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Icon And Activist Buffy Sainte-Marie And Acclaimed Biographer Andrea Warner Join The Toronto International Festival Of Authors 2018 Lineup

Icon and Activist Buffy Sainte-Marie and Acclaimed Biographer Andrea Warner Join the Toronto International Festival of Authors 2018 Lineup

This year’s lineup includes readings and conversations with award-winning authors,
interactive poetry cabarets, a mystery library and more!

Authors in attendance include Roddy Doyle, Esi Edugyan, Madeline Miller, Ian Rankin,
Eden Robinson, Vikas Swarup and Miriam Toews.

TORONTO, September 13, 2018 – The Toronto International Festival of Authors is set to welcome legendary Cree singer-songwriter, activist and educator Buffy Sainte-Marie and acclaimed biographer Andrea Warner to its 39th edition. For over 50 years, Buffy Sainte-Marie has made her mark in music, establishing herself as one of the most revered folk artists of all time. Well-known for her anti-war song “Universal Soldier,” Sainte-Marie has also spent her career advocating for and protecting Indigenous rights and freedoms. Andrea Warner, author of Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography, will be interviewed alongside Sainte-Marie, where both will reflect on their careers and their biographer-subject relationship. CBC Music host Raina Douris is set to moderate the double interview, taking place on Saturday, October 27 at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre. Toronto International Festival of Authors, Canada’s oldest and largest festival of words and ideas, is on from October 18 –28, 2018, with most events at Harbourfront Centre. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, September 15 at

“Toronto International Festival of Authors has strived to connect curious readers with the world’s leading writers and thought-leaders, to celebrate storytelling and its critical role in helping us make sense of the modern world,” said Geoffrey Taylor, Director, Toronto International Festival of Authors. “With a roster of emerging and established artists, activists, authors and poets from around the world speaking on everything from Indigenous authorship to understanding gender and cultural diversity, we are proud to present curated events featuring some of today’s most riveting writing on stage right here in Toronto.”

The 2018 Toronto International Festival of Authors lineup also welcomes Man Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle (Smile); beloved Canadian author Esi Edugyan (Washington Black); New York Times bestseller Madeline Miller (Circe); Scottish crime writer and recipient of the Order of the British Empire, Ian Rankin (In a House of Lies); Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize winner Eden Robinson (Trickster Drift); and Publishing Triangle award-winning author, musician and artist Vivek Shraya (I’m Afraid of Men); among others.

The 11-day Festival will offer more than 60 events, attended by approximately 200 authors from nearly 30 countries. A few of this year’s must-attend Festival events include the Man Booker Prize 50th Anniversary: Featuring Marlon James, a journey to South Asia with the High Commissioner of India to Canada and Slumdog Millionaire author, Vikas Swarup and high energy poetry cabarets sure to ignite audiences’ imaginations. For bibliophiles on the go, a Union Station mystery library pop-up with live author readings will be happening on October 22 and 27.

Please see below for more information on some of this year’s must-attend Festival talks, events and award presentations and visit for the full programming lineup.

Author Discussions

In Conversation: Roddy Doyle With Emma Donoghue
Thursday, October 18, 7:30–8:30pm
Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park
Host: Robert G. Kearns, Chairman & Founder, Ireland Park Foundation

The Festival’s opening night promises to be one of exhilarating and eye-opening entertainment as two of Ireland’s favourite writers take the stage.

Safar: Journeys to South Asia
Sunday, October 21, 3–5pm
Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre

At 3pm, authors Arif Anwar, Amulya Malladi, Manjushree Thapa and Rahul Varma talk about their writing and how the South Asian community inspires their stories. Shree Paradkar will moderate the segment. At 4pm, after a brief intermission, author Anirudh Bhattacharyya interviews new High Commissioner of India to Canada, Vikas Swarup. Swarup is an Indian writer and diplomat who formerly served as the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India. He wrote the book Q&A, which inspired the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Both programmes are hosted by CBC Radio’s Teenaz Javat and curated by Meenakshi Alimchandani.

In Conversation: Ian Rankin With Linwood Barclay
Tuesday, October 23, 7–8pm
Fleck Dance Theatre

Anything can happen when two block-busting best-sellers put their heads together for an hour of solid author intrigue. Rankin is an award-winning Scottish crime writer best known for his Detective Inspector Rebus novels, with 22 titles translated into 22 languages. He is a winner of the Edgar Award, the Crime Writers’ Association’s Silver Dagger Award and the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship, among others. His new book is In a House of Lies. Barclay is a Canadian author of 17 novels for adults, including No Time for Goodbye, Trust Your Eyes and A Noise Downstairs. He has also written two novels for children: Chase and Escape. Several of his books have been developed for TV and film, including The Accident and Never Saw It Coming.

In Conversation: Eden Robinson With Cherie Dimaline
Wednesday, October 24, 8–9pm
Fleck Dance Theatre

Governor General Award-winning Canadian Métis writer Cherie Dimaline will interview author Eden Robinson, whose new book Trickster Drift is the follow-up to the highly acclaimed Son of a Trickster, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. This focus on Indigenous authorship, a Festival special event, promises to both enlighten and entertain.

