StoryFest Authors 2017

Monia Mazigh 

Author and Human Rights advocate, Monia Mazigh, immigrated from Tunisia to Canada in 1991, and has since been published in both French and English. Mazigh’s most recently published novel Hope has Two Daughters (Arachnide Editions, 2017) features a woman named Nadia and her escape from violence in her home country, as well as her journey immigrating to Canada. Mazigh’s other works include Du pain et du jasmine (Les Éditions L’Interligne, 2015), Mirrors and Mirages (Anansi, 2014 - English Version, Les Éditions L’Interligne, 2014 - Version Français), and Hope and Despair (Emblem Editions, 2009). Inspired by her husband, Maher Arar’s story, Monia Mazigh has been an active participant in fighting for human rights. 

Katherena Vermette

Writer, children’s author, and winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Award for English-language Poetry for her collection titled North End Love Songs (Muses' Company, 2012), Katherena Vermette, is a Métis writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Vermette grew up in a Métis community on the Treaty One Territory in Winnipeg, where she would later gain inspiration for her best known pieces, which focus on Métis culture. Her first, The Break (Atlantic Books, 2017), has received numerous awards including the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize in 2016, the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. In 2014, Vermette earned her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia. Today, Katherena Vermette lives with her family not far from the Red River. 

Daniel Levitin

Daniel Levitin is an award-winning scientist, musician, record producer, and author who has had three books make the #1 bestsellers list. Levitin’s most recent book is Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era (Penguin, 2017). Levitin both studied and taught at Stanford University, earning his B.A in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science. He also studied at Stanford Medical School, UC Berkeley and the University of Oregon. His best sellers include The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (Penguin, 2014). The World in Six Songs (Penguin, 2008), and This is Your Brain on Music (Penguin, 2006), which was translated into 19 different languages.

Mary Walsh 

Mary Walsh is an actress, comedian, social activist and writer from St. John’s Newfoundland. Walsh is best known for her role on the Canadian television series This Hour Has 22 Minutes and being a spokesperson for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). While Walsh’s earlier written works include dietary and lifestyle advice, she has more recently published her first novel Crying for the Moon (HarperCollins, 2017) which follows the story of a young woman from Newfoundland during the 1960’s, and the opening of Expo 67 in Montreal.

Ross King

Ross King is an art historian fiction and non-fiction writer who bases his works on the history of Italian, French, and Canadian art and architecture. King’s book Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies (Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2016) focuses on the dramatic history of Monet’s Water Lilies. Some of King’s other notable works include Leonardo and the Last Supper (Doubleday Canada, 2012)The Judgement of Paris (Doubleday Canada, 2006) for which he won the Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling (A R P I Books, 2003), and Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture (Walker, 2000)

Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill, author of ten books, is best known as a novelist as well as for his talents in the art of essay and memoir writing. Born in Ontario, Hill began his writing career in 2005 as a journalist when he wrote Is Africa’s Pain Black America’s Burden, which won a National Magazine Award. In 2007, Hill’s novel The Book of Negros (Harper Collins Canada, 2007) was published to great critical acclaim. Hill’s most recent novel, The Illegal (HarperCollins Canada 2015), tells the story of a runner named Keita Ali and his interaction as a refugee with the government. Today, Hill is working on writing a miniseries for his latest novel, and works as a creative writing professor at the University of Guelph. 

Ian Howarth

Freelance journalist, Ian Howarth, has recently published his first book Rock ’n’ Radio: When DJs and Rock Music ruled the Airwaves (Vehicule Press, 2017). After studying to become a teacher, Howarth worked at Loyola High School until 2001 when he retired to become a freelance journalist. Inspired by the days when DJs, British Invasion bands and alternative rock music were in the Top 40 of Canadian radio, Howarth wrote in his memoirs about the social change brought forth by the musical era, as well as his experiences interviewing those who took part in Montreal’s musical revolution.   

Douglas Gibson

Author of two novels, editor and publisher, Douglas Gibson started his career after graduating from Yale University as an editor, and later went on to be a publisher after winning the Presidents Medal from the Canadian Booksellers Association in 1991. Gibson’s latest book Across Canada by Story (EWC Press, 2015) is a memoir of his experience being a Canadian publisher as well as what it was like to work with some of Canada’s finest minds. Gibson is also well known for his piece Stories about Storytellers (ECW Press, 2011) which is also an autobiography, that discusses his role in the career of the famous Canadian author Alice Munro - the work also includes an introduction by Munro herself. 

Beth Powning

New Brunswick writer, essayist and journalist Beth Powning is the author of six works of literary non-fiction, and has just published her latest bestselling novel A Measure of Light (Knopf Canada, 2015). While Powning is a full-time writer, she also finds the time to teach workshops, visit schools, and participate in many extra activities and committees, such as singing in two choruses as well as gardening and photography. In 2010, Powning was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for High Achievement in English Literary Arts. Some of Powning’s other national bestsellers include The Sea Captain’s Wife (Penguin Group, 2010), The Hatbox Letters (St. Martin's Press, 2006) and Shadow Child (Carroll & Graf, 2000). 

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