FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMedia Contact: Amy Holmes 416.973.4395Harbourfront Reading Series' 30th Anniversary Year BeginsTORONTO, February 2, 2004---Now in its 30th year, the Harbourfront Reading Series is one of the oldest and most admired public reading programmes in the world. The Series is famous for bringing the most exciting Canadian and international writers to Toronto. Please find details below for our fabulous February events:Wednesday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m.: Elmore Leonard, reading and in conversation with Richard Crouse.Thursday, February 26 at 7 p.m.: Kenneth Oppel launches Airborn.***Wednesday, February 18, 2004, at 7:30 p.m.Elmore Leonard, reading from Mr. Paradise and in conversation with Richard CrouseElmore Leonard is the author of over forty novels including Be Cool, Get Shorty, Tishomingo Blues and Rum Punch. He lives and works in Detroit, Michigan, which is also the setting of his newest book. “America’s greatest crime writer” (Newsweek) will read from Mr. Paradise, his first Detroit homicide novel in more than twenty years. The dark tale features a pair of harlots, an 84 year-old retired lawyer, the University of Michigan’s Wolverines football team, a detective named Delsa and a safe-deposit box full of loot. “Brilliantly constructed, wise and tough, this book, like so many recent Leonards, offers a master class in how to write a novel” (Publishers Weekly).Following the reading, Richard Crouse will interview Elmore Leonard onstage. Richard is the host of Reel To Real on Rogers Television and the IFC; a regular on CBC Radio One’s Groove Shinny; and the author of five books on popular culture.LOCATION: The Brigantine Room at the York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West).TICKETS: $15 and $50 (latter includes a signed copy of Mr. Paradise); for members $10 and $45 (latter includes a signed copy of Mr. Paradise). For tickets and further information, the public can call 416.973.4000 or visit www.readings.org.***Thursday, February 26, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.Kenneth Oppel launches AirbornThe Harbourfront Reading Series and Mabel's Fables Bookstores present the launch of Kenneth Oppel's brilliant new novel Airborn.Oppel published his first novel for children at age 17. Now 32, he has published 21 books including Silverwing, Sunwing, and Firewing which sold over 800,000 copies worldwide and won numerous awards including the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award and children’s choice awards across the country. Oppel also won the 1995 Air Canada Award for best Canadian writer under 30. His other titles include Dead Water Zone, The Live-Forever Machine, Follow That Star and a picture book, Peg and the Whale. Oppel will read from Airborn, the first adventure in a brilliant new fantasy series set in an imaginary past where giant airships ruled the skies.LOCATION: The Brigantine Room at the York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West).TICKETS: $8, available at 416.973.4000 or www.readings.org; OR at Mabel's Fables (662 Mount Pleasant Road, 416.322.0438; 2939 Bloor Street West, 416.233.8830; or www.mabelsfables.com).-30-The Harbourfront Reading SeriesSince its inception in 1974, the weekly reading series has hosted more than 4,000 authors from 100 countries and thirteen Nobel laureates. The Harbourfront Reading Series gives Canadian authors an internationally recognized stage on which to present their work and brings the best of world literature to Canada. The annual International Festival of Authors (October 20 - 30, 2004) takes place over 11 days and has been the pinnacle event of the year-round Harbourfront Reading Series for twenty-five years.