Authors confirmed for the 2019 Festival:
CARMEN AGUIRRE is a Vancouver-based writer and theatre artist who has worked extensively in North and South America. She has written or co-written twenty-five plays, including The Refugee Hotel, which was nominated for a 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for best new play. She is currently touring her latest one-woman show, Broken Tailbone, and is writing three new plays. Her first memoir, Something Fierce, won Canada Reads in 2012, was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize, and was a #1 national bestseller. Her second memoir, Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution, was shortlisted for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, is a Globe and Mail bestseller, and a National Post and CBC Best Book of 2016.
For more information see: Carmen Aguirre
DAVID CHARIANDY grew up in Toronto and lives and teaches in Vancouver. His debut novel, Soucouyant, was nominated for eleven literary awards, including shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Brother, his second novel, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Toronto Book Prize, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Brother was also a finalist for Canada Reads, and named a Book of the Year by the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette, Kirkus Reviews, Esquire Magazine, and the Guardian. David has recently been named a 2019 Windham-Campbell Prize winner for his body of work. David’s most recent book is a memoir entitled I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter.
For more information see: David Chariandy
An Officer of the Order of Canada, LORNA CROZIER has been acknowledged for her contributions to Canadian literature, her teaching and her mentoring with five honourary doctorates, most recently from McGill and Simon Fraser Universities. Her books have received numerous national awards, including the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry. The Globe and Mail declared The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things one of its Top 100 Books of the Year, and Amazon chose her memoir as one of the 100 books you should read in your lifetime. A Professor Emerita at the University of Victoria, she has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and has read her poetry, which has been translated into several languages, on every continent except Antarctica. Her latest book is God of Shadows. CBC questions: “How can poems be at once so profound, original and lively, and also so much fun?”
In 2018, Crozier received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives on Vancouver Island with writer Patrick Lane and two cats who love to garden.
For more information see: Lorna Crozier
ESI EDUGYAN is the author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, Half-Blood Blues, and Washington Black. Half-Blood Blues won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel, Washington Black, won a second Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
For more information see: Esi Edugyan
CARLA FUNK served as the Victoria’s inaugural poet laureate, working to promote the literary arts in the city. She has published five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Gloryland (Turnstone Press, 2016). After 15 years of teaching in UVic’s Department of Writing, Carla now leads private writing classes in her home and works as an editor and manuscript consultant. Every Little Scrap and Wonder, a memoir of her childhood in a small town full of logging trucks and God, is forthcoming with Greystone Books in 2019.
For more information see: Carla Funk
KATE HARRIS is a writer and adventurer with a knack for getting lost. Named one of Canada’s top modern-day explorers, her award-winning nature and travel writing has been featured in The Walrus, Canadian Geographic Travel, Sidetracked and The Georgia Review, and cited in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. She has degrees in science from MIT and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in the history of science from Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes scholar. When she isn’t away on expeditions or reporting on UN environmental negotiations for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Harris lives off-grid in a log cabin on the border of the Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska. Her highly acclaimed new book Land Of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road was the winner of the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize and a winner at the 2018 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.
For more information see: Kate Harris
STEVEN HEIGHTON‘s work has been translated into ten languages and has been published in Best English Stories and the London Review of Books, Tin House, Best American Mystery Stories, TLR, Poetry, and Zoetrope. He is also a fiction reviewer for The New York Times Book Review. His novel Afterlands is in pre-production for film. He won the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry and has received three gold National Magazine Awards for fiction. The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep is his fourth novel.
For more information see: Steven Heighton
C.C. HUMPHREYS is a novelist, playwright, fight choreographer and actor, who has performed on stages from London’s West End to Hollywood. Chris’s first novel, The French Executioner, was runner-up for the CWA Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller. Vlad: The Last Confession was an international bestseller. His recent novel Plague won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel. He also writes for young adults, his most recent novel being The Hunt of the Dragon. His new novel, Chasing the Wind, is a work of historical fiction. Chris lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, with his wife, son and his writing partner, Dickon the Cat.
