Atwood, Gowdy, Egan and more at this year’s Vancouver Writers Festival

Barbara Gowdy’s latest novel Little Sister is “intelligent and enthralling,” according to the Globe & Mail. The Canadian author is a guest at this year’s Vancouver Writers Festival.

Esteemed Canadian authors Margaret Atwood and Barbara Gowdy are among this year’s guests at the 30th annual Vancouver Writers Fest (Oct. 16-22). There are a number of notable authors appearing at the festival, as well as in stand-alone events beginning at the end of this month. Here are a few to watch for.

This year, festival guests include Adam Gopnik, a frequent contributor to the New Yorker; Nicole Krauss, author of 2005’s The History of Love; Mary Gaitskill, whose most recent novel is the acclaimed The Mare; short story writer Nathan Englander (For the Relief of Unbearable Urges); poet/author Eileen Myles (Chelsea Girls); Tom Perotta (Election, HBO’s The Leftovers); and Johanna Wagstaffe. The CBC meteorologist is the author of an upcoming book, Fault Lines: Understanding the Power of Earthquakes.

CBC meteorologist and author Johanna Wagstaffe is among the guests at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival.

Newer authors include Gurjinder Basran, winner of a BC Book Prize for her debut novel, Everything Was Good-Bye.

Organizers also promise dialogues about current issues, including energy and oil, best practices in depicting Canada’s history, and the role of class in writing and society. An on-stage discussion between Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan on the role of the writer in depicting and challenging the status quo in turbulent times will close out the festival.

Returning festival favourites include the consistently sold-out Literary Cabaret, in which six authors’ readings are interpreted live on stage by jazz band, Poetic License, and The Poetry Bash. Lorna Crozier is hosting and curating the latter. It features renowned poets such as Kim Addonizio, Hera Lindsay Bird, Matthew Dickman, Ali Cobbi Exkermann, Jordan Mounteer, and Jan Zwicky.

In addition to the week-long festival, the VWF is sponsoring several stand-alone events this fall. These include “An Evening With” Canadian mystery writer Louise Penny (Aug. 28), Salman Rushdie In Conversation with Hal Wake (Sept. 19), and an “In Conversation With” Jennifer Egan (Oct. 25).

All have new books out; in Egan’s case, her upcoming Manhattan Beach (pub. date: Oct. 3) is the American author’s first new book since her 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From the Goon Squad. Retired Canadian general Romeo Dallaire will also be subject of a stand-alone event, Waiting for First Light: In Conversation with Roméo Dallaire on Nov. 16.

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