This week marks the launch of a new reading series in Toronto co-organized and co-hosted by Stuart Ross and me. We surveyed Toronto’s literary landscape and noted that while there is an abundance of poetry reading series, there are fewer opportunities for fiction writers to present their work in person. So, The Fictitious Reading Series was born.
Our first event will take place on Sunday, December 4th at 7:30 pm in the gallery space above This Ain’t The Rosedale Library (483 Church Street). The featured readers are Heather Birrell and Harold Johnson.
Heather Birrell is the author of the excellent short story collection I know you are but what am I? which was lauded in Books in Canada as “a series of witty, well wrought, yet deliberately off-kilter stories that […] shed far more light on the absurd conundrums of Canadian-ness than your average award-winning intergenerational family saga.”
Harold Johnson’s first book, Billy Tinker, was praised in the University of Toronto Quarterly in the following terms: “Johnson delivers a fully realized life in the earnest depiction of Billy, a large angry labourer who confronts the world with an oddly endearing mix of grace and rage. […] Billy Tinker bears not a trace of sentimentality or cliché, and I hope Johnson continues to write him more fully into a world of longer fictions.” Johnson's new novel Back Track takes place in the same northern Saskatchewan setting but introduces a new cast of characters. The novel is an original blend of social realism, Cree mythology, and murder mystery.
If you are in the Toronto area, please come out to see these fabulous writers on Sunday night. And please spread the word to anyone who you think might like to attend. If you are not able to attend, I highly recommend that you read these writers’ books.
Beginning in January, readings in The Fictitious Reading Series will take place on the last Sunday of each month at a location soon to be announced. Let me know if you would like to be included in an e-mail list for notification of future events.