Ricci to headline 2019 Alice Munro Festival - April 11, 2019
The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story returns for its 15th year on May 25-26 with a line-up of 10 award-winning Canadian authors. The two-day event takes place in Wingham and Bayfield and includes: author readings, writing master classes, panel discussion and an awards luncheon for the annual short story contest.
Leading this year’s line-up is respected bestselling author Nino Ricci. His first novel, Lives of the Saints, garnered international acclaim, appearing in 17 countries and winning a host of awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. It formed the first volume of a trilogy that was adapted as a miniseries starring Sophia Loren.
Ricci also authored the novels Testament, winner of the Trillium Award, The Origin of Species, which earned him a second Governor General’s Award, and a biography of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, included in the Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series. His most recent novel Sleep, won the Canadian Authors’ Award for Fiction. Nino Ricci is currently the inaugural holder of the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity at the University of Western Ontario.
The list of guest authors includes three Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists who all have new books being published this spring. Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, will be promoting her new novel, Bunny. Described as The Vegetarian meets Heathers, this darkly funny, seductively strange novel will be published by Penguin Random House on June 7.
Anthony De Sa’s first book, Barnacle Love, was critically acclaimed and became a finalist for the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2009 Toronto Book Award. His new novel, Children of the Moon, follows the tumultuous story of Pó, a Maasai girl with albinism who is seen as a curse upon her tribe, to be released in May.
Anakana Schofield the author of the 2015 Giller Prize shortlisted novel Martin John, brings her new unconventional novel Bina: A Novel in Warnings that will also be published in May.
Indigenous author Joshua Whitehead had a break out success with his 2018 novel Jonny Appleseed, a unique, shattering vision of First Nations life, full of grit, glitter and dreams. The novel was longlisted for a Giller Prize and shortlisted for a Governor General’s award in 2018. Alicia Elliott, a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations of the Grand River, reads from her new non-fiction release A Mind Spread Out on the Ground that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma.
Amy Jones’s first novel, We’re All in This Together, was a national bestseller, won the Northern Lit Award, and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Her new novel, Every Little Piece of Me, examines family, friendship, celebrity, and the cost of living in the public eye – because when everyone suddenly knows your name, it’s easy to forget who you really are. K.D. Miller’s short story collection, Late Breaking, was inspired by the work of Canadian artist Alex Colville. The linked stories form a suite of portraits that bear witness to the vulnerability of the elder heart, revealing that love, sex and heartbreak are not the domain of only the young.
Vancouver-based author Ian Williams’s 2019 novel Reproduction, is a tale of love among inherited and invented families that sweeps through a world of racial and religious mash-ups, cultural collisions and cross-pollinations galore. William’s poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada.
Rounding out the list of this year’s guest authors is Bayfield’s Andy McGuire. His debut poetry collection, Country Club, a lyrical, wilderness of power, wealth, leisure and desire, the poems freewheel across state lines with panache and flagrant feeling. McGuire’s second poetry collection, I Hate Poems but I Love Poetry, is forthcoming.
The 2019 Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story takes place May 25-26 in Wingham, and Bayfield. Tickets and weekend passes for the event went on sale on April 8. For more information about the guest authors and festival program, including how to purchase tickets, please visit alicemunrofestival.ca. The festival is supported in part by: The Ontario Arts Council, Township of North Huron, County of Huron, Municipality of Bluewater, Capital Power, The Lake House, Bayfield, Royal Homes and Dr. Marie Gear.