I have found my summer reading list.
Last night was the 23rd Trillium Book Award author readings, and Toronto WOTS was lucky enough to attend. It was a pretty full house that greeted the 17 nominees for both the French and English Book Award and Poetry Award, although not all nominees could attend. Sadly, we did miss out on seeing/hearing Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro read from their nominated books The Last Flood and Too Much Happiness.
Of course, I was star struck all evening. I couldn’t believe Anne Michaels was standing in front of me, her book The Winter Vault is a nominee this year. She has a great voice, very poetic and quite raspy and low. I felt like I should have been snapping my fingers, instead of clapping.
One particular highlight of the evening was Pasha Malla’s surprise appearance – he won last year’s book award for his short story collection, The Withdrawal Method. He was given the honour of reading from Alice Munro’s nominated short story collection, a daunting task according to Malla, “you have no idea” he said. When he walked on stage, he immediately apologized for not being Alice Munro. Apparently, he was speaking to someone whose sole reason for going to author readings was to hear the authors themselves read from their own work. Oops, he said. Despite the pressure he was under, he performed flawlessly. I didn’t know he was so hilarious! He managed to mix his own humour with Alice Munro’s work, making for a very entertaining reading.
Alexandra Leggat also read a hilarious excerpt from her short story collection, Animal about her dashed chances for football greatness. And Ian Brown’s reading from The Boy in the Moon, was touching. Definitely a book that is enhanced by an author reading, seeing as it is his personal story about his relationship with his son.
Overall, the readings were a hit! Great set-up, great nominees, fabulous literature, plus the free, delicious food being served all night didn’t hurt; mini burgers, chicken pot pie, fresh fruit, oh my!
Trillium Book Awards: http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page3217.aspx