Tamara Faith Berger
Word On The Street is back on the street. It's now set around Queen's Park - not in the actual green space - in order to save the grass. Fifteen tents go up on Queen's Park Crescent at the all-day literary love-in happening Sunday (September 23), 11 am to 6 pm.
Some things haven't changed. There's still tons for kids, but the fest has even more of a literary feel than it did in the past few years. Gone are the self-help tents - finance and cooking, for example. The focus is on authors and readings.
As usual, the slate includes almost every writer who's released a book in the past year. They're all Canadian, and it's all free. More info at wordonthestreet.ca.
Here are nine writers you shouldn't miss.
Tamara Faith Berger
Berger