Globe & Mail/Ben McNally Books Authors' Brunch
King Edward Hotel
37 King St. East
Toronto, ON M5C 1E9
Tickets are $45.00 each (taxes included).
Please call (416) 361-0032 with your credit card information to reserve a ticket.
A Thousand Farewells by Nahlah Ayed
In 1976, Nahlah Ayed’s family gave up their comfortable life in Winnipeg for the squalor of a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman, Jordan. The transition was jarring, but it was from this uncomfortable situation that Ayed first observed the people whose heritage she shared. The family returned to Canada when she was thirteen, and Ayed ignored the Middle East for many years. But the First Gulf War and the events of 9/11 reignited her interest. Soon she was reporting from the region full-time, trying to make sense of the wars and upheavals that have affected its people and sent so many of them seeking a better life elsewhere.
In A Thousand Farewells, CBC foreign correspondent Ayed describes with sympathy and insight the myriad ways in which the Arab people have fought against oppression and loss.
What We Talk About When We Talk About War by Noah Richler
On the eve of Canada's exit from Afghanistan, Noah Richler, in this expanded version of his provocative 2009 Antonine Maillet-Northrop Frye Lecture, examines how the governing narrative used by politicians, the military, and the media has evolved from the novel's more subversive constitution of the world into an epic narrative form. Richler suggests that our changing narrative about war speaks volumes about our collective consciousness and how we have conceived and redefined ourselves as a nation as we talked ourselves into, through, and ultimately out of our participation in war.
Stray Love by Kyo Maclear
Born of an adulterous affair in London, England, Marcel is ethnically ambiguous, growing up in the racially charged 1960s with a white surrogate father named Oliver. Abandoned as an infant, Marcel is haunted by vague memories of his bohemian mother, and is desperate to know who his real parents are.
When Oliver is promoted to foreign correspondent, he leaves Marcel in the care of his ill-equipped friends, including the beautiful Pippa. While Oliver rushes toward the action, Marcel is set adrift in swinging London, a city of magic—and a city where he can never quite fit in. When Marcel eventually uncovers the shattering truth about his mother, his entire world is rearranged.
In the Orchard, the Swallows by Peter Hobbs
House of Anansi
In the foothills of a mountain range in northern Pakistan is a beautiful orchard. Swallows wheel and dive silently over the branches, and the scent of jasmine threads through the air. Pomegranates hang heavy, their skins darkening to a deep crimson. Neglected now, the trees are beginning to grow wild, their fruit left to spoil on the branches.
Many miles away, a frail young man is flung out of prison gates. Looking up, scanning the horizon for swallows in flight, he stumbles and collapses in the roadside dust. His ravaged body tells the story of fifteen years of brutality.
Just one image has held and sustained him through the dark times -- the thought of the young girl who had left him dumbstruck with wonder all those years ago, whose eyes were lit up with life.
A tale of tenderness in the face of great and corrupt power, In The Orchard, the Swallows is a heartbreaking novel written in prose of exquisite stillness and beauty.