Setting The Stage: Bestsellers to Kick off the Fest


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Tuesday September 22, 2020
Live on Zoom

Delve into the minds and motivations of three of the biggest literary names this year with these one-to-one conversations. Megha Majumdar’s A Burning, already a Today Show pick and an instant NYT bestseller has received accolades everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to Vogue. Majumdar has been compared to Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi and Jhumpa Lahiri for her electrifying debut about three interwoven characters looking to rise above their circumstances. Emily St. John Mandel transfixed millions of readers with Station Eleven before repeating her success with The Glass Hotel: a story of money, beauty and white collar crime. Booker Prize longlisted Brandon Taylor is a New Yorker favourite, whose debut novel Real Life was one of the most anticipated titles of 2020, described as a novel of startling intimacy, violence and mercy. Moderated by the Vancouver Writers Fest Artistic Director, Leslie Hurtig, you don’t want to miss this.

Event Participants:

MEGHA MAJUMDAR is Associate Editor at Catapult in New York City, where she works on both books and the magazine. Her debut novel, A Burning, was an instant NYT bestseller. She grew up in India, and studied anthropology at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL’S fifth novel, The Glass Hotel, was recently published in Canada, the US, and the UK. Her previous novels include Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award among other honours, and has been translated into 33 languages. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

BRANDON TAYLOR is the senior editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a staff writer at LitHub. His writing has earned him fellowships from Lambda Literary Foundation, Kimbilio Fiction, and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa, where he was
an Iowa Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction. His debut novel, Real Life, is longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize.