The 2011 Whistler Readers and Writers Festival includes some of the best workshops it has had to offer, and taught by some of the biggest names this festival has attracted. Let's meet these fine literary specimens, shall we?
• Miriam Toews: Her 2004 novel A Complicated Kindness , about a disillusioned Mennonite teenager who dreams of escaping to New York City to hang out with Lou Reed, spent over a year on the bestsellers list. It was also nominated for the Giller Prize and won the 2006 edition of Canada Reads. Basically, it's one of the most popular Canadian novels of the past decade and has thrust Toews into literary notoriety, which is not an oxymoron. Her latest novel, Irma Voth, about a jaded Mennonite teenager living with her family in the Mexican desert, was released earlier this year.
Where to catch her: At the opening night gala on Saturday, 8 p.m. (Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre), where she'll read from and discuss Irma Voth ; at the "What Makes a Book Last...or Fade Fast" panel discussion at the Aava on Saturday, 3:45 p.m., on what constitutes a classic book in the age of self-publishing; at the Lit Grit Tribute Breakfast at the Aava on Sunday, 10 a.m., where she'll discuss her career over breakfast.
• Wayne Johnston: Newfoundland-born author writes historical fiction set in his home province. His 1998 novel, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams , a historic account of Joey Smallwood, was short listed for the Giller Prize, as well as the 2003 edition of Canada Reads . His following three novels were nominated for the Giller Prize as well, including his latest, A World Elsewhere . His 1990 novel The Divine Ryans was adapted into a 1999 film, for which Johnston wrote the screenplay.
Where to catch him: At the Lit Grit Tribute Breakfast at the Aava on Sunday, 10 a.m., where he'll discuss his career over breakfast.
• John Glenday: The Scottish poet has been short listed for two prestigious poetry prizes, the Ted Hughes Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize, for his 2010 collection Grain. He also works as an addictions counsellor, having graduated as a psychiatric nurse. He sits on the Board of the Scottish Poetry Library and is a judge on the 2011 National Poetry Competition in the U.K.
Where to catch him: At the opening night gala on Saturday, 8 p.m. (Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre), where he'll read from and discuss Grain; at his own reading event at the Aava on Saturday, 2:30 p.m.