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Media Contact: Amy Holmes

Barbara Hodgson In Toronto

TORONTO, June 17, 2004---An update that Barbara Hodgson is available for media interviews on June 23, prior to her event at the Harbourfront Reading Series. To book an interview or to request review copies or media passes, please contact Amy Holmes at 416.973.4395.

Barbara Hodgson reads at the Harbourfront Reading Series on June 23, 2004, at 7:30 p.m. with Lionel Shriver and Ann Vanderhoof. She is a Vancouver-based writer, photographer, and designer. Her acclaimed illustrated novels include The Tattooed Map, The Sensualist, and Hippolyte's Island; books that are brought to life by an amazing array of archival photographs, antique postcards, and rare engravings.

In addition to these works she has collaborated with Karen Elizabeth Gordon and Nick Bantock on Paris Out of Hand, a fictional guidebook. Hodgson is an inveterate traveller and collector with a chronic case of wanderlust. Her non-fiction work includes Opium: Portrait of Heavenly Demon, In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine and Patent Medicines and No Place For a Lady: Tales of Adventurous Women Travellers. Hodgson reads from her new work, The Lives of Shadows (Chronicle Books), a groundbreaking blend of text, ephemera, maps, antique books and mysterious handwritten notations. “Hodgson, using her talents as both a writer and artist, once again displays her gift for bringing charmingly idiosyncratic characters to life” (Publishers Weekly).

Interweaving poetic prose and evocative colour illustration, Hodgson tells the story of an Englishman, Julian, who is transfixed by a beautiful house he has inherited. When threatened with its loss, he struggles to unravel the history of his beloved home and his deep connection to it. All the while, a strangely protective being hovers in the shadows, confounding Julian's attempts to hold onto both his house and his grip on reality.

I'd stumbled across the house during my graduation trip through Egypt and Syria, which I suppose could have been called a watered-down, 1914 version of the Grand Tour. While on this trip I'd discovered---to my shame---that outwardly I was the same as all other young travellers I encountered...But by the time I'd sailed across the Sinai to Petra, and ridden with a certain caravan into Damascus, I knew my love for the East was different from the others', even though I followed their well-trodden path. I belonged to this part of the world. I felt it with every nerve, every instinct. Any attempt to live elsewhere would have been a sham.

---From The Lives of Shadows: An Illustrated Novel

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