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Media Contact: Amy Holmes

May at the Harbourfront Reading Series

TORONTO, April 26, 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.

A reminder that this Wednesday (April 28), we are proud to present an evening of poetry with Sue Goyette, Steven Heighton, Michael Holmes and Griffin Poetry Prize-nominated August Kleinzahler. For tickets and information (7:30 p.m. in the Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay West), the public can call 416.973.4000 or visit

Please find below full details for our fantastic May events including readings with David Albahari, Dave Bidini, Andrei Codrescu, Trevor Cole, Ramona Dearing, Lee Gowan, Jim Harrison, Nina Jäckle, James Kelman, Paul Quarrington, Merilyn Simonds, and Miriam Toews; hosted by Lisa Gabriele, Stephen Finucan and Ray Robertson. Read on!

Wednesday, May 5, 2004, at 7:30 p.m.
Ramona Dearing, Merilyn Simonds, Miriam Toews
Hosted by Lisa Gabriele

Ramona Dearing lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, and is the latest member of the longstanding (and increasingly famous) fiction collective The Burning Rock to publish a collection of short fiction. Dearing works for CBC Radio and “like the national broadcaster, So Beautiful’s 13 stories cover the country from Newfoundland and Labrador to Vancouver” (Quill & Quire). Dearing’s poems and short stories have appeared in The Malahat Review, Grain and Prairie Fire, as well as in Oberon's Best Canadian Stories (1997, 1998, and 2001) and Coming Attractions.

Merilyn Simonds was born in Winnipeg and spent her childhood in Brazil. Her previous books include the internationally acclaimed The Lion in the Room Next Door and The Convict Lover, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. The Convict Lover premiered as a stage play at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille in 1998. Simonds reads from The Holding, “A mesmerizing novel of parallel lives lived on the edge of wilderness” (Esta Spalding).

Miriam Toews is the author of two previous novels; Summer of My Amazing Luck and A Boy of Good Breeding and one work of non-fiction, Swing Low: A Life. She has been nominated for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal and is a two time winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. She has written for CBC, This American Life (NPR), Saturday Night, Geist, Canadian Geographic, Open Letters and The New York Times Magazine, and has won the National Magazine Award Gold Medal for Humour. Toews reads from her highly anticipated third novel, A Complicated Kindness.

Lisa Gabriele is the host for this event. She is an award-winning television director and the author of Tempting Faith Di Napoli, published by Doubleday Canada and internationally. She lives in Toronto where she is currently at work on her second novel

LOCATION: The Brigantine Room at the York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West).

TICKETS: $8 or free for members, available at 416.973.4000 or


Wednesday, May 12, 2004, at 7:30 p.m.
David Albahari and James Kelman
Hosted by Stephen Finucan

David Albahari, a writer and translator from Yugoslavia, moved to Canada in 1994. He has published seven collections of short stories and seven novels in Serbian, and his books have been translated into fourteen languages. Opis smrti (Description of Death) won the Ivo Andric Award for the best collection of short stories in Yugoslavia in 1982, and his novel Mamac (The Bait), won the NIN Award for the best novel in Yugoslavia in 1996. He will read from his new novel, Götz and Meyer, a chilling account of two men and their systematic extermination of Serbian Jews during the summer of 1942.

James Kelman “is one of the new, true masters of millennial English” (Russell Banks). He is the celebrated author of a number of novels and collections of short stories, including Translated Accounts, Greyhound for Breakfast, A Disaffection, and How Late It Was, How Late, which won the Booker Prize in 1994. “No other writer gives or has given the working class its own say on its own terms with such creative empathy as Kelman” (Boston Globe). He reads from You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free, a new novel.

Hosting this event is Stephen Finucan, the author of Foreigners, a celebrated collection of short stories. He is also a creative writing instructor with the University of Toronto and a frequent contributor to The Toronto Star’s book pages.

LOCATION: The Brigantine Room at the York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West).

TICKETS: $8 or free for members, available at 416.973.4000 or


Wednesday, May 19, 2004, at 7:30 p.m.
Dave Bidini, Lee Gowan, Paul Quarrington
Hosted by Lisa Gabriele

Dave Bidini is “a gifted’s his own stories that steal the show” (Toronto Star). He is the rhythm guitarist for the Rheostatics and the author of On a Cold Road and Tropic of Hockey, which has been declared “one of the best books on the game this country has seen since Ken Dryden’s The Game”(National Post). Bidini has adapted Tropic of Hockey for television as Hockey Nomad. Bidini reads from his highly anticipated new book, Baseballissimo: My Summer in the Italian Minor Leagues, in which he trades Toronto and his beloved hockey stick for a baseball bat and a summer in Italy.

