Friday, April 11, 2014

Blue Met 2014: Not to miss events!

Here are a few not to be missed events as part of Blue Met 2014: sales are moving briskly along one week after our official press conference.Yes, some events are already sold out! But before we announce those, here are a few events that are selling well and will certainly sell out in the next week or so.

Luis Alberto Urrea: the winner of our 2014 Metropolis Azul prize will appear on-stage at the Grand Bibliotheque, 475 De Maisonneuve East on Saturday, May 2 at 6:00 pm. CBC's Writers & Company's Eleanor Wachtel, discussing Urrea's award-winning novel, Queen of America, and his non-fiction which explores the fraught & highly complex relationship between Mexico and the United States.

Urrea's book, Queen of America, is fascinating. Set in Mexico and US of the late 19th century, Urrea tells the tale of a young woman with one foot in the mystical world ("the most dangerous woman in Mexico," she is reputed to be) who sets out on a dangerous journey (avoiding would-be captors and murderers) to define who she is.

A highly lyrical writer, Urrea is an original voice though one can certainly hear vestiges of classic Latin writers in his approach, straddling as he does the world of the rational with the world of the mystical. This event will definitely sell out so don't hesitate! Tickets are $15 (and there are still a few days left to take advantage of the reduced rate promotion!)

Get your tickets to see Luis Alberto Urrea and Eleanor Wachtel here.

Carolina De Robertis will talk to Shelley Pomerance on Friday, May 2 at 7:00 pm at Hotel 10, 10 Sherbrooke Street West. De Robertis is a writer who has written two amazing novels blending history and women's lives in very moving ways. A big fan of her first book, The Invisible Mountain, I am personally very excited that she will be here meeting our Festivaliers. Each year we're thrilled to bring some big stars to our public, but in some ways I get even more excited about writers who I want our audience to love, writers they may not yet know.

The Invisible Mountain tells the story of three generations of women, again straddling the mystical, and in the process, tells the history of the tiny and beautiful country of Uruguay. It's through Uruguay, in fact, that I discovered De Robertis: a visit there a number of years ago put that land on my radar and I have been very interested in it ever since.

Her latest book, Perla, gives us a glimpse into a young woman's possible breakdown and/or interaction with a ghost from Argentina's Dirty War. I can't give away too much, but the book shows us what happens when a country (when a family, when a person) goes over "to the dark side" and how those scars linger for years and years to come. Tickets are $10 (another few days take advantage of the reduced rate promotion!)

Get your tickets to see Carolina de Robertis and Shelley Pomerance here.

Both of the above events are part of our series on Latin America at the 2014 Festival. Check out the entire programme for more details (Latin America programming is on page 23 of the attached PDF).

Finally, History and Family Lore are on the docket when Urrea, local writing sensation, David Homel, and African novelist and poet Ondjaki get together to consider the stories we're told growing up. Urrea's Queen of America is loosely based on his own family's histories and the life story of his great-aunt, Teresita (read about her real life story here). Homel chronicles Chicago bootleggers of the 1920s in his new novel, The Fledglings (stories which were based on his grandmother's tales growing up). And Ondjaki's novel, too, Grandma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret, is based on stories from and about his grandmother in Angola's capital, Luanda. This event is on Saturday, May 3 at 3:30pm at Las Americas, 2075 St-Laurent (just one block away from our venue hotel, Hotel 10). Tickets are $10 and the promotional rate (which offers a discount from this price) expires early next week!

Hosted by Anne Lagace Dowson, you can get your tickets to see Urrea, Homel and Ondjaki here.

Finally, I have to announce that the Slate Culture Gabfest event is sold out! But you still have a chance to be part of the Slate experience as there are still a handful of tickets left for the Slate We Love Montreal Happy Hour at Bily Kun, 354 du Mont-Royal Est on Saturday, May 3 at 5:00 pm. They're going to go fast, though! Tickets are $20 and include a free drink.

Get your tickets to Slate's We Love Montreal Happy Hour here.

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