The International Festival of Authors Returns to the Harbourfront Centre
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The International Festival of Authors Returns to the Harbourfront Centre

Things to see and do at this year's IFOA.

Now in its 33rd year, the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) brings together an astounding collection of writers. This year, it will feature 190 participants in more than 70 events over the course of 11 days. It starts on Thursday.

If you’re planning to attend IFOA, we definitely recommend that you check out the full festival schedule. All of the events this year are being held in various rooms at either the York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West) or the Fleck Dance Theatre, on the third floor of the Queens Quay Terminal (207 Queens Quay West).

If you’re not quite sure where to start planning your festival, here are some best bets:

Thursday, October 18, 8 p.m.

CBC’s Eleanor Watchtel will interview Giller-winning author Rohinton Mistry. Proceeds will benefit PEN Canada.

Friday, October 19, 8 p.m.

Junot Díaz and Michael Chabon, two Pultizer Prize–winning authors, will read from and discuss their most recent works. An interview with both men will be conducted by the National Post‘s Siri Agrell. This event is sold out, but if you can scrounge up a ticket, it’s bound to be good.

Saturday, October 20, 7 p.m.

CBC radio personality Jian Ghomeshi will read from his new memoir, 1982, which some are saying isn’t a terrible book. He’ll be interviewed by CBC’s Shelagh Rogers.

Sunday, October 21, 4 p.m.

University of Guelph MFA graduates who consider themselves “Novelists for a New Age” will discuss their works and careers. The panel will be moderated by Catherine Bush and will include authors Matt Lennox, Stacey Madden, Aga Maksimowska, Grace O’Connell, and Tanis Rideout.

Monday, October 22, 8 p.m.

IFOA will present the 2012 finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. Phil Hall, winner of the 2011 Governor General’s Award for poetry, will read from his work.

Tuesday, October 23, 8 p.m.

To celebrate Doubleday’s 75th anniversary, authors Chris Cleave, Miranda Hill, Jane Johnson, M.G. Vassanji, and Karen Thompson Walker will read from their latest works.

Wednesday, October 24, 8 p.m.

The finalists for the 2012 Rogers’ Writer’s Trust prize for fiction will read from their nominated works. Participants will include Tim Bowling, Tamas Dobozy, Rawi Hage, Alix Ohlin, and Linda Spalding.

Thursday, October 25, 8 p.m.

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of House of Anansi Press, University of Toronto English professor Nick Mount will moderate a roundtable discussion with authors Lynn Crosbie, Graeme Gibson, and Dennis Lee.

Friday, October 26, 8 p.m.

Acclaimed speculative-fiction authors Cory Doctorow and China Miéville will read from their latest works and be interviewed by sci-fi writer and producer Mark Askwith.

Saturday, October 27, 12 p.m.

In association with the Edinburgh World Writer’s Conference, author Andrew Pyper will host a round-table discussion at noon on the topic of “Witches, Zombies, Killers and Cowboys,” with novelists Deborah Harkness, Alen Mattich, Jo Nesbø, and Corey Redekop.

Sunday, October 28, 3 p.m.

Minky Worden and Jasmine Herlt, two directors at Human Rights Watch, will talk with Chan Koonchung, a Chinese-language novelist, about censorship today.


“Visual Arts at the IFOA: Covers of Canadian Fantasy” will be hosted throughout the festival at the York Quay Centre. It’s an exhibition of cover art from Canadian fantasy titles, curated by Peter Halasz.

You can download the full IFOA 2012 schedule here.

CORRECTION: October 19, 2012, 10:05 AM Because of an editing error, this post originally identified two IFOA 2012 events as taking place in September, when in fact they, like all of this year’s IFOA events, will be taking place in October.