We are officially halfway through the fall 2018 season of the Grimsby Author Series! Last Monday we welcomed award-winning and bestselling authors Joanna Goodman and Eden Robinson to the stage to speak about their latest works. It was lovely to gather with friends once again on this chilly fall evening to enjoy a delicious wine tasting from Cave Springs, and hear engaging talks from these wonderful fiction writers. A bright and crisp white and a spicy and fruity Gamay were on the menu, and after picking up a complimentary glass, we settled into our seats for another fantastic night.
It was Joanna Goodman‘s first time at the Grimsby Author Series, and we were thrilled that her inaugural experience was to speak about The Home for Unwanted Girls. This latest book has been making bestseller and book club lists across the country, and has been a favourite of Grimsby Library patrons. It is no wonder, as it is a beautifully crafted and powerful story that reveals a shocking and horrific moment in Canadian history that few people are aware of. Through the story of the fictional Elodie, we experience the outrageous human rights violations carried out by the Quebec government in the 1950’s at the hands of their premier, Maurice Duplessis. In a move that displayed an unimaginable kind of greed, he, along with the Catholic church, decided to re-brand the province’s orphanages as insane asylums in order to receive more money from the federal government. The treatment of the inmates that ensued after this decision was made went unchecked for years, and remains to this day relatively unacknowledged by the people responsible.
This book has shone a bright spotlight onto a story that no one was talking about, and has sparked a national conversation. At once a poignant history lesson, and heart wrenching tale of identities lost to a corrupt system, we were so privileged to have the author come to read a passage, and hear her speak about what drove her to write it.
We were so delighted to have Eden Robinson take the stage on Monday night to speak about the second book in her critically acclaimed Trickster series. The first book, Son of a Trickster, was short-listed for the Giller prize (along with her first novel Monkey Beach) and Eden is the winner of the Writers Trust Engel/Findley Award. How wonderful to have this accomplished and talented author come to Grimsby to share her work with us.
Trickster Drift continues the story of Jared, a teen with a whole world of problems; some completely common to someone his age… and some decidedly not. Dealing with drinking, smoking, drugs, getting your grades up and finding a job – totally relatable, right? Having a witch for a mother, a mythical creature for a father, and being accosted by supernatural forces on a daily basis… Not so much. In a story that is at once enchanting, magical, hilarious and provocative, we follow Jared as he attempts to regain control over his life. He soon discovers that when push comes to shove, the only way forward is to embrace who he is, and what he is going to become.
Eden’s characters are vivid, the way they speak and interact with each other is described with such powerful authenticity and wit that it brings them totally to life before the reader’s eyes. It was a treat to hear Eden read us an excerpt and hear the words spoken through the author’s voice. We can’t wait until the next book comes out, and hopefully see her back in Grimsby to hear that wonderful laugh of hers fill the room again.
After both talks were done, the authors answered questions from the audience, and stayed after the raffles were drawn to sign copies of their books for a long lineup of fans. We’d like to send out a huge thank you to both Joanna and Eden for attending the fall 2018 season with us!
Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items 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. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Malivoire Wine Company for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts. Shout out to Epic Books of Hamilton as well, who sold books by our featured authors, great to have you back for your second night with us!