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IRAH MARCHES ON WITH SUPERLATIVE LINE-UP OF AUTHORS

Jeffrey Archer, Antonio Skármeta and Daphne Marlatt among world-class authors reading at International Readings at Harbourfront in March

Toronto, February 21, 2008 ---- In what promises to be an outstanding month, International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH) is thrilled to welcome Jeffrey Archer for his only event in Canada to read from his eagerly awaited new thriller. Also in March, IRAH is proud to showcase a number of writers making their authorial debut – the U.S.A.’s Alan Drew, and Canada’s Beverley Stone and Nicolas Dickner – as well as three authors whose work is presented in English translation: Quebec’s Dickner (above), world-renowned Chilean author of The Postman Antonio Skármeta, and Angolan author and documentary-maker Ondjaki. And in an addition to IRAH’s line-up for February, Elizabeth Abbott reads from her exposé of the sweet stuff, Sugar: A Bittersweet History, on February 27. Readings take place on Wednesdays and select other evenings at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.

On March 5, three Canadian authors take the stage – two of them presenting debut novels. Nicolas Dickner reads from Nikolski. A bestseller when it was published in French in 2005, it appears now in English in a translation by Lazer Lederhendler (Gaétan Soucy’s The Immaculate Conception). Dickner has been selected as a Knopf Canada “New Face of Fiction” author for 2008. He is joined by Maureen Jennings, who reads from her new murder mystery, The K Handshape – a story about the politically motivated murder of a young deaf woman, it is Jennings’ second novel featuring Christine Morris – and Newfoundlander Beverley Stone, who presents her debut novel, No Beautiful Shore. A coming-of-age story reminiscent of Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness, No Beautiful Shore offers a timely exploration of the desire of the younger generation to leave rural Canada behind in favour of the big city. Host James Grainger (Canada) is a books columnist for the Toronto Star, and the author of the short story collection The Long Slide.

On March 12, Alan Drew (U.S.A.), a former high-school teacher in Istanbul, reads from his debut novel, Gardens of Water, which follows the fortunes of a Kurdish family in a small Turkish town. Internationally acclaimed author of The Postman Antonio Skármeta (Chile) reads from the English translation of his new novel, The Dancer and the Thief, a story of politics, ballet, and a spectacular heist by a reluctant master thief and his eager young protégé. Ondjaki (Angola) reads from Stephen Henighan’s translation of his novel Good Morning Comrades, the story of a group of friends in Angola in 1990 who, in a revolutionary socialist country fighting a bitter war, try to create a perfect childhood that cannot last. This event takes place in the Lakeside Terrace, York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West.

On Thursday March 20, IRAH presents blockbuster author Jeffrey Archer (U.K.), of whom Larry King said: “There isn’t a better storyteller alive.” Archer’s books have sold in excess of 135 million copies worldwide. He reads from his highly charged new thriller, A Prisoner of Birth. Touted as his best novel since the international smash Kane and Abel, it is the story of a man framed for murder who refuses to go down quietly. Archer will be interviewed by the CBC’s Carol Off, co-host of As it Happens and author of several books, including Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet. This event takes place in the Premiere Dance Theatre, Queens Quay Terminal, 207 Queens Quay West.

On Wednesday March 26, founder and current Dean of Humber College’s School for Writers Joseph Kertes (Canada/Hungary) reads from his new novel, Gratitude, a powerful portrait of the Jewish-Hungarian Holocaust experience at the end of World War II. Novelist and poet Daphne Marlatt reads from The Given, a haunting and multi-layered long poem set in 1950s and present-day Vancouver, about the traces we leave on the lives of others when we are gone. Manil Suri’s (India) The Death of Vishnu was a finalist for the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award. Suri, a mathematics professor at the University of Baltimore County, presents the The Age of Shiva, at once a powerful story of a country in turmoil, and an extraordinary portrait of the devastating conflicts of a woman’s heart.

Readings take place in the Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, at 7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted). Tickets, now on sale, are $8 to the general public, free for members and students (with valid ID). IRAH is also pleased to offer a 50% discount to members of the following organisations: Writers’ Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and the Playwrights Guild of Canada.
For more information and to purchase tickets, the public may visit www.readings.org or call the Harbourfront Centre box office at 416.973.4000.

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Since its inception in 1974, International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH) has hosted more than 5,000 authors from 100 countries, including fifteen Nobel Laureates. Our season includes the weekly International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH); the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 22–November 1, 2008), including YoungIFOA (October 29–31, 2008); the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers (2009 dates TBC); and A Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees (May 21–22, 2008).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Becky Toyne: IRAHmedia@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416.973.5836
Lindsay Gulin: lRAHmedia@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416.973.4395


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