For more information see: CC Humphreys
WAYNE JOHNSTON was born and raised in the St. John’s area of Newfoundland. His #1 nationally bestselling novels include The Divine Ryans, A World Elsewhere, The Custodian of Paradise, The Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which has been made into a stage play and is being developed as a TV series. Johnston is also the author of the Charles Taylor Prize-winning and bestselling memoir, Baltimore’s Mansion. His most recent novel is First Snow, Last Light. He lives in Toronto.
For more information see: Wayne Johnston
SUSAN JUBY is the author of eleven books, including Republic of Dirt, winner of the 2016 Leacock Medal for Humour and The Woefield Poultry Collective, which was nominated for the Leacock Medal. Her memoir, Nice Recovery, was named a best book of the year by the Globe and Mail. She is the author of the bestselling Alice, I Think, named one of the essential 40 Young Adult novels by Rolling Stone Magazine and adapted into a CTV/Comedy Network television series.
Susan holds a Master of Publishing degree from Simon Fraser University and teaches at Vancouver Island University. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
For more information see: Susan Juby
DARREL J. MCLEOD is Cree from treaty eight territory in Northern Alberta. Before pursuing writing in his retirement he was a chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and international affairs with the Assembly of First Nations. He holds degrees in French Literature and Education from the University of British Columbia.
Darrel is working on a second memoir following the events in Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2018. Darrel lives, writes, sings and plays jazz guitar in Sooke B.C. and Puerto Vallarta.
For more information see: Darrel J. McLeod
KATHY PAGE’s two most recent story collections, Paradise & Elsewhere, 2014, and The Two of Us, 2016, were both nominated for the Giller Prize. Her most recent novel Dear Evelyn, won the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. The Story of My Face was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002; Alphabet was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award in 2005; and The Find was shortlisted for the 2011 ReLit Novel Award. She is also a winner of the Bridport International Prize for short fiction, the Traveller Award, and a contributor to many prose anthologies. Kathy teaches creative writing at Vancouver Island University. She lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband and two children.
For more information see: Kathy Page
MONIQUE GRAY SMITH is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud Mom of fourteen-year-old twins. Monique’s first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature and My Heart Fills with Happiness recently won the 2017 Christie Harris BC Book Award for Children’s Literature. Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation is currently being used across the country as a tool to educate the hearts and minds of both young and not so young readers. Quill and Quire’s starred review defines it as, “The tool Canadians have been waiting for.” Monique’s latest book is Tilly and the Crazy Eights. “Smith’s understated prose adds lightness to the narrative. . . that is infused with joy, love, and laughter.” (Quill and Quire)
For more information see: Monique Gray Smith
FRED STENSON has written 19 books and 150 films and videos. His sixth novel and ninth book of fiction, Who by Fire, was long-listed for the IMPAC Award. His fiction titles include the historical novels The Great Karoo, Lightning and The Trade. The Trade won the WGA George Bugnet Novel Award, The City of Edmonton Book Prize, and the Grant MacEwan Writer’s Prize. It was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. Lightning won the Grant MacEwan Writers’ Prize. The Great Karoo was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Stenson was the director of the Wired Writing Studio at The Banff Centre for 15 years. He is a regular columnist for Alberta Views Magazine and lives in Cochrane, Alberta.
For more information see: Fred Stenson
TIMOTHY TAYLOR is an award-winning novelist, journalist and short story writer. His debut novel, Stanley Park, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Giller Prize, and his novel, The Blue Light Project, was a national bestseller and winner of the CBC Bookie Prize in literary fiction. Both his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Canada’s leading publications, and he is the only writer to have had three stories selected and published simultaneously in The Journey Prize Stories. His most recent novel, The Rule of Stephens, bridges the divide between literary fiction and page-turning thriller. He currently lives in Vancouver, where he teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
For more information see: Timothy Taylor