LitFest Announces 2019 Headliner Malcolm Gladwell And A Sizzling Summer Reads List

LitFest Announces 2019 Headliner Malcolm Gladwell And A Sizzling Summer Reads List

Litfest is excited to welcome headliner Malcolm Gladwell to the Winspear Centre for Music on October 2 as part of his 2019 Canadian tour. The event is co-presented with the Edmonton Community Foundation, and will preview LitFest 2019, happening October 17-27 in downtown Edmonton.

The international best-selling author is host of the podcast Revisionist History, co-host of the music podcast Broken Record, and a staff writer for The New Yorker. Gladwell was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine and one of Foreign Policy's top 100 Global Thinkers.

His first new book in six years, TALKING TO STRANGERS: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know, offers an incisive and powerful examination of our interactions with strangers-and why they often go so terribly wrong. He starts by asking a question: "What happens when we have to deal with the unfamiliar?"

"We're thrilled to be presenting Malcolm Gladwell this year; he's been one of the most requested authors to appear at the festival," says LitFest Executive Director, Fawnda Mithrush. "He's one of the top nonfiction voices of the past 20 years."

Tickets for the October 2 Malcolm Gladwell event in Edmonton go on sale at 10am on July 15th at

Gladwell's musings couple with this year's LitFest theme of starting conversations to build community. In 2019, Canada's original nonfiction festival invites you to experience big ideas at over 30 events. Listen. Discuss. Repeat. That's how you LitFest!

LitFest's #YEGSummerReads list also drops now, featuring journeys of all sorts, from the personal to the political, from trans-continental to transformational. The list features authors slated to appear at LitFest in 2019, and is beaming with unique perspectives to spark conversation.

This summer's must-reads are:

TEARDOWN: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up | Dave Meslin
Called a "playbook for democracy in turbulent times," TEARDOWN explores how those who vote for positive change can make democracy work for them. It's hard to change the world if you can't change a municipal by-law. TEARDOWN shows readers how to do both, and how these two challenges are not fundamentally different.

Chop Suey Nation | Ann Hui

Part family memoir, part social history, and part culinary narrative, Chop Suey Nation explores the Chinese restaurants of small-town Canada. In 2016, Globe and Mail reporter Ann Hui drove across Canada-from Victoria to Fogo Island-to write about small-town Chinese restaurants and the families who run them, and made a surprising personal discovery about her own family along the way.

This One Looks Like a Boy: My Gender Journey to Life as a Man | Lorimer Shenher

In this candid and thoughtful memoir, Shenher shares the story of his gender journey and his acceptance of being trans, culminating in gender reassignment surgery in his fifties. He details his childhood in booming Calgary, his struggles with alcohol, and his eventual move to Vancouver, where he became the first detective assigned to the case of serial killer Robert Pickton (the subject of his critically acclaimed book,That Lonely Section of Hell). This One Looks Like A Boy takes us through one of the most important decisions Shenher will ever make, as he comes into his own and finally discovers acceptance and relief.

From the Ashes (released August 6) | Jessie Thistle

From the Ashes is a remarkable debut memoir about hope and resilience from the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up. Spending more than a decade on and off the streets, Thistle realized he would die unless he turned his life around. In this heartwarming and heartbreaking memoir, he writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful experiences with abuse, uncovering the truth about his parents, and how he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family through education.

The Art of Leaving: A Memoir | Ayelet Tsabari

An intimate memoir, The Art of Leaving explores love, belonging, and an escape from grief. The collection opens with the death of Tsabari's father when she was nine years old, leaving her feeling rootless, devastated, and driven to question her complex identity as an Israeli of Yemeni descent in a country that suppressed and devalued her ancestors' traditions. Sharing her travels with fierce, emotional prose, Tsabari explores the lengths we travel to try to escape our grief and the universal search to find a place where we belong.

Early-bird Festival Passes are on sale now for $99 (regular $139), and are available through the LitFest website. Festival Passes include entry to the Malcolm Gladwell event. A detailed schedule of festival events will be available at the end of August.

Books from our Summer Reads list are available at Audreys Books at 10702 Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.

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