Grand Openings: The Alma Lee Opening Night Event

Jenny Erpenbeck, Barbara Gowdy, Nicola Lagioia, Suzette Mayr, Linda Spalding, Ruth Ware

Grand Openings: The Alma Lee Opening Night Event

Host: Caroline Adderson

Event Number: 14
Tickets: $26.00

Grand Openings: The Alma Lee Opening Night Event

Jenny Erpenbeck, Barbara Gowdy, Nicola Lagioia, Suzette Mayr, Linda Spalding, Ruth Ware

Tuesday, October 17
8:00pm - 9:30pm
Performance Works

1218 Cartwright St.

Open the 30th Vancouver Writers Fest in grand style as six writers read from their new works and take us around the world. Presenting her first novel in 10 years, Canada’s Barbara Gowdy intrigues us with a psyche in turmoil. Linda Spalding propels us by wagon and boat through the American south in 1855. Germany’s Jenny Erpenbeck puts faces to some of the refugees trying to find a new life in Germany. Italy’s Nicola Lagioia gives us family-style moral and political corruption. Canada’s Suzette Mayr lampoons academic politics and passions. And England’s Ruth Ware will scare your socks off with her psychological thriller. Whether these authors are familiar or new to you, you’re going to love this evening’s trip around the world in their company.

Event Participants:

Jenny Erpenbeck


Before becoming a writer, Jenny Erpenbeck has trained as a bookbinder and worked as a wardrobe supervisor and director at an opera house. Her diverse artistic background has made Erpenbeck a unique voice who has been called, “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation” by The Millions. Erpenbeck’s Go, Went, Gone is a critical and thoughtful novel about the the European refugee crisis and one man’s attempts to understand the immigrant experience.

Jenny Erpenbeck’s appearance is made possible by the Goethe-Institut.

Barbara Gowdy


Barbara Gowdy has written seven books which have experienced widespread international acclaim. As a novelist and short story writer, she has been described by Harper’s as someone who has “refused to subscribe to worn-out techniques and storytelling methods.” She is a member of the Order of Canada and a three-time finalist for The Governor General’s Award. Her latest work, Little Sister, written after a struggle with depression caused by extreme back pain, follows a woman who can leave her body and experience the world through another person.

Nicola Lagioia


Nicola Lagioia is Italy’s foremost literary novelist. He has written three novels and one collection of short stories. He has also worked for many years as an editor for Minimum Fax, an Italian publisher. He has won many literary awards, including the Strega Prize, which is Italy’s most prestigious award. He is a regular host of Pagina3, a book and culture program on Italy’s national radio. Lagioia’s English-language debut, Ferocity, is a dramatic tale about a young socialite whose suicide sends her brother into a spiral as he finds out more about his estranged sister and her rise to prominence.

Nicola Lagioia’s appearance is made possible by the Istituto di Italiano di Cultura in Toronto.


Suzette Mayr


Suzette Mayr has written four critically-acclaimed novels. Monoceros was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was on The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2011. As a poet, novelist and professor, much of her work focuses on issues of identity and race. She is a former President of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.  Her fifth novel, Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall, is a captivating satire about the stresses of academic life and what could be lurking under the surface of your university building.

Linda Spalding


Linda Spalding is a fiction and non-fiction writer and editor. She was raised in Kansas, and spent some time in Hawaii before moving to Canada. As the editor of Brick magazine, she was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the Canadian literary community. Her work The Purchase was a Governor General’s Award winner, and her companion piece The Reckoning is coming out this year. The novel follows the Dickinson family as they are put in a difficult situation that forces them to make a tragic decision and become fugitives, testing them individually.


Ruth Ware

United Kingdom

Ruth Ware is the internationally-acclaimed author of psychological crime thrillers such as In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. Her books have appeared on The New York Times and The Globe and Mail bestseller lists and have been published internationally. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. This year, she presents, The Lying Game, a story that revolves around four friends, separated after a horrible lie they spread in school, who are brought together again to find the truth.