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The Toronto International Festival of Authors to Kick Off in September

This year's guests include Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Margaret Atwood, Isaac Fitzgerald, Ali Hassan, Tomson Highway, Marian Keyes, and more.

The Toronto International Festival of Authors to Kick Off in September

The Toronto International Festival of Authors, Canada's largest and longest-running literary festival, invites audiences to enjoy some of the most exciting, insightful and entertaining stories, conversations and performances from Canada and across the world. With music, film, dance and exhibitions alongside readings, interviews and book signings, there is so much for audiences of all ages to experience. Taking place on its new dates September 22 - October 2, 2022 at Harbourfront Centre, by Lake Ontario on a newly designed indoor and outdoor campus site, TIFA will have its largest festival to date with over 200 events and activities, many of them free, featuring artists from 30+ nations. For the full programme lineup, visit FestivalofAuthors.ca.

"When I started my role in 2020, we had no idea what was about to happen to our world. What we have been reminded of through this time in history is that as human beings we have an intrinsic need to tell and share stories, and to come together as a community," said Roland Gulliver, Toronto International Festival of Authors Director. "The art of storytelling has had a long tradition of bringing people together and that notion is the foundation of why TIFA exists. We are delighted to be back to in-person events, bringing Torontonians together in celebration of unique and universal stories from some of the world's greatest storytellers. On a personal note, I am very excited to finally be able to witness the Festival in person, as it was intended to be experienced."

Over 11 days, audiences can meet and hear from their favourite authors or discover their next new read; discuss vital issues of the day with a range of experts in Critical Conversations; explore classic books with the Re-Reads; hone their skills in a series of Masterclasses; enjoy free exhibitions, interactive installations and the bookstore; and explore the TIFA Kids programme, the biggest yet, which offers accessible interactive events, workshops and activities across the outdoor campus. With a new range of day, weekend and festival passes, audiences can drop-in or enjoy the whole day down by the lake.

Below is a list of highlighted TIFA programming and guests attending over the course of the Festival. For the full Festival programme and schedule, please visit: FestivalofAuthors.ca.

PEN CANADA GRAEME GIBSON TALK- DISINFORMATION, DICTATORS & DEMOCRACY


The Toronto International Festival of Authors, in partnership with PEN Canada and CBC Radio's IDEAS, presents Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa in conversation with Citizen Lab founder Ronald Deibert on the topic of defending freedom of expression and human rights. Margaret Atwood will introduce one of the most critical challenges of our time: the link between disinformation and the decay of our democracies. Their conversation will be moderated by CBC IDEAS' Nahlah Ayed.

IN-PERSON CONVERSATIONS AND READINGS


This year, TIFA's participants are made up of some of the most talented multi-hyphenated artists including actors, filmmakers, musicians, journalists and visual artists alongside an array of award-winning writers, all of whom have stories to share with Festival audiences. Many events will be followed by free, author book signings. Books can be purchased on site at Indigo's Festival bookstore. Highlights include:

  • Academy Award-nominated Canadian screenwriter, director and actor Sarah Polley will present her visceral collection of personal essays, Run Towards the Danger.

  • Singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright will discuss her memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You - an honest, thoughtful and moving account of navigating love, the music industry and more.

  • On the heels of his successful 2021 Canada Reads-winning debut novel Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead is back with a personal work of non-fiction that explores ingenuity, queerness and language in Making Love with the Land.

  • The #1 New York Times bestselling American author Scott Turow returns to TIFA to present his latest legal thriller, Suspect. In conversation with Linwood Barclay, Turow will discuss corruption in the police system, and the way women in positions of power are treated.

  • Elamin Abdelmahmoud, host of CBC Pop Chats, will bring his unique brand of honesty and humour to the TIFA stage in a one-of-a-kind reflection on Blackness, faith, language and pop culture as he presents his new memoir, Son of Elsewhere.

  • In his only Canadian appearance, bestselling British author Ian McEwan (Atonement) presents his latest novel, Lessons, an epic and intimate tale of one man's life that spans decades, from the Suez Crisis to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fall of the Berlin Wall to the pandemic today. In conversation with host of CBC's Writers & Company, Eleanor Wachtel.

