Angie Abdou

August 2014

Announcing the 2014-2015 Season of Booked! All books will be available at Polar Peek Books and Treasures.

We can all think of many reasons to love Fernie – the biking, the hiking, the beaching, the fishing, the skiing.

Timothy Taylor at the Fernie Heritage LibraryHowever, I have another reason that may not come immediately to most people’s minds: Fernie’s literary culture. For a remote little town, we have an astonishingly active book scene.

Actually, no. Let me edit that. For anywhere we have an impressively vibrant book scene. Last year was the first season of Booked!, a writers’ series at the Fernie Heritage Library. It was a raging success by any standard. Terry Fallis, Grant Lawrence, Timothy Taylor and Gail Bowen drew enthusiastic and engaged crowds. Writers and readers raved about the events for weeks afterwards.

You’ll want to mark your calendars now so as not to miss the inspiring line-up we have planned for the 2014 – 2015 season. For all events, the doors open at 7pm. Guests will have an hour to enjoy the live music, delicious snacks, and cash bar. The author will begin presenting at 8pm. All are welcome. Events are free, but donations are always gratefully accepted.

Now, in short, here is our 2014-2015 line-up…

On September 26, I will launch my new novel, Between. It’s about Filipina nannies and working mothers. Quill and Quire has named it as a noteworthy release for Fall 2014 and the editor, Stuart Woods, called me a writer “poised for wider renown” (Hey, I’ll take it!). Of the novel, Governor-General nominated Trevor Cole says “In her unflinching portrait of a marriage in crisis, Angie Abdou bravely goes where few Canadian novelists would dare. The result is riveting.” Watch the September Fix for Keith Liggett’s guest review (I hope he likes it!). But in the meantime, let me invite you all to help me celebrate its release. Marty is bringing the book launcher.

Between Gods, Alison PickOn October 22, Booker-prize nominated Alison Pick will be here talking about her memoir Between Gods, a riveting read that links Pick’s own depression to her family’s repressed Holocaust memories. Fernie’s CBC-lovers will be familiar with some of this story because of the much played Shelagh Rogers’ interview about Alison’s conversion to Judaism.

On November 21, rock-star Dave Bidini will revisit Fernie for the first time since he played The Gathering with The Rheostatics. Dave Bidini is the only person ever to be on CBC’s Canada Reads as both a celebrity (defending Paul Quarrington’s King Leary) and an author (for his own nonfiction book On a Cold Road). His latest, Keon and Me, is sure to be a hit with Fernie sport-fans. Nobody ever regrets spending an evening with Dave Bidini. Be there.

How Poetry Saved My LifeJanuary 31 will feature Amber Dawn and her book called How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir, winner of the 2013 Vancouver Book of the Year Award. I first heard Amber Dawn speak at the 2013 Vancouver Writers Festival. She blew me away. She inspired me. She moved me to tears. She gave me goose bumps. However you want to put it: she had my full attention. She made me think about stories that matter and writing without fear. I listened to her frank discussion about her life as a sex worker on the streets of Vancouver and her equally insightful reflection about her life working towards a Masters of Fine Arts at UBC. I listened to her explain the way those two lives – which seem so impossibly far apart – continue to intertwine and depend upon each other. I listened, and I thought: this woman is a force. This woman is just warming up. We’re going to hear a whole lot more from Amber Dawn. As soon as I heard her, I made a 2014 resolution to get her to Fernie. Done. (You’re welcome.)

The final two speakers will be John Vaillant (author of The Golden Spruce and The Tiger) and Will Ferguson (author of Giller-winner 419), both of whom need little introduction. However, I will introduce them more (and review their books) as their events approach (March 13 and May 28).

If you’re thinking of starting a book club, I can’t imagine a better reading list than this one. Plus, the authors are coming to Fernie. How cool is this town?!

See you at the library!

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