introduction to the world of Canadian literature does the shortlist provide? How will books like Divisadero or The Assassin’s Song turn anyone on to Canadian writing?” Good is certainly not the first to accuse the prize of suffocating and stifling the industry—a few years back, Stephen Henighan (inspired by the circumstances around what he believed was Vincent Lam’s less-than-deserving Giller win) penned a controversial critique for Geist magazine that called the prize “the most conspicuous example of corporate suffocation of the public institutions that built our literary culture.” The 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize will be awarded at a gala in Toronto on November 11.
Looks like it’s a good week for the literati to get out of town—the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia starts today and runs until Sunday, July 27. A short trip from Toronto, the festival’s stellar line-up features over thirty writers, including Randall Maggs, Barbara Gowdy, Julie Roorda, Drew Hayden Taylor, Steven Skurka, Marie-Claire Blais, Richard Gwyn, Barry Callaghan, Austin Clarke, and Paul Quarrington. For complete festival schedule and details visit the Leacock Museum website.
Photo by Aaron G. Stock.