It was my first time at The Word On The Street Toronto and, as I wandered around before and after my event, it struck me that the festival showcases Toronto at its best: warm clear September weather, multicultural crowds and music and street food, the general celebration of the arts and, specifically, of writers in their full diversity, from spoken word poets to historical novelists. I’m a strong believer in hybrid vigour and I could feel it there. The feeling energized me while I read at the Great Books Marquee — and what I liked about reading in a tent, with its negligible walls and open front, is that I didn’t feel separated from the many other events taking place. Again, the collective energy of the fest, like the music drifting in from the bandstand, seemed to permeate each individual event. We were all drawing on each other — writers, musicians, audiences, the guys selling baked yams with butter and brown sugar. I loved it.
About his book:
A doctor and his daughter travel to Nepal to join a climbing expedition. As they sit on the border between China and Nepal, a group of Tibetan refugees are seen fleeing from Chinese soldiers. When shooting starts, the doctor rushes toward the ensuing melee, ignoring the objections of the expedition leader, who doesn’t want to get involved. When is it acceptable to be a bystander, and when do life and loyalty demand more?