Faculty members of the Humber School for Writers discuss the craft of writing fiction. Find out how these acclaimed authors approach story and novel writing from start to finish.
Kevin Barry’s debut story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, was a recipient of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His first novel, City of Bohane, won the 2013 International Dublin Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Barry's most recent story collection, Dark Lies the Island, won the Sunday Times Short Story Prize and was nominated for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. He presents Beatlebone, a searing novel that blends truth and fiction—and Beatles fandom.
Wayson Choy’s bestselling debut novel, The Jade Peony, shared the Trillium Book Award for best book in 1995 and won the 1996 City of Vancouver Book Award. Its companion novel, All That Matters, also won a Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2005 Giller Prize. His first memoir, Paper Shadows, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Charles Taylor Prize and the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize. Choy presents his second memoir, Not Yet, about the bonds of love and family that sustain us, framed by Choy’s own two near-death experiences.
Karen Connelly is the author of nine books of non-fiction, fiction and poetry, the most recent being The Lizard Cage, which the New York Times Book Review compared to the works of Solzhenitsyn, Mandela and Orwell. It was nominated for the Kiriyama Prize and won Britain's Orange Broadband Prize for New Writers. Raised in Calgary, Connelly has lived for extended periods of time in different parts of Asia and Europe and now has two homes, one in Toronto and one in Greece.
Valerie Martin is the author of nine novels, including Trespass, Italian Fever, The Great Divorce, Mary Reilly and the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction winner, Property. She has also published three collections of short fiction. Martin presents The Ghost of Mary Celeste, a captivating, atmospheric piece of historical fiction. In 1872, the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain: her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found. This maritime mystery lies at the centre of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late 19th-century literary society.
Nino Ricci's (Canada) first novel was the internationally acclaimed Lives of the Saints. It spent 75 weeks on the Globe and Mail's bestseller list. His newest novel, Sleep, was a Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star Best Book for 2015. Ricci has received the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement, York University’s Pinnacle Achievement Award, and the Engel/Findley Award for a Writer in Mid-Career. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. Nino Ricci makes his home in Toronto with his wife, writer Erika de Vasconcelos, and their children.
Antanas Sileika is the author of four works of fiction. His first book, Buying on Time, was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Toronto Book Award as well as serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Woman in Bronze and Underground were both listed among the 100 books of the year by TheGlobe and Mail, and the latter is in development for a film. An essay of his will be included in Best Canadian Essays of 2016. Antanas is the director of the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.