  • Festival-goers will have the opportunity to explore the lessons, humour and charm of stand-up comic and CBC host Ali Hassan's debut memoir, Is There Bacon in Heaven?, which tackles the intricacies of growing up and his life-long journey to becoming a cultural Muslim.

  • Recent Booker Prize-winning Scottish-American author Douglas Stuart makes his first Canadian appearance to present his latest novel, Young Mungo, a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a revealing story about the meaning of masculinity and the dangers of loving someone too much.

  • Award-winning Canadian novelist Heather O'Neill will take TIFA audiences back in time to 19th century Montreal, with her new book, When We Lost Our Heads, a masterful mix of historical fiction and social commentary.

  • TIFA audiences will have the chance to hear one of the greatest war stories ever told, the true story of Colditz Castle, one of the most notorious prisons in military history, with master storyteller Ben Macintyre as he shares his latest gripping narrative, Prisoners of the Castle.

  • In her latest book, People Change, multi-disciplinary Canadian artist and seven-time Lambda Literary Award finalist Vivek Shraya (I'm Afraid of Men) returns to TIFA to participate in a liberating conversation on living a life of re-invention.

  • Irish author Marian Keyes brings her beloved character Rachel Walsh back to life for TIFA audiences with her long-awaited sequel to Rachel's Holiday: Again, Rachel, the seventh novel in the Walsh Family series.

  • Award-winning Canadian author Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things) launches his fourth novel, We Spread, a genre-bending philosophical suspense about a woman sent to a long-term care residence.

  • Audience favourite Dionne Brand, award-winning Canadian author and Toronto's third Poet Laureate, presents her latest book, Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems, an astonishing journey through her imagination through temporal worlds of past, present and future.

  • Music industry insiders and authors Michael Barclay and Rollie Pemberton (also known as Cadence Weapon) come together to discuss their new books: Hearts on Fire: Six Years That Changed Canadian Music 2000-2005 (Barclay) and Bedroom Rapper (Pemberton); which both explore Canada's contemporary music scene.

  • Bestselling authors Cody Caetano and Isaac Fitzgerald will present their highly anticipated memoirs, Caetano's Half-Bads in White Regalia, which captures the chaos, wonder, warmth and humour of coming-of-age; and Fitzgerald's Dirtbag, Massachusetts, which details a childhood that moves at breakneck speed from safety to violence, from trauma to self-understanding.

CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS

TIFA's most provocative discussion series returns, featuring authors, academics and journalists who examine the culture and politics that shape the world around us. Subjects range from: urban affordability to the future of healthcare; understanding Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global community; Indigenous reconciliation and continuing change with Black Lives Matter; examining our digital and environmental futures; and questioning what today's USA means for the world tomorrow. Events will feature the likes of Timothy Frye, Dr. Brian Goldman, Tajja Isen, Brandi Morin, Debra Thompson and Jacob Ward. Five of the conversations are sponsored by Baillie Gifford.

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Theater of War - The Waste Land Project: The Waste Land Project will be a live, hybrid exchange-across borders and boundaries-between poets and audiences in Toronto, Ukraine and across the world, to help frame a powerful, global discussion about the timeless themes of T.S. Eliot's 100-year-old poem, The Waste Land, including the impact of war on families and communities, environmental and societal collapse, colonial violence and pandemics. This free event is presented in partnership with Theater of War Productions and can be experienced in person and online.

  • Dreams in Vantablack: A special sneak-peek screening of Dreams in Vantablack, a 12-part mini-series for CBC Gem, directed by Ian Keteku and presented with OCAD U. Journeying through the dreams of 12 Black youth poets from across the province of Ontario, the short films embody the experiences of Black identities through poetry and animation.

  • The Moth: TIFA is proud to present The Moth at Koerner Hall for an epic evening of true stories told live and without notes. The award-winning, New York-based phenomenon brings personal stories to millions of people worldwide each year, illuminating the diversity and commonality of the human experience.

PERFORMANCES

  • Kapow! With Irvine Welsh: Kapow! Poetry comets will collide when Michael Pedersen (Scotland), Hollie McNish (UK), Omar Musa (Australia), Dominic Hoey (New Zealand) and special guest Irvine Welsh (Scotland) take the stage for a genre-bending spectacle performance of readings, conversations, hip-hop and more.

  • Leanne Betasamosake Simpson in Concert: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of our time, returns to TIFA for a musical performance that blurs the boundaries between story and song.

