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For immediate release


TORONTO, June 23, 2008 ------- International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH) is delighted to announce the preliminary lineup for the 29th annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA29). On October 22, 2008, the literary extravaganza begins! IFOA encompasses eleven days of readings, interviews, thought-provoking round tables, fun “book days” for kids, and chances to meet the most inspiring and talked-about authors on today’s literary scene.

“Harbourfront Centre’s IFOA is the most important showcase for international
writing in North America” Colm Tóibín

Sixty-four authors from 13 countries are already confirmed to participate in this year’s Festival, though the eventual tally of authors is set to top 100. The IFOA lineup includes Canadian heavyweights David Bergen, Joseph Boyden, Austin Clarke, Rawi Hage and Farley Mowat; non-fiction from R.F. Foster, Simon Montefiore and Frank Westerman; debut fiction from Joe Dunthorne, Lauren Groff, Ross Raisin and Nathan Whitlock; poetry from Paul Durcan and Harry Clifton; a graphic novel from Lynda Barry; and eagerly-anticipated new work from Damon Galgut, Hari Kunzru, Dennis Lehane, Paul Quarrington, Peter Robinson and Meg Wolitzer. Former Harbourfront Festival Prize-winner Josef Škvorecký appears at IFOA 30 years after his first reading at Harbourfront in September 1978 (two years before IFOA was born).

Added to the already announced focus on Irish authors, headed up by Colm Tóibín, are Dermot Bolger, John Brady, Emma Donoghue, Eugene McCabe, and David Park – in addition to Foster and Durcan, mentioned above.

Special IFOA events this year include the opening night PEN Canada Benefit (October 22), readings by the authors shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award (October 27), and Scotiabank Giller Prize (on closing night, November 1). Also on closing night: the awarding of the $10,000 Harbourfront Festival Prize – this year selected by a jury of Geoffrey E. Taylor (Director, IFOA), Vit Wagner (Publishing Reporter, Toronto Star), and Ben McNally (Ben McNally Books).

YoungIFOA (October 28, 30, 31) this year takes the form of three “book days,” each tailored to a specific age group from Grades K to 9. A trip to YoungIFOA includes a full-day of book-themed fun: one author event, plus an age-appropriate book-making workshop. Four out of six authors are confirmed: Cornelia Funke (G 7 ), C.C. Humphreys (G 7 ), Patti McIntosh (G 4–6) and Andy Stanton (G K–3).

Other authors confirmed are: Nadeem Aslam Stéphane Audeguy Deborah Baker David Benioff Mark Billingham Amanda Boyden John Brady Breyten Breytenbach Junot Díaz Emma Donoghue David Ebershoff Leif Enger Anne Enright Karen Fastrup Bill Gaston Amitav Ghosh Victoria Glendinning Linda Grant Aleksander Hemon C.C. Humphreys Helen Humphreys Chip Kidd Amara Lakhous Patrick Lane Nam Le Patrick McGrath Andrew Miller Donna Morrissey Louise Penny Richard Price Nathaniel Rich Richard Russo Gillian Slovo Tom Rob Smith Leonie Swann Don Thompson.

For more information about IFOA and the participating authors, and for programming updates throughout the summer, the public may visit or call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416.973.4760.

Tickets go on sale in August and are priced at $15/$12 members/Free students (some exceptions apply – see individual listings when programming is announced).


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 28, 30, 31, 2008); the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers (May 4–6, 2009); and Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 13–14, 2009).


Becky Toyne: 416.973.5836

Lindsay Gulin: 416.973.4395

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