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For immediate release
IFOA preliminary lineup includes Margaret Atwood, Linwood Barclay, John Irving,
Anne Murray, Audrey Niffenegger, Eoin Colfer
IFOA XXX: October 21–31, 2009

TORONTO, June 22, 2009 ----- Authors at Harbourfront Centre is delighted to announce the preliminary lineup for the 30th annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA). For the last 11 days in October, the most exciting authors writing today come from Canada and around the world to take part in readings, panel discussions, onstage interviews, book signings and a host of other events. In 2009, IFOA celebrates its 30th edition with the moniker IFOA XXX, and affords audiences more opportunities than ever to meet their favourite authors and encounter new voices. IFOA takes place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, October 21–31, 2009. Tickets to four IFOA special events go on sale today.

“IFOA just gets better and better” - Jane Urquhart

On IFOA opening night, PEN Canada presents TOO MUCH HAPPINESS! Diana Athill in conversation with Alice Munro. Hosted by Bill Richardson.” At this unique event, AliceMunro, the globally celebrated winner of the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, appears in conversation with Diana Athill, UK publishing legend and author of Stet and Somewhere Towards the End. Munro is launching her new collection, Too Much Happiness, and this will be her only onstage interview this fall. Athill, making her first Canadian appearance, will be launching Life Class, a collection of four of her memoirs. CBC personality Bill Richardson leads the discussion, which is followed by a book signing. Proceeds go to PEN Canada to support their ongoing and vital work for freedom of expression ( Tickets are on sale now at

IFOA presents authors writing in categories from literary fiction to picture books, narrative non-fiction to graphic novels, poetry to thrillers. Fifty-two authors are confirmed thus far, including: a Canadian canon of Margaret Atwood, Barry Callaghan, Anne Michaels, Lisa Moore, Miriam Toews, Daniel Poliquin, Leon Rooke and Jane Urquhart; new novels from heavy hitters John Irving, Nicholson Baker, Debra Adelaide, Denise Mina, Tash Aw, Paul Theroux, Sarah Waters and Audrey Niffenegger; poetry from Kyle Buckley, Paul Durcan and Jacob McArthur Mooney; crime fiction from Linwood Barclay and John Brady; non-fiction from Hal Niedzviecki and Charles Taylor Prize-winner Tim Cook; and a memoir from beloved international recording star Anne Murray. For sci-fi fans, Eoin Colfer presents the 6th installment in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.

Also confirmed to appear at IFOA XXX are: Sherman Alexie • John Bemrose • Diana Fitzgerald Bryden • Bonnie Burnard • Dani Couture • Michael Crummey • Anne DeGrace • Margaret Elphinstone • Robert Girardi • Jason Guriel • Jennica Harper • Jim Lynch • Linden MacIntyre • Jean McNeil • James W. Nichol • Kate Pullinger • Boualem Sansal • Ingo Schulze • Olive Senior • Meaghan Strimas • Adam Thorpe • Michael Turner • Alexis Wright. Biographical information is available at

As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, IFOA XXX provides the public with more opportunities than ever to join the party and interact with their favourite authors. New programming initiatives include late-night events combining traditional readings with a party atmosphere. Specific details to be announced.

Now in its 6th year, YoungIFOA (October 27, 29, 30) returns with three “book days,” each tailored to a specific age group from grades K to 8. Schools can build their trip to YoungIFOA with a combination of author events and book-making workshops. For Better of for Worse® cartoonist Lynn Johnston is already confirmed for Primary Day (K–2).

In addition to the opening night PEN Canada benefit special events include readings by the authors nominated for Canada’s three leading literary fiction awards: the Governor General’s Literary Award (Oct. 26), the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (Oct. 28), and, on IFOA closing night, the Scotiabank Giller Prize (Oct. 31), along with the awarding of the $10,000 Harbourfront Festival Prize.

For IFOA XXX the Festival continues its expansion into Ontario with events in Barrie, Midland, Uxbridge and Orillia added to the existing IFOA Burlington, Hamilton and Parry Sound. These satellite events take IFOA authors on the road to connect with audiences beyond downtown Toronto. IFOA Ontario takes place on throughout the Festival; specific dates to be announced.

For more information about IFOA and for programming updates throughout the summer, the public may visit or call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000. Tickets go on sale in September and are priced at $15/$12 for members/Free for students (subject to availability). Some exceptions apply. Please refer to individual event listings.

Tickets to four IFOA special events are now on sale:
Oct. 21 – PEN Benefit with Alice Munro and Diana Athill: $100
Ticket includes admission to a cocktail and hors d’ouevres reception before the onstage event.
Oct. 26 – Governor General’s Literary Award shortlist readings: $25/$20 members
Oct. 28 – Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize shortlist readings: $15/$12 members
Oct. 31 – Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist readings/Harbourfront Festival Prize presentation: $25/$20 members


Since its inception in 1974, Authors at Harbourfront Centre has hosted over 5,000 authors from more than 100 countries, including 16 Nobel Laureates. Its season runs from September to June and includes the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 21–31, 2009), including YoungIFOA (October 27, 29 & 30, 2009); the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers (May 2010); and Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 2010).

Becky Toyne:; 416-973-5836
Lindsay Gulin:; 416-973-4395

Follow IFOA on Twitter: @IFOA
Join IFOA on Facebook: IFOA: International Festival of Authors
Visit IFOA online:
The IFOA media site goes live in September 2009

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