  • Anne Michaels in Concert: A musical exploration of Toronto's poetry, music and storytelling history awaits with award-winning novelist and Toronto's former Poet Laureate Anne Michaels.

  • Soundtracks & Stanzas: Curated by Britta B., award-winning artist, spoken word poet and performer, Soundtracks & Stanzas showcases Black Canadian poets who will lead a journey through the bonds of music and language.

  • Toronto Poetry Slam Featuring Eddie Lartey: Presented in partnership with Toronto Poetry Project, Toronto's largest poetry showcase returns for a sixth Festival appearance, featuring some of Canada's best spoken word artists and next generation stars.

  • A Different Page: A new multidisciplinary storytelling series created by Pratibha Arts where writers, dance artists and musicians collaborate to create new performances that explore themes of decolonization and diversity.

TIFA KIDS

Over 30 dynamic and engaging performances, talks, workshops and presentations - many of which will be free - for children aged 3 to 18 years, featuring authors, illustrators and performers from Canada and overseas exploring themes of identity, history and culture, environment, science and imagination.

The TIFA Kids programme is generously supported by Gail and Mark Appel.

  • Storydrop: Presented in partnership with The Children's Book Bank, Storydrop offers recurring fun, free and hands-on outdoor activities for ages 4+. Kids can dress up as their favourite book character; contribute to the creation of the Great Collage Creature, a large crowd-created art piece; or cozy up for an afternoon of reading in the book nook. Plus, each weekend of the Festival from 2-4pm, is the chance to join in with an illustrator from the programme to create a giant piece of artwork.

  • The Happiness Collectors: The Happiness Collectors is a journey of sounds and silliness to learn the best ways to collect happiness - and most important of all, how to pass it on! The show invites group audiences to travel the world using interactive headphones. The Happiness Collectors is free and friendly for all neurodiverse people and families with children aged 5+.

  • David A. Robertson: Join award-winning author David A. Robertson as he unveils The Stone Child, the last book in his fantasy-adventure series The Misewa Saga. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  • Kevin Sylvester: Returning to TIFA Kids by popular demand, Kevin Sylvester will present the latest book in his Hockey Super Six series, In The Game, as well as Apartment 713 featuring colourful characters, adventure, time-travel and sports all delivered with his trademark humour and energy. Recommended for ages 8+.

  • David Levithan: TIFA Kids is delighted to welcome back award-winning YA author David Levithan with his new novel, Answers in the Pages, about the power of books and standing up for what's right. Recommended for ages 12+.

  • Nancy Vo: Step inside illustrator Nancy Vo's latest book, Boobies, which introduces to young readers the world of mammals and bodies in a quirky and humorous way. Packed full of fun facts and gorgeous pictures, this event is perfect for all budding biologists and zoologists aged 5+.

FREE EXHIBITIONS

  • Tom Gauld's Revenge of the Librarians: Taken straight from Tom Gauld's newest cartoon collection, the Revenge of the Librarians exhibit places viewers among the pages of his wittiest and most trenchant collection of literary cartoons to date.

  • Small Press Market: Find dozens of Canada's independent presses at this marketplace exhibition and learn more about these small institutions that publish big ideas. Then, view TIFA's newly updated digital Small Press Map, to discover even more institutions across Canada.

  • Writers with Typewriters (OCAD): Visit OCAD U writers, situated throughout Harbourfront Centre's campus, to witness the creation of live poetry and receive a personalized poem, typed for you or a loved one, to celebrate the Festival.

  • Spectacular Translation Machine: A collaborative, interactive opportunity to come together in translating the picture book La Petite Créature by French illustrator and graphic artist Marjolaine Leray. Visitors of all ages can select a page to translate in the language of their choosing, and in the end, a story will come together.

  • Indigenous Peoples Atlas Canada: Canadian Geographic Education's vibrant and colourful Indigenous Peoples Atlas is coming to TIFA. Discover and explore the locations of Indigenous communities, residential schools, reserves and more as you walk along this large-scale, interactive map.

CREATIVE WRITING MASTERCLASSES

The Humber School for Writers returns to the Festival with a series of daily professional writing masterclasses led by its renowned faculty members and special guests. Each 90-minute class will be presented in person and will focus on a specific aspect of writing craft.

