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Incite: The Healing Art of Memoir

When our personal stories are deeply rooted in tragedy, how do we begin to tell them? Crafting a memoir that entangles the complex intimacies of loss in a way that inspires and consoles readers takes a master storyteller. In an evocative evening discussing craft and their stunning memoirs, award-winning Cree authors Christa Couture and Darrel McLeod join Festival moderator Bill Richardson to speak on themes of loss in all its forms, and the artistry of transforming pain into art that heals. Award-winning performer and recording artist Christa Couture’s How to Lose Everything (Douglas & McIntyre) is a profound memoir of surviving grief with love and gentleness. Disabled after losing her leg to cancer as a teenager, tragedy struck again with the death of two children under different circumstances, a divorce, and an aggressive thyroid cancer. But How to Lose Everything is not a handbook for grief: as Quill & Quire praises, Couture “…doesn’t shy away from the ugly parts of trauma: the mindlessness, the selfishness, the tears, and snot. It embraces and cares for every part of it.” Darrel McLeod began his powerful story of growing up Cree in Northern Alberta with his bestselling memoir Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age. The book won him multiple, major prizes, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, a Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award and the coveted RBC Taylor Prize. In Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Identity, his story continues, revisiting his youth at a major turning point, and following him as his determination raises him up to teacher, principal, government executive––and then celebrated author. With a discussion guided by beloved Festival friend and author Bill Richardson, this will be an Incite which heals, inspires, and buoys through the final dregs of winter. You won’t want to miss it. Incite is presented in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library. This event will also be available through the TELUS Optik network.