Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

smurakami's blog

Booksellers are Holiday Heroes: Peter Birkemoe, The Beguiling/Little Island Comics

Toronto loves comics.

Booksellers are Holiday Heroes: Alex Denike, Another Story Bookshop

As part of my work here at OBT, I've been scooting around the city talking to booksellers at Toronto's independent bookstores to get the lowdown on the good, the bad, and the frantic, jingly excitement of the holidays. Chances are that you will have to go out into the retail wild this month. Wouldn't you rather step in a bookstore?

The first bookseller I spoke for this series is Alex Denike of Another Story Bookshop!

Literary Holiday Parties: Surani, Toane, Winger

You're having a holiday party, and can invite any number of literary figures, living, dead, or fictional - who's invited, and why?

I've asked literary figures near and far the answer to this question. Poets seem to have been eager to reply, so here are three answers from three more lovely poets!

 

Moez Surani

Booksellers are Holiday Heroes: Introduction

If the word Christmas evokes for you only images of silent snowdrifts, twinkly lights, plates of sugar-dusted cookies and crackling fires, friends and families gathered around the hearth with drowsy, placid smiles, you clearly have never worked in retail.

My father owned a small business when I was growing up that specialized in selling car audio equipment to car-loving suburbanites. Christmas meant a tense and hushed month of twelve-hour shifts, foul tempers, and Hungry Man dinners. Christmas day was the day-before-Boxing-Day. We alleviated stress with mountains of shortbread and Die Hard 2. December 27 was when the holidays really started – until someone invented Boxing Week.

Literary Holiday Parties: Gary Barwin

You're having a holiday party, and can invite any number of literary figures, living, dead, or fictional - who's invited, and why?
 
Here and in the coming weeks, I'll post the many answers I received to this question!
 
Today's space is occupied entirely by the loveably verbose Gary Barwin.
 

Since this is the best kind of holiday, the imaginary kind, and time and space are illusory (I’ve had apartments like that), the thought occurred to me – ok, as most good entertaining ideas do,

Literary Holiday Parties: Scheier, rawlings, Richardson

You're having a holiday party, and can invite any number of literary figures, living, dead, or fictional - who's invited, and why?
 
Here and in the coming weeks, I'll post the many answers I received to this question!
 
Jacob Scheier
 
I would invite a combination of writers whose work I admire, and whose personalities seem, based on biographical information and their work, really fascinating.

Literary Holiday Parties

December is a month of gatherings: of office parties and hangovers laced with the dull thud of regret; of family reunions with drunken uncles mollified by carb- and turkey-induced drowsiness; of doorbells ringing, and leftover, hoarded stuffing, and sitting around tables and hearths and Starbuckses with loved ones and relations and frenemies.  

All this gathering takes a lot of planning. I’ve been doing some planning of my own, and asking writers, and editors and publishing types this question:

You’re having an imaginary literary holiday dinner, and can invite any - and as many as you like - living, dead, fictional, literary figures. Who do you invite, and why?

Welcome, welcome

It's my first post as OBT's Writer in Residence, and my first day back in Toronto after a week in Costa Rica. My partner Tim just kissed me goodbye as he left for work, and so begins my first moments alone after seven days of constant companionship.

But it's December, the month of lasts, not firsts: of conclusions, finality, and quiet reflection. It's a month of travelling, and particularly in our wide, ungainly country, a month of sitting around in airports. It's also the month of last-minute shopping.

So: lasts, air travel, and the holidays will be the themes of my residency here at OBT.

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