Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blue Met's 2013 Grand Prize Winner is Irish Writer Colm Tóibín

Our Grand Prize winner for 2013 is Irish writer Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn and The Master. Tóibín is one of those writers I've been reading since I was quite young (I was so happy when the jury came back with their decision) and a few of his books are some of my favorites: The Master, which explores the inner life of Henry James and was a revelation, not only in terms of James' own work and life, but in the way one thinks about the public personal vs. the private man.

Blue Metropolis 2013 Grand Prize Winner
I also am a huge fan of The Blackwater Lightship which tells the story of a young woman who must come to terms with her alienated family life as her brother returns home after many years away, dying from AIDS. It's one of the few books I've read which I can recall tearing up while reading, so affected by its emotional core.

I also really liked Story of the Night which is set in Argentina of the 1980s, so much happening under the surface politically, socially, sexually.

Tóibín has written a few books the last few years and our Festival will give him a great chance to talk about these works with our audience.

Tóibín will take part in a few events at the Festival, most notably the Grand Prize Award Ceremony and interview by Eleanor Wachtel. This will be on stage at the Grand Bibliotheque on Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 pm (get tickets early because last year's show with Joyce Carol Oates was amazing - funny, moving and intelligent - and it sold out quickly!).

Writers and Company host, Eleanor Wachtel
Tóibín will also be part of a round-table discussion called Mothers Who Leave, a discussion about several recent books with missing mothers, missing wives. This will be with Montreal writer Nancy Richler (The Imposter Bride) and Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg (The Jewish Messiah). This event, hosted by Shelley Pomerance, takes place on Saturday, April 27 at 2pm.

This year's Blue Met Festival is centered at Hotel 10, 10 Sherbrooke Street West in Montreal and runs from April 22 - 28 with over 200 writers from 15 countries! Ticket information available at bluemetropolis.org/home/Festival

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