Colson Whitehead in conversation with Elamin Abdelmahmoud
Wednesday September 29, 2021 | 8:00PM - 10:00PM
Purchase Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead and register for the event HERE
(proof of purchase required)
Spend an evening with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, discussing his gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s with independent bookstores across Canada.
Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten works of fiction and nonfiction, and is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for The Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad, which also won the National Book Award. A recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.
From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.
"Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked. . . ."
To his customers and neighbours on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home.
Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time. See, cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn't see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn't ask questions. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plans to rob the Hotel Theresa--the "Waldorf of Harlem"--and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord and numerous other Harlem lowlifes.
Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?
Elamin Abdelmahmoud is a culture writer for BuzzFeed News and host of Party Lines and Pop Chat with CBC Podcasts. He also writes Incoming, the daily BuzzFeed News morning newsletter. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone and the Globe and Mail and others. When he gets a chance, he writes bad tweets.
An Evening with Jonathan Franzen
Tuesday October 19, 2021 | 8:00PM - 10:00PM
Purchase Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen and register for the event HERE
(proof of purchase required)
Spend an evening with one of our greatest living writers, Jonathan Franzen, discussing his highly anticipated new novel Crossroads with independent bookstores across Canada.
Jonathan Franzen is the author of five novels, including The Corrections, Freedom and Purity, and five works of nonfiction, most recently Farther Away and The End of the End of the Earth. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.
It's December 23, 1971, and the Hildebrandt family is at a crossroads. The patriarch, Russ, the associate pastor of a suburban Chicago church, is poised to break free of a marriage he finds joyless--unless his brilliant and unstable wife, Marion, breaks free of it first. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college afire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem's sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has veered into the era's counterculture, while their younger brother Perry, fed up with selling pot to support his drug habit, has firmly resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.
An Evening with David A. Robertson
Thursday October 28, 2021 | 8:00PM - 10:00PM
Purchase The Great Bear by David A. Robertson and register for the event HERE
(proof of purchase required)
Spend an evening with award-winning author David A. Robertson, discussing the second book in his Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series, The Great Bear, with independent bookstores across Canada.
David A. Robertson is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award. The Barren Grounds, the first book in the middle-grade The Misewa Saga series, received a starred review from Kirkus and was a Kirkus and Quill & Quire best middle-grade book of 2020, as well as a USBBY and Texas Lone Star selection, and is shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award. A sought-after speaker and educator, Dave is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.
In this second book in the Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series, Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, travelling back in time.
Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?
Blue Heron Books
62 Brock Street West PO Box 642 Uxbridge ON L9P 1M9 Canada