IFOA XXX: October 25
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IFOA XXX: October 25

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.

The Man Who Would Be Prime Minister. Illustration by Sasha Plotnikova/Torontoist.

Today’s Events
11 a.m. — Humber Writers’ Circle (Lakeside Terrace)
12 p.m. — Interview: Paul Theroux by Eleanor Wachtel (Fleck Dance Theatre)
12 p.m. — Automatiste Revolution: A Talk with Ray Ellenwood (Studio Theatre)
1 p.m. — Interview: A.L. Kennedy, Audrey Niffenegger, and Miriam Toews by Siri Agrell (Brigantine Room)
2 p.m. — Interview: Michael Ignatieff by John Macfarlane (Fleck Dance Theatre)
2 p.m. — Reading: Quintin Jardine, Linden MacIntyre, Eric-Emmanual Schmitt, Mark Sinnett (Lakeside Terrace)
3 p.m. — This Writing Life: Rewards and Challenges of Being a Writer (Studio Theatre)
4 p.m. — On Hearing Voices and Seeing Places You’ve Never Been (Brigantine Room)
5 p.m. — Interview: John Irving by Seamus O’Regan (Fleck Dance Theatre)
We have decided to declare today Interview Day at the International Festival of Authors. Why? Well, we’re capricious like that. Also, we are finding that the reading/interview combo format (of which the IFOA has been making great use) to be addictive, enlightening, and otherwise hard to come by. Readings are the most commonly encountered literary event, and while we like them rather a lot, they don’t always give us as nuanced a sense of an author as we hope to get from live, in-person events. Layering an interview after a reading gives us the best of both worlds: we still get an author’s own interpretation of his or her written work, but gain deeper insight than can be gleaned from that written work alone.
We will begin Interview Day with Paul Theroux, whose forty or so years of travel and travel writing are sure to have left him with plenty of great stories to share. We will then switch gears and replace wanderlust with a discussion of home: Michael Ignatieff will be chatting about his new book, True Patriot Love, which traces conceptions of Canada back through four generations of his family’s history. (Of course, mostly we’re going because we want to get a better sense of the man who aspires to be our fearless leader. So is everyone else though, so we’ve decided not to feel guilty about coming under false pretenses.) Interview Day will conclude with John Irving, who has been in the writing trenches long enough that we are hopefully in store for some sage, grandfatherly wisdom.