Archives for category: Host / Interviewer


From Oct. 18 to 28, it’s IFOA time (eye-eff-oh-eh!), or the 33rd annual International Festival of Authors if you want to be all verbose about it. The largest literary festival of its kind in North America, IFOA is like the TIFF of the book world, with A-list authors instead of A-list movie stars. Will power-couple hybrid names Spaldaatje or Raweleine catch on? Probably not, no. Besides, one of the greatest things about being a world famous author (I’m guessing) is that you are recognized for your words and not your wardrobe.

I’m a bit of an IFOA addict and will be there every day. I’m also tickled pink (hot pink…?) to be hosting six events at this year’s festival. They are:

I’ll also be on publicist duty for two great events featuring 2012 Writers’ Trust award nominees:

I’ll be doing a preview of what’s new and noteworthy about this year’s IFOA in my next Open Book: Toronto column.

Till then, check out the IFOA website for a full schedule of events and tickets.

Hope to see you there.

On Tuesday, September 25, Zadie Smith takes part in an onstage interview with Eleanor Wachtel at Harbourfront Centre.

The event is sold out, but if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket I’ll see you there (or not, because the lights pointing at the stage are actually very bright…) when I get up to do the “hello and welcome” part.




Toronto Word on the Street (WOTS) takes place Sunday, September 23 and I’m delighted to be hosting the Vibrant Voices of Ontario Stage this year.

Between 11:30 am and 2:00 pm see, hear and meet:

Lizz Bugg
Edward Keenan
Peter Robinson
Julie Wilson
Karleen Pendleton Jimenez
Moez Surani
Dani Couture
Kathryn Mockler
Christine Pountney

Author action on the Vibrant Voices of Ontario Stage continues until 5 pm, with Steven Beattie taking over the hosting post for the afternoon.



Thanks to Freehand Books for asking me to host their Spring Bash at the Gladstone Hotel last night.

Terrific performances (yes, performances — “readings” wouldn’t quite do it justice) by Ian Williams, Alex Leslie, and Julie Wilson, and great to see such a big crowd out for books on such a rainy night (well, it was the spring bash, so what did we expect).


This Wednesday night I’ll be hosting the reading at Authors at Harbourfornt Centre.

The readers are:

Charlotte Gill – whose Eating Dirt is fast becoming the Mordecai of this year’s awards season.

Robert Hough – a writer-about-town whom I often bump into on the street near Type or in my local coffee shop (at Pamenar in Kensington Market it’s difficult NOT to cross paths with book people) and whose Dr. Brinkley’s Tower got itself thumbs ups in the Globe and Mail and National Post.

Kim Thuy – whose GG-winning novel Ru (it won in French pre-translation) I’ve been hearing about for almost a year already thanks to her UK editor, Geoffrey Mulligan — who, in a former, more British, life, also used to be my boss.

Get your tickets here.

Bonus skating opportunity after the event finishes but before the Natrel Rink closes for the season!


Tonight, I’m heading down to Harbourfront Centre for the beginning of what will be long but also extremely fun weekend of book festival overload at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA).

First up, I’ll be hosting a reading with Gary Barwin, Jennifer Haigh, Colson Whitehead and Sarah Winman on stage at the Lakeside Terrace.

Tickets available here.

This Sunday I’ll be at Toronto’s Word on the Street Festival at Queen’s Park.

From 11 till 1, find me at the PEN Canada booth (215) spreading the word about PEN’s work on behalf of writers in exile.

At 3:30 I’ll be at the Scotiabank Giller Prize Bestsellers Stage as part of a Giller Hour moderated by Jian Ghomeshi. Giller Prize founder and director respectively Jack and Elana Rabinovitch will be there, the CBC’s Erin Balser will be talking about this year’s Giller Prize longlist, and National Post Books Editor Mark Medley and myself will be talking about the role of literary awards.

Not really “introducing,” since he’s already a famous novelist, but I will be introducing him on stage, as host of his Authors at Harbourfront Centre event on Wednesday, September 21. He’s promoting On Canaan’s Side – which was longlisted for this year’s Booker Prize – with an interview with CBC Radio One Writers & Co‘s Eleanor Wachtel.

Wednesday, September 21. 7:30pm
Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

Come and say hello!