This year’s Celebration of the Arts Books and Authors event is on Thursday, September 22 at the Uxbridge Music Hall. These four top-notch authors will be showcased.
Peter Behrens was our guest with the release of The O’Brien’s — his first book since winning the Governor General’s Award for The Law of Dreams. In his new novel, Carry Me, we are focusing on that time between the two wars.
“Behrens . . . revitalizes the war epic, substituting grand panoramas with realistic settings and great acts of heroism with small yet powerful acts of compassion . . . ” —Publishers Weekly
An intriguing cast of characters braid this harrowing story together, transporting the reader from a golden Edwardian summer on the Isle of Wight, to London under Zeppelin attack, to Ireland on the brink of its War of Independence, and at last to Germany during the darkening Weimar period.
Brilliantly conceived, deeply researched, and profoundly moving, Carry Me is an unusual love story, an historical epic, and a lucid meditation on Europe’s violent twentieth century.
Michael Helm was first in the literary spotlight when his debut novel, The Projectionist was a Giller finalist in 1997. Several books and nominations later, Michael will be joining us to introduce his newest book, After James a genre-bending novel, reminiscent of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.
A neuroscientist retreats to a secluded cabin in the woods, intending to blow the whistle on a pharmaceutical company and its creativity drug gone wrong. A failed poet is lured to Rome as a “literary detective” to decode the work of a mysterious Internet poet who seems to write about murders with precise knowledge of private details. On the heels of a life crisis, a virologist discovers her identity has been stolen by a conceptual artist in whose work someone always goes missing. After James is an audacious, masterful novel, told in three connected parts, each gesturing toward a type of genre fiction — the gothic horror, the detective novel, and the apocalyptic. As the novel unfolds in great cities, remote regions, and deadly borderlands, it weaves connections both explicit and subtle, pulling us deeper into a greater mystery that has come to define our times. Gorgeously written, alive with intelligence and wit, full of adventure and suspense, After James confirms Michael Helm’s reputation as one of the most electrifying writers of his generation
Alexandre (Sasha) Trudeau is a documentary journalist and filmmaker. Over the past decade and a half, his films and reports on issues of geopolitical importance have been seen and read by millions of Canadians. He now turns his attention to China with his new work of non-fiction Barbarian Lost, Travels in the New China.
To this day, China remains an enigma. Ancient, complex and fast moving, it defies easy understanding. Ever since he was a boy, Alexandre Trudeau has been fascinated by this great county. Recounting his experiences in the China of recent years, Trudeau visits artists and migrant workers, townspeople and rural farmers. Often accompanied by a young Chinese journalist, Vivien, he explores realities caught in time between the China of our memories and the thrust of progress. The China he seeks out lurks in hints and shadows. It flickers dimly amidst all the glare and noise. The people he encounters along the way give up but small secrets yet each revelation comes as a surprise that jolts us from our preconceived ideas and forces us to challenge our most secure notions.
Barbarian Lost, Trudeau’s first book, is an insightful and witty account of the dynamic changes going on right now in China, as well as a look back into the deeper history of this highly codified society. On the ground with the women and men who make China tick, Trudeau shines new light on the country as only a traveller with his storytelling abilities could.
Another returning author is Andrew Westoll who last visited Blue Heron with the release of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. Andrew is an award-winning author, journalist and teacher based in Toronto. A former primatologist-in-training, Andrew traded the real jungle for the concrete one a long time ago, but his experiences with wild animals still inform his work. Most of his writing explores one corner or another of our fraught, curious and ever-evolving relationship with the natural world.
His second book, the national-bestselling The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, is the biography of a family of chimpanzees who were rescued from a research laboratory and retired to an animal sanctuary near Montreal. The Chimps won the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, was a finalist for several other major book awards, and was named a Book of the Year by the Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, Quill and Quire and CTV’s Canada AM.