Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

Open Lives

When it comes to memoir, we want to catch the author in a lie. When we read fiction, we want to catch the author telling the truth.” Tayari Jones

I’m back at it, and by that I mean the O word. We’ve been very fortunate to build support for the Whistler Writers Festival over the past 16 years. Sixteen years! Yikes! Who knew? It’s never routine in this business, but for the most part, we have developed some consistent processes to help us do what we do. Thankfully.

So there’s no better time to shake things up. Right? What was I thinking? It’s O’s fault. For some reason, I like to organize things. Or as my husband puts it, “order people and things around.” O gets me into a lot of trouble. Mostly it’s good trouble.

This spring we are running a spring reading series to assess the feasibility of expanding our literary programming. Yes, you heard it here first. Expansion. An E word to add to my O word.

The first of the series, Open Lives, set for 7 p.m. May 5th at the Fairmont Hotel, will feature four authors sharing their extraordinary lives. Our featured guests include Grant Lawrence, Steph Jagger, Cea Sunrise Person, and Paul Shore. Our very own, local author, Leslie Anthony, will host the session.

I have read both Steph’s and Paul’s books and enjoyed them very much. Here’s a short blurb I sent Steph after I finished her memoir. “Unbound begins with an epic ski trip, and ends with a completely different journey, one that is richer and deeper than the snow found on the slopes of the world. Along the way, we experience the places Jagger travels to, feel her frustrations, celebrate her triumphs and empathize for the woman who allows us to see her for who she is. It is impossible not to admire such honesty. Great read.”

And here’s a short summary of the note I sent Paul, after I finished his humorous memoir, Uncorked: My Year in Provence Studying Petanque, Discovering Chagall, Drinking Pastis, and Mangling French. “Very funny in spots and emotional in others. It reminded me of my own time in Europe and how much I miss it. And I loved your references to Chagall and the connections to your own background. As someone who has researched and written extensively about refugees, and who is an immigrant herself, I appreciated that the refugee crisis and being a stranger in a new land is not a new phenomenon. Thanks so much for a wonderful read.”

I haven’t read Grant’s latest memoir, Dirty Windshields, but you can find a review here. I’m looking forward to reading Grant’s book as well as Cea’s second memoir Nearly Normal. Here is a review.

Come out and meet our authors on May 5th. Tickets can be purchased here.

You know, there is a perfectly good reason for my need to organize and expand. Authors and their books are worth the effort.

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