Faculty members of the Humber School for Writers discuss the craft of writing fiction. Find out how Wayson Choy, Aleksandar Hemon, Anne Michaels, Richard Scrimger, Miriam Toews and Meg Wolitzer approach story and novel writing from start to finish. The conversation with be moderated by Gill Deacon. Antanas Sileika hosts.
This event is part of CBC@IFOA, a curated series featuring some of the public broadcaster’s top hosts in conversation with renowned and debut authors.
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.
Gill Deacon is an award-winning broadcaster and bestselling author. Her portfolio includes several prominent roles at CBC, including host of CBCTV’s Code Green, weekly arts correspondent for CBC News Morning, host of CBC’s flagship daytime show, The Gill Deacon Show, and guest host for CBC Toronto’s Here and Now. Deacon is also the author of the national bestsellers There’s Lead in Your Lipstick and Green for Life. She currently sings in a Toronto band called The Circumstantialists.
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Book of My Lives, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and three books of short stories, including Nowhere Man, also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Hemon presents his seriously funny roller-coaster ride of sex and violence, The Making of Zombie Wars, about an aspiring screenwriter teaching ESL classes in Chicago.
Richard Scrimger has been writing since 1996. He’s published books for adults and children, and written for television and print media. His fiction is acclaimed in Canada and the US and has been translated into a dozen languages. When he’s not writing or drinking coffee, he pretends to teach at Humber College in Toronto. Scrimger presents his latest work, Viminy Crowe’s Comic Book, a part-graphic meta-comedy so wacky that even he doesn’t really understand it.
Antanas Sileika is the author of four works of fiction. His first collection of stories, 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 the Globe and Mail, and the latter has been optioned for film. Antanas is the former director of the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He presents The Barefoot Bingo Caller.
Miriam Toews is the author of five previous bestselling novels, including A Complicated Kindness and The Flying Troutmans. She is a winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and is also a two-time finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She has written for CBC’s WireTap, Canadian Geographic, The Guardian and The New York Times Magazine, among others. Toews is the recipient of the 2016 Harbourfront Festival Prize.
Meg Wolitzer is the bestselling author of nine novels, including The Uncoupling and The Wife, along with a novel for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman. She is the author of This Is Your Life, which was made into the Nora Ephron film This Is My Life. Her short fiction has been published in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Wolitzer presents The Interestings, a New York Times bestseller. The novel chronicles the lives of six life-long friends, from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes and degrees of satisfaction diverge.