2013 Vancouver Writers Fest

Welcome to the Vancouver Writers Fest on Granville Island

One of the trickiest aspects of putting the Festival program together is ensuring that we have enough room in the six days of the Festival for fiction, poetry, non-fiction and all the other genres we hope to have represented in the lineup. We have always had writers of non-fiction at the Festival, but this year we are pleased to present a series of events featuring some of the most important non-fiction books of the year. Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation) will be here with his new book,Command and Control, an illuminating investigation of the risks associated with nuclear weapons and the near misses we have already experienced without even knowing it.

George Packer is an esteemed writer for the New Yorker. His book,The Unwinding, journeys through the lives of several ordinary Americans to create a lyrical requiem for a troubled nation. Amanda Lindhout was a freelance journalist when she was kidnapped and held captive for 15 months in Somalia. Her memoir, A House in the Sky, is an intimate and harrowing account of her captivity, and ultimately a story about the power of compassion and forgiveness. Alan Wiesman’s New York Times bestseller, The World Without Us, imagined what the world would be like if humans were no longer around with our large and crushing footprint. He will be here with his new book, Countdown, a comprehensive and urgent exploration of how the world can survive with us. Most of us think we know the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting The Last Supper, but Ross King’s Leonardo and the Last Supper dispels many of the myths that surround this monumental work and presents an original and riveting account of the creation of a masterpiece.

An event I have dreamed about for years is finally coming to fruition at this Festival. Ever since I had the honour of interviewing Cree playwright and novelist Tomson Highway some years ago, I have imagined how wonderful it would be to see him together with the Québécois legend MichelTremblay. A conversation between these two writers—erudite, playful, witty and wise—is an occasion not to be missed.

Every 10 years, Granta magazine has named the best British novelists under the age of 40. We are delighted to have two young notables from the most recent list at this year’s Festival: Xiaolu Guo and Joanna Kavenna.

This year we intend to go out on a high note, or at least a light note, with Colin Mochrie, whose improvisational skills defy description and who, as well as doing a little improv in our final event, will talk about his new book, Not Quite the Classics.

To be sure of getting tickets to the events you have your heart set on, please consider becoming a member and taking advantage of the advance ticket buying privileges. I look forward to seeing you on Granville Island in October, when distinguished writers from around the world make it a book-lover’s paradise.

Hal Wake

Artistic Director