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For Immediate Release

32nd ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS BEGINS TODAY

TORONTO, October 19, 2011 ---- The 32nd annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) returns with more than 70 events beginning today, October 19, and running until October 30. Featuring more than 190 participants from around the world, the IFOA is excited to announce further additions to its incomparable programme.

The IFOA congratulates those authors recently shortlisted for Canada’s top three fiction awards: Governor General’s Literary Award for English Fiction, Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and Scotiabank Giller Prize. An annual fixture of the Festival, the IFOA presents the following individuals who are shortlisted this year in events celebrating their nominations:

Governor General’s Literary Award for English Fiction Finalists Event (October 24):
David Bezmozgis (The Free World), Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers), Esi Edugyan (Half Blood Blues), Marina Endicott (The Little Shadows), Alexi Zentner (Touch)

NOTE: In Patrick deWitt’s and Esi Edugyan’s absence, an individual will read from each of their nominated works on their behalf.

Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalists Event (October 26):
Clark Blaise (The Meagre Tarmac), Michael Christie (The Beggar’s Garden), Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers), Esi Edugyan (Half Blood Blues), Dan Vyleta (The Quiet Twin)

NOTE: In Esi Edugyan’s absence, an individual will read from her nominated work on her behalf.

Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists Event (October 29):
David Bezmozgis (The Free World), Lynn Coady (The Antagonist), Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers), Esi Edugyan (Half Blood Blues), Zsuzsi Gartner (Better Living Through Plastic Explosives), Michael Ondaatje (The Cat’s Table)

The PEN Canada Benefit starts the Festival off on October 19 in the Brigantine Room. Designer and innovator Bruce Mau, known and celebrated around the world for his transformative ideas that have reinterpreted contemporary culture, reveals himself and his work in images and conversation. The CBC’s Mary Hynes hosts. All proceeds from the event go to PEN Canada. An empty chair on stage at every IFOA event appears in recognition of a writer currently in exile for his or her beliefs. This year PEN recognizes Iranian journalist and human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, currently imprisoned for her work and beliefs. This event is also part of the Festival’s McLuhan 100: Past, Present & Future, in honour of the 100th birthday of media theorist Marshall McLuhan, which is one of four events taking place under the McLuhan theme.

Unique to this year’s Festival is a partnership with the Koffler Centre of the Arts, Canada’s only multidisciplinary, contemporary Jewish cultural institution presenting programs and exhibitions across the GTA with the goal of fostering mutual understanding and reaching diverse audiences. The Koffler joins together with the IFOA to host a full day of conversations with top Jewish authors from around the world with a special focus on new books exploring Russian Jewish stories as well as new works in translation as part of Koffler at the IFOA on October 23.

The IFOA is also celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Governor General’s Literary Awards with not only the finalists reading on October 24, but a Canadian Translation event on October 23 and an exhibit showcasing the winners of the Governor General's Literary Award Children's Literature (illustration) in both English and French from 1987 to 2010. This slideshow will be on display for the duration of the Festival in the York Quay Centre.

Events take place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre: 207 & 235 Queens Quay West. Tickets to most events are $18/$15 members and free for students and youth 25 years and under with valid ID (subject to availability). Some exceptions apply; please refer to individual event listings.

To purchase tickets and for more information on the IFOA’s special programming focus, Found in Translation, the public may call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000 or visit readings.org. For information on IFOA’s touring programme, IFOA Ontario, visit litontour.com

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About IFOA:
Each October, the IFOA presents a wide range of readings, round table discussions, onstage interviews, book signings and a number of special events featuring the most exciting authors in contemporary literature. Administered by Authors at Harbourfront Centre, this year’s 32nd annual IFOA takes place from October 19 to 30, 2011.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jennifer Asselin: jasselin@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416-973-4395
Laura Gergley: lgergley@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416-973-5836
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