Double Interview: Esi Edugyan & Meg Wolitzer
Saturday, October 27, 6–7pm
Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre
Moderator: Deborah Dundas, Books Editor, Toronto Star

These authors’ novels address transformative relationships, revealing how one person’s influence can alter the stories of our lives. Edugyan’s newest book Washington Black is about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world. She won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues. Wolitzer is a New York Times bestseller whose book The Female Persuation zeroes in on feminism and the power of female mentorship. Three films have been based on Wolitzer’s work.

Double Interview: Buffy Sainte-Marie & Andrea Warner
Saturday, October 27, 8–9pm
Fleck Dance Theatre
Interviewer: Raina Douris

Settle in for this unique double interview based on Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography. The biographer will interview her subject, a true Canadian icon, as Douris in turn questions each of them about their partnership and its enthralling results. Please note that there will be no musical performance at this event.

In Conversation: Madeline Miller
Sunday, October 28 at 4–5pm
Lakeside Terrance, Harbourfront Centre
Interviewer: Jessica Johnson, Executive Editor and Creative Director, The Walrus

The New York Times bestselling author Madeline Miller discusses Circe, one of the most daring and highly anticipated books of 2018 and a follow-up to her novel The Song of Achilles. Miller will explain how she adapts classical texts for modern audiences and how, centuries later, we still pass these stories on. Although Greek mythology is inherently misogynistic, the narrator in Circe is a female goddess with a feminist voice, which sheds light on the struggles between men and women, gods and men—and between the gods themselves.

Panel: Rachel Giese, Sarah Henstra & Vivek Shraya
Sunday, October 28, 6–7:30pm
Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre
Moderator: Rinaldo Walcott, Director of the Women & Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto

The new books from these Canadian writers delve into themes of feminism and power, demonstrating how damaging messages about masculinity affect our culture today. Giese’s Boys: What It Means to Become a Man is a non-fiction book about families and relationships. She is a regular contributor to CBC Radio and Chatelaine. Henstra’s The Red Word centres on rape culture in college life. This is her first work of adult fiction. Shraya’s non-fiction book I’m Afraid of Men explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl. Shraya is a musician, short-story writer and visual artist.

Poetry and Interactive Events

Toronto Poetry Slam: Featuring Jennifer Alicia Murrin
Friday, October 19, 9–10:30pm
Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre
Host: David Silverberg, Founder, Toronto Poetry Slam

Back for the second time at the Festival, this high-energy poetry showcase features some of the city’s most engaging spoken-word artists. Presented in partnership with Toronto Poetry Project, this Toronto hit poetry slam is a competition in two rounds, judged by members of the audience. Anyone is welcome to get up and perform for prizes, with the winner invited to read in next year’s Festival.

Poetry Cabaret (Two Night Event)
Tuesday, October 23, 9–10pm and Thursday, October 25, 9–10pm
Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre
Night 1 Poets: Joanne Arnott, Lorna Crozier, Karen Mulhallen, Paul Vermeersch
Night 2 Poets: Angela Hibbs, Margo LaPierre, Thunderclaw Robinson, Caroline Szpak and the winner of the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize

Harbourfront Centre’s Lakeside Terrace sets the stage for two Poetry Cabarets this year, when the mighty spoken word ignites the night air with razor-sharp work by some of the hottest poets in Canada. This is a showcase of the poetry world’s cream of the crop, fronted by two very sparkling and a side-splitting host. Enjoy live music, insightful readings, a cool vibe and a cash bar for two nights only!

Award Celebrations

Man Booker Prize 50th Anniversary: Featuring Marlon James
Saturday, October 20, 7–8pm
Fleck Dance Theatre
Moderator: Lewis DeSoto, author of A Blade of Grass

Celebrated Jamaican author Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings. He will be joined on stage by other past winners and nominatedauthors to discuss the impact the award has had on their lives. This event is presented in partnership with the Man Booker Prize.

Festival Celebration: GGBooks
Monday, October 22, 8–9:30pm
Fleck Dance Theatre
Moderator: Carol Off, Co-host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens

This star-studded event, presented in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, will celebrate the authors shortlisted for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language Fiction. The 2018 Harbourfront Festival Prize will be presented during the evening, with the winner joining a long list of distinguished recipients.

For tickets, more information and the full programme lineup at this year’s Festival, visit

About Toronto International Festival of Authors
The Toronto International Festival of Authors is Canada’s oldest and largest festival of words and ideas. Since 1974, it has hosted over 9,000 authors from more than 100 countries, including 22 Nobel Laureates and countless other award winners. Mandated to cultivate and advance the art of literature, the Festival connects curious readers of every kind with leading international authors, while providing a forum to showcase Canadian talent to the world.

The annual Festival takes place every fall (October 18–28, 2018). Year-round activities include a speaker series, the Toronto Lit Up book launch series (supported by the Toronto Arts Council), the annual Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (in partnership with the Ontario Library Association), Ontario and international touring programmes and more. The Festival is based at Harbourfront Centre. To learn more, visit

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