This past Monday we kicked off the 18th annual Grimsby Author Series! We were delighted to launch our highly anticipated Fall 2019 season with authors Charlotte Gray and Emma Donoghue. It was so exciting to see another full house out for a fantastic night of books, wine and great conversation. Reflecting on the nearly two decades we have been running the Series, it’s great to see how the number of attendees has increased since the early days at Grimsby’s old pump house. From its beginning, sponsor Sue Tallman remembers “how cozy and intimate it was. There was only a handful of us then.” 18 years later, the series has grown with care and commitment resulting in 250 tickets purchased this last season within 48-hours for another sold out program. “I need to stop telling people—I can’t save anymore seats!” says Rita Cipriani who, along with her partner Tony, attended the evening in a group with over a dozen guests.
Many of those who come to the Author Series stumbled upon it by chance while checking out books at the Grimsby Public Library. Jane Scholer, who has been a faithful supporter of the series for five years made the discovery in just that manner. “This event has changed the way I read, I now ask questions as I read a book that I never would have thought to ask before,” says Scholer. Each guest has their own agenda for why they attend the Grimsby Author Series, and we are so grateful to our community. Without the never-ending demand, the Series would not be the colossal success that it is today, with all funds supporting programming, collections, services and special events of the Grimsby Public Library.
Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s most-loved writers of history. Along with her talent of delving into the past, Gray has honed the practice of merging genres to fulfill the audience’s demand of historical murder mystery. In doing so, her research and tenacity has successfully incorporated women back into Canada’s history. In her newly released work of non-fiction, Murdered Midas, Gray dives into Canada’s mining past while painting the menacing landscape upon which the murder of Sir Harry Oakes takes place. With only four sentences of archival material containing the voice of Oakes, Gray relied on multiple former research outlets and historians to capture a glimpse of her main character and develop him though other people’s perceptions.
When facing questions from the audience regarding the shady past of Sir Harry Oakes, Gray does not waver in her ability to present historical accuracy; the satisfaction of the audience accomplished. The Grimsby Author Series is proud to have finally welcomed Charlotte Gray upon the launch of her most recent book.
September 2016, Emma Donoghue attended the Grimsby Author Series with her novel The Wonder. We are ecstatic to welcome her back three years later with her new release, Akin. Although, as she blatantly admits, she might only be back for one of the Series’ signature handmade mugs… Either way, we are honoured to bask as she speaks with an engaging cadence. Donoghue, eager to educate in all facets of her life, brings together two unlikely characters as they learn to bridge their generational gap. Noah Selvaggio, an 80-year-old widower, and Michael, his 11-year-old great nephew must come together as they maneuver through arduous family discoveries. Donoghue herself concedes that Noah derives from her own aged soul, possibly with a few more naps.
Donoghue colourfully illustrates each character and demonstrates why the movie made from her novel Room was awarded Best Motion Picture in 2016, and why in the Spring of 2020 it will also make its way to the Canadian stage as a theatrical production.
Thank you to Charlotte Gray and Emma Donoghue for sharing their phenomenal work with us and remaining afterwards to sign copies. Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included outstanding donations from our sponsors Cole’s Florists, Objects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped Tea, Elipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art Shoppe, Theatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Thank you to all of these contributors along with The Peanut Mill, and Monique Mulder-Wallace Pottery for providing our guest speakers with their lovely gifts, as well as our wine sponsors for the evening, Malivoire Wine Company. Last but not least, a huge thank you to Epic Books of Hamilton for coming to sell books!
This post was written and the photos were taken by the Grimsby Author Series new volunteer blogger Teanne Teeft. Thanks for all your hard work and welcome to the GAS family!