2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Winter Book Club: Heather O’Neill in Conversation with Claire Cameron

Join us for our Winter Book Club event, featuring Canada Reads winner and the bestselling author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Heather O’Neill, for the release of her much-anticipated new work, When We Lost Our Heads (HarperCollins). Tune in for this virtual, live event on February 6 at 5pm PT, moderated by Claire Cameron, author of the #1 national bestselling novel, The Bear.

Ticket buyers to our Winter Book Club will receive a hardcover of When We Lost Our Heads as part of their purchase.

Called a “dazzling, delicious dream” by Mona Awad and “a lovely, uncanny take on the historical novel, told with O’Neill’s trademark wit and empathy for human foibles” by Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Esi Edugyan, O’Neill’s latest work is a masterpiece of beautiful, alarming wonder.

When We Lost Our Heads is a spellbinding story about two young women whose friendship is so intense it not only threatens to destroy them, it changes the course of history. United by their passion and intensity, Marie and Sadie attract and repel each other in ways that set them both on fire. Marie, with her bubbly charm, sees all the pleasure of the world, whereas Sadie’s obsession with darkness is all-consuming. Soon, their childlike games take on the thrill of danger and become deadly.

Join us for this exceptional dialogue on gender and power, sex and desire, class and status, and the terrifying strength of the human heart when it can’t let someone go.

A copy of When We Lost Our Heads (a value of $32.99 + tax) is included in your ticket price. Book delivery and pickup is fulfilled by kidsbooks. Books will be available for shipping or pickup around January 19, but may ship later due to supply chain delays (official on-sale February 1). See your purchase confirmation email for full details.

This is an online event. 

Presented in partnership with SFU Continuing Studies.

Participants and Speakers

Heather O’Neill

HEATHER O’NEILL is a novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Her most recent bestselling novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and CBC’s Canada Reads. Her previous work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Daydreams of Angels, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize two years in a row. She has won CBC’s Canada Reads and the Danuta Gleed Award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there with her daughter.

Claire Cameron

CLAIRE CAMERON’s first novel, The Line Painter, won the Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Crime Writing Award for best first novel. Her second novel, The Bear, was a number one national bestseller, and was long-listed for the 2014 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel, The Last Neanderthal, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Cameron’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Globe and Mail. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.