Explore the 2018 Festival Reading List

The 2018 Vancouver Writers Fest Author Lineup Focuses on Bold, Empathetic Examinations of Equality, Migration, Reconciliation

Some of this year’s biggest names include Patrick deWitt, Deborah Levy, Rachel Kushner, Gary Shteyngart, Sisonke Msimang, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Kenneth Oppel, Jodi Picoult, Katherena Vermette and more.

This year we welcome 100 plus authors to the 2018 Festival, taking place from October 15-21 on Granville Island and across Vancouver. Under the curatorship of our Artistic Director Leslie Hurtig, this year’s lineup is a collection of voices that explore some of the most pressing topics of our time. Through their works, these authors share unexpected stories, delve into current events and, ultimately, enrich our understanding of what it is to be alive today.

View our Reading List of 2018 Authors

Find out more about this lineup by reading our Author Biographies or read more of our summary below.

The international immigrant and refugee crisis continues to grow. Against this worldwide diaspora, revered voices share stories of individuals seeking home. Sisonke Msimang is one of the most exciting female voices in writing today, and joins the Festival to present her memoir, Always Another Country. Elaine Castillo was hailed by Vogue as “instilling America with a layered sense of identity” following her mesmerising debut, America is Not The Heart. Amitava Kumar describes the aching loneliness of an immigrant student in Immigrant, Montana, while Abu Bakr al Rebeeah, a high-school student from Edmonton, shares his flight from Syria in Homes: A Refugee Story.

Over the past 18 months the damage perpetrated by stereotypical gender roles has been cast into sharp relief. The Festival welcomes some of the world’s most celebrated feminist writers and culture critics to Vancouver this year, including Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room), Sheila Heti (On Motherhood) and Rachel Giese (Boys: What It Means To Become A Man). Two-time Booker shortlisted UK author Deborah Levy (The Cost of Living) is also a guest. Jodi Picoult will discuss her provocative new novel, A Spark of Light, in a special event. Closer to home, critic and author Andrea Warner interviews folk artist and Canadian legend Buffy Sainte-Marie to celebrate the launch of Buffy Sainte Marie: The Official Biography.

Elsewhere, the program is a veritable who’s who of CanLit, with writers including Patrick deWitt (Sisters Brothers; now French Exit), Billy-Ray Belcourt—the youngest-ever winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize for This Wound is A World, David Chariandy (I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You), Elizabeth Hay (All Things Consoled), Shane Koyczan (Turn On A Light), Chelene Knight (Dear Current Occupant), Eden Robinson (Trickster Drift), Vivek Shraya (I’m Afraid of Men), Jordan Tannahill (Liminal). Esi Edugyan (Washington Black) and Katherena Vermette (The Break; now river woman).

Children’s and YA authors inspiring kids from K-12 include Ian Boothby (Sparks!), Jeffrey Brown (The Jedi Academy series), Christopher Paul Curtis (The Journey of Little Charlie), Rachel Hartman (Tess of the Road), Ashley Little (Confessions of a Teenage Leper), and Susin Nielsen (No Fixed Address), and Kenneth Oppel (Inkling).

During the fall season, the Writers Fest will also present special events with Miriam Toews (September 17); Kate Atkinson (September 29); Jodi Picoult (as above, October 19); and Ian Rankin (October 27).

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Lauren Dembicky