Masterclasses include: Beginnings and Endings, with David Bezmozgis; The Score of the Narrative, with Tim Wynne-Jones; Writing Vivid Characters, with Shyam Selvadurai; Writing a Comic Book, with David A. Robertson; Poetry From Artwork, with Omar Musa; and more from Alissa York, Giles Blunt, Téa Mutonji, Wendy Erskine, Anna Moschovakis and Larissa Lai.

THE RE-READ
Discover more about the influential books and writers who defined genres and captivated readers for decades. Each session of The Re-Read features a contemporary writer discussing a favourite book or author, to offer their insight as an author and share their joy as a reader. Canadian authors presented in partnership with Writers' Trust of Canada. Events include:

  • Canadian poet and author Michael Crummey's latest poetry collection Passengers follows Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer on an imagined circumnavigation of Newfoundland.

  • Icelandic author Auður Jónsdóttir will explore the work of her grandfather: Nobel Prize Laureate Halldór Laxness.

  • Cree author and recent Governor General's Lifetime Performing Arts Award-winner Tomson Highway explores Indigenous mythologies in Laughing with the Trickster: On Sex, Death and Accordions.

  • Globe & Mail sports columnist and novelist Cathal Kelly will dive into renowned Canadian author Timothy Findley's dark, psychological novel Headhunter.

  • Award-winning Ojibwe journalist and author Tanya Talaga will explore the complex, richly woven novel Celia's Song by Lee Maracle.

  • Contemporary children's Finnish author and illustrator, Linda Bondestam will remember one of the best Finnish artists of all time, and one of the most widely read Finnish author abroad, Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins.

FREE OUTDOOR EVENTS


TIFA's new, expanded programme of free outdoor events and activities make the most of Harbourfront Centre's stunning lakeside location to offer audiences new ways to experience stories. Highlights include:

  • Writing Commission: "We come back together, only to fall apart": TIFA is proud to present a new collection of writing penned by some of the world's most distinct voices. Each day, audiences can hear new work by: Kim Fu, Áine Ní Ghlinn, Rawi Hage, Auður Jónsdóttir, Markiyan Kamysh, A. L. Kennedy, Lisa Moore, Olga Ravn, Chi Ta-wei, Olivia Wenzel and Joshua Whitehead.

  • PEN Canada Writers in Prison Readings: Authors will read short prose and verse written by imprisoned writers to give voice to those who have been silenced. Excerpts are selected by PEN Canada, an organization that promotes global community through literature.

  • Audio Experiences: Specially designed QR codes offer the opportunity to listen to specially commissioned poetry from Canada, UK and Nigeria with the Here + There Project, and Who is We: Voices Across the Divide with Writers Collective of Canada and Art of Time Ensemble.

  • Ask the Expert: Sit down with the experts to learn the 'who, what, where, when and how' of literature in the Ask the Expert series. Find out about world literature, CanLit, YA and more.

WORLD IN OTHER WORDS: MULTILINGUAL EVENTS


A recent census study highlighted that 4.6 million Canadians speak a first language that isn't English or French. Meet storytellers and translators to explore languages and stories from communities around the world and across the local neighbourhoods of Toronto. Events include: Celebrating Tamil Stories, What is bertsolaritza?, Bengali Panel and Readings, Spanish Writers in Conversation, Emerging Authors in Nordic Literature and Basque Writing in Translation.

About Toronto International Festival of Authors

The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) inspires, empowers and connects through the art of stories, offering book lovers a breadth of bold, ambitious and accessible literary experiences. As Canada's largest literary festival, the charitable organization provides engaging opportunities to meet, hear and learn from the world's best contemporary writers and thinkers, and to celebrate the power of stories. Since 1974, TIFA has presented thousands of authors, including 22 Nobel Laureates, who represent diverse perspectives and a range of literary genres for all ages. TIFA's creative programmes continue to adapt to changing times, capturing the most innovative and enlightening forms of storytelling, on stage and online. Alongside the flagship Festival, TIFA delivers a year-round programme of events and activities that reflect Toronto to its residents, its literature to the nation, and its creative ambition to the world. TIFA will celebrate the 43rd edition of the Festival on its new dates, September 22 - October 2, 2022.

TIFA is grateful for the support of the Government of Canada - Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and Ontario Creates, as well as the generous support offered by our many Patrons, donors and supporters.

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