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The Mystery of Right and Wrong: Wayne Johnston in Conversation with Hal Wake

Wayne Johnston is one of the country’s most critically acclaimed and beloved writers, whose ability to write about the ties of family, and place, have earned him long-time fans on both sides of the Atlantic. The Mystery of Right and Wrong is perhaps his most poignant to date. In it, Johnston reveals haunting family secrets he’s kept for more than 30 years, unfolding them in a novel that grapples with sexual abuse, male violence, and madness. The work explores the relationship of Wade Jackson, a young writer, with Rachel van Hout: the youngest of four daughters from a Dutch/South African family, each of whom have significant mental health challenges. This is a deeply personal book and a stunning piece of literature. Johnston speaks with long-time friend and former Artistic Director, Hal Wake, about the writing journey.

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Participants and Speakers

Wayne Johnston

WAYNE JOHNSTON is the author of The Story of Bobby O’Malley, winner of the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Baltimore’s Mansion won the inaugural Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams was nominated for sixteen awards including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and was a Canada Reads finalist defended by Justin Trudeau. Johnston’s most recent novel, First Snow, Last Light, was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin prize. (NEWFOUNDLAND)

Hal Wake

Hal Wake has been engaged with the literary community in Canada for more than 30 years. He has hosted or moderated hundreds of literary events at festivals around the world and was the artistic director of the Vancouver Writers Fest for twelve years. Currently he is the Chair of the Canada 2020 Literary Program Committee for the Frankfort international Book Fair.