IFOA XXX: October 24
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IFOA XXX: October 24

Every morning during the International Festival of Authors we’ll be previewing the day’s events and making our picks for the ones that seem most promising.

David Byrne on two wheels. Illustration by Sasha Plotnikova/Torontoist.

Today’s Events
1 p.m. — Round Table: Cities, Bicycles, and the Future of Getting Around (Fleck Dance Theatre)
1 p.m. — Round Table: Writing Scotland’s Past (Lakeside Terrace)
3 p.m. — Paul Quarrington: A Life in Music, Words, and on Screen (Brigantine Room) **SOLD OUT**
4 p.m. — All Play and No Work? The Art of Creating Books for Children and Young Adults (Studio Terrace)
4 p.m. — Stand-up Comedy: WORDS with A.L. Kennedy (Fleck Dance Theatre)
4 p.m. — Round Table: Happy Sad: Writing through the Good and the Ugly (Lakeside Terrace)
8 p.m. — Reading: Bonnie Burnard, Jason Guriel, Shandi Mitchell, Miriam Toews (Brigantine Room)
8 p.m. — Reading: Margaret Atwood, Paul Durcan, Richard Holloway, Audrey Niffenegger, David Wroblewski (Fleck Dance Theatre)
8 p.m. — Reading: Sherman Alexie, Jacob McArthur Mooney, Adam Thorpe, Colson Whitehead (Lakeside Terrace)
All right, kids, time to saddle up. It’s the weekend, and that means all books all the time. With a jam-packed schedule and a chill in the air, the IFOA is a good reason to hang out at Harbourfront all day long. We’d recommend starting with a bit of transportation policy, in fact, though that’s not typical IFOA fodder. Some of the talking heads are unexpected, given the subject: David Byrne has written a travelogue recounting the journeys he’s taken on his bicycle, and he’ll be on stage discussing his views on urban planning and transportation. Joining him will be some local experts: Yvonne Bambrick (executive director of the Toronto Cyclists Union), Jack Layton, and Ken Greenberg (an architect and urban planner who is, among other things, helping redesign much of Toronto’s waterfront).
Since the Paul Quarrington tribute is already sold out you’ll need to find another mid-afternoon activity. Fortunately you have a couple of choices. Our money is on Scottish writer A. L. Kennedy, who will be performing an IFOA first: a stand-up comedy routine. She gave the show at the Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year to some acclaim, and if ever there was a pin to pop the balloon of writers’ purported stuffiness, this surely is it. And, for your evening’s entertainment, there are three extensive bills to choose from. Though her latest, The Year of the Flood, isn’t up for any of this year’s major literary prizes, Atwood is our choice for the night. She’s a headliner for a reason, and we haven’t seen a distopian novel from her in quite some time.