Lee Gowan grew up on a farm near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. He is the author of Going to Cuba, a collection of short stories, and the novel Make Believe Love, which was nominated for the Trillium Award. His first screenplay, Paris or Somewhere, won three screenwriting awards and was nominated for a Gemini. Gowan’s new novel, The Last Cowboy, is a modern western; a humourous and harrowing novel which returns to the epic skies and straight roads of Broken Head, Saskatchewan. Gowan currently directs the creative writing program at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto.

Paul Quarrington is an accomplished musician, filmmaker, playwright, non-fiction writer and award-winning screenwriter as well as the author of eight novels, including The Spirit Cabinet, Home Game, The Life of Hope, Civilization and most recently Galveston. He won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for Whale Music and the Stephen Leacock Medal for King Leary. Whale Music was later adapted as a critically acclaimed film. “No one gives humanity to life’s oddballs as well and as sensitively as Paul Quarrington”(Roddy Doyle).

Lisa Gabriele is the host for this event. She is an award-winning television director and the author of Tempting Faith Di Napoli, published by Doubleday Canada and internationally. She lives in Toronto where she is currently at work on her second novel.

LOCATION: The Brigantine Room at the York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West).

TICKETS: $8 or free for members, available at 416.973.4000 or


Wednesday, May 26, 2004, at 7:30 p.m. ***in the Premiere Dance Theatre
Andrei Codrescu, Trevor Cole, Jim Harrison, Nina Jäckle
Hosted by Ray Robertson

“No one—and I mean no one—is more deeply in touch with the zeitgeist of this obsessive, lunatic age than Andrei Codrescu”(Robert Olen Butler). Louisiana-based Codrescu’s commentaries can be heard on NPR; his travel film, Road Scholar, has won a Peabody Award; his Web journal, Exquisite Corpse, has a highly devoted following; and his books include poetry, travelogues and the bestselling novels The Blood Countess and Messiah. His new novel, Wakefield, “zig-zags on wheels of comic brilliance, totally flattening a lot of useless architecture—physical and psychological—along the way” (Tom Robbins).

Trevor Cole is an award-winning journalist who contributes to major Canadian magazines. His darkly funny, debut novel about an out-of-work actor whose life has caught up with him, Norman Bray in the Performance of his Life, has been published to spectacular acclaim. The main character, Norman Bray, “is a character you cannot forget and you thank god he doesn’t live next door” (Paul Quarrington). “It’s no mean create a horror like Norman Bray and to keep us giggling, happily turning the pages” (Globe and Mail).

Jim Harrison “has quietly established one of the deeper canons in modern American letters” (Denver Post). He is the award-winning author of a bestselling memoir, Off to the Side; four volumes of novellas including Legends of the Fall which was made into a major motion picture; seven poetry collections including most recently Braided Creek, with Ted Kooser; two works of non-fiction; and seven novels including The Road Home, Wolf, A Good Day to Die and most recently, True North. “Reading Jim Harrison is about as close as one can come in contemporary fiction to experiencing the abundant pleasures of living” (Boston Globe).

“Nina Jäckle is a discovery!” (Literaturen magazine) and makes her Canadian debut at this event. Born in 1966 and living in Berlin, Jäckle has published several radio plays and stories as well as two books. Her first short story collection Es Gibt Solche (There are those) was declared an “amazing debut, breathtaking and precise, without a trace of sentimentality” (Frankfurter Allgemaine Zetung) and her first novel, Noll, is being published in spring 2004. Among many awards, she received the 1996 Hamburg Literature Prize and she will be reading from three newly-translated stories.

Ray Robertson is the host for this event. He is the author of the novels Home Movies, Heroes, and Moody Food which was voted a Best Book of 2002 by both the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun. Robertson recently published a collection of non-fiction, Mental Hygiene: Essays on Writers and Writing. He is also a regular book reviewer for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, appears regularly on TVO’s Imprint and CBC’s Talking Books, and teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Toronto.

LOCATION: Premiere Dance Theatre, third floor of Queens Quay Terminal (207 Queens Quay West).

TICKETS: $8 or free for members, available at 416.973.4000 or


The Harbourfront Reading Series
Since 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.
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