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The Fall Literary Season Comes Upon Us Again

Fall breaks big in Toronto when it comes to literature. There are parties and events galore. Here are some events and a few highlights from the IFOA and a party:

Eva Stachniak and Richard Scrimger will be giving creative writing tips at an event at the IFOA on Sunday, October 28, at 11 AM, hosted by Kim Moritsugu. All three of these writers are Humber alumni who have gone on over the years to write many, many books. Eva’s The Winter Palace was a bestseller last spring.

Yours truly will be interviewing the prominent American writer, Paul Auster, on Saturday, October 27, at 5 PM.

Then, the following afternoon, I’ll moderate a round table with writers Christine PoutneyKyo MacLearSusan Swan, and James Clarke. Kyo is a writing school alumna, and Susan has taught for us for years. We’ll talk about how to read as a writer, learning to steal the very best from the very best.

As to parties, there was one last Sunday night on top of the Gardiner Museum, a great venue because you walk through the ceramics displays on the way up to the party. This one celebrated Doubleday’s 75′th anniversary and the publisher’s assistance to Frontier college.

Don Gillmor was there, delivering a manuscript to Anne Collins (At a party!). There was a special gin cocktail for the event, and I carefully drank two and enjoyed the taste, although I suspect the gin was AWOL. Jaqui Kaiser, the produce of Shelagh Rogers’s show and I wondered why the hors d’oeuvres missed us all the time, but finally the guy with the chest tray came out (straps and all) offering the famous fries with mayonnaise. The place was a who’s who of Toronto and Canadian literature, so I won’t name everyone there. I’ll just make two observations about the scene.

First, to be up on the third floor at night, looking out over the royal Ontario Museum is quite a wonderful experience in this town, particularly when the drinks are on the house.

Second, if one sits down during the speeches, as I did, you get a fascinating view of current young-women-in-publishing party wear. I saw a dark blue dress which had a two-inch black band running from neck to hem on the back with a zipper in the middle, as if the dress opened up completely like a sleeping bag. Another woman wore low cowboy boots with orange stockings and an off orange (does such a colour even exist?) dress. Net stockings of various designs still seem to be the rage. Leather pants were worn under a skirt. And why am I not talking about the men’s wear? Because it was so drab, by comparison.

On the way out, guests were given a coffee table book of photographs of Canada as seen by the New York Times over the last decades. It was a beautiful takeaway at a lovely celebration.