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  • Whistler Writers Festival Unveils Author Line-up and Program

    Master storyteller Peter Carey to headline alongside literary stars Eden Robinson, Esi Edugyan, Billy-Ray Belcourt and more

    August 13, 2018: Whistler, B.C. – The Whistler Writing Society is thrilled to unveil the list of authors attending this year’s Whistler Writers Festival, with legendary international author Peter Carey headlining alongside literary heavyweights Eden Robinson, Esi Edugyan, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Lisa Moore, Lorna Crozier, Sharon Bala, Rawi Hage, Ian Hamilton, Kim Thúy, Ali Hassan and more. A total of 60 authors, guest presenters and publishers will be attending.

    “We have a sweeping range of leading authors and literary guests coming to this year’s festival that will excite both readers and writers,” said Stella Harvey, Director of the Whistler Writers Festival. “From emerging talents to literary masters, from fresh voices to established veterans, and from award-winners to boundary-pushers, this year’s program is possibly the festival’s best ever, and we are looking forward to bringing together some of the finest writers and poets in the country and the world for an outstanding weekend of literary discussion and readings in the mountains.”

    The quality of the program speaks to the festival’s theme: No one succeeds alone. Now in its 17th year, the Whistler Writers Festival’s progression is a result of volunteers, community leaders, other influencers, and most importantly, the audience, who come through time and time again.

    Headliner details:

    • Peter Carey – Master storyteller from Australia and one of the most influential voices in contemporary literature. One of four writers in the world to have won the esteemed Man Booker Prize twice (for Oscar and Lucinda in 1988 and True History of the Kelly Gang in 2001) and is frequently named Australia’s next contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. His latest novel is A Long Way from Home.
    • Eden Robinson – One of Canada’s first female First Nations writers to gain international attention for novels Son of a Trickster (finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize) and Monkey Beach (winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and finalist for the Giller). Trickster Drift is her latest book.
    • Esi Edugyan – Writer of the celebrated novel Half-Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, Governor-General’s Literary Award, Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize and Orange Prize. Her latest novel is Washington Black which is long listed for this year’s Man Booker Prize.
    • Billy-Ray Belcourt – Emerging poetry talent from Driftpile Cree Nation whose debut The Wound is a World won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize and was named by CBC Books as the best “Canadian poetry” collection of 2017. His sophomore book NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field will be released this fall.
    • Lisa Moore – Acclaimed short-story writer and novelist who is a three-time nominee for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and Canada Reads and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Her novels include Caught, February, Alligator and most recently Something for Everyone.
    • Lorna Crozier – Prominent poet nominated for the Governor-General’s Award four times and recipient of the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award, five honourary doctorates and the George Woodcock Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her 17 books of poetry include her latest additions What the Soul Doesn’t Want and God of Shadows.
    • Sharon Bala – Author of The Boat People, which was a finalist for Canada Reads 2018 and Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Her short-story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” won the 2017 Journey Prize.
    • Rawi Hage – Fiction writer whose debut novel De Niro’s Game won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and whose follow up Cockroach won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. Both novels were shortlisted for every major Canadian literary prize. His latest novel is Beirut Hellfire Society.
    • Ian Hamilton – Mystery writer named by BBC Culture as “One of the Ten Mystery/Crime Writers from the Last Thirty Years That Should Be on Your Bookshelf”. His Ava Lee series has been shortlisted for numerous prizes, with The Water Rat of Wanchai named best book of the year by Amazon Canada, Toronto Star and Quill & Quire.
    • Kim Thúy – Novelist whose debut Ru won the Governor-General’s Award for French-language fiction and the 2015 edition of Canada Reads. Her third and most recent novel Vi was published in 2018.
    • Ali Hassan – Stand-up comedian and host of CBC’s Laugh out Loud, Canada Reads and “Battle of the Books”. He is currently touring his solo show Muslim Interrupted across Canada.

    The list of confirmed guest presenters also includes: Leslie Anthony, Feet Banks, Dustin Bentall, Dave Bidini, Amy Black (publisher at Penguin Random House), Claudia Casper, Kate Cassaday (publisher at HarperCollins), Kevin Chong, Charles Demers, Kilmeny Jane Denny, Penny Draper, Lynn Duncan, Bill Gaston, Wayne Grady, Laurie Grassi (publisher at Simon and Schuster), Darren Groth, Simon Groth, Cornelia Hoogland, Joel Thomas Hynes, Vici Johnstone (publisher at Caitlin Press), Brian Kaufman (publisher at Anvil), Patrick Lane, Grant Lawrence, Eve Lazarus, Sara Leach, Mary MacDonald, Darrel J. McLeod, Maureen Medved, Nidhi Raina, Jane Reid, Lori Rennie, Elizabeth Renzetti, Nicolette Richer, Douglas Richmond (publisher at Anansi), Janet Marie Rogers, Laisha Rosnau, Claire Sicherman, Merilyn Simonds, Carolyn Marie Souaid, Sea to Sky Orchestra, Dania Tomlinson, Stephen Vogler, Hal Wake, K. Jane Watt, Sam Wiebe, Megan Williams, Rebecca Wood Barrett and Andrew Wooldridge (publisher at Orca).

    Tickets are on sale now. View the program and buy tickets at www.whistlerwritersfest.com.


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    Now in its seventeenth year, the Whistler Writers Festival takes place October 11-14, 2018 and brings together the very best Canadian and international authors for a weekend packed with readings, workshops, speaker panels, spoken word events, music and more. Both the festival program guide and tickets will be released on Monday, August 13, 2018. For more information, visit www.whistlerwritersfest.com.


    Stella Harvey

    Director of the Whistler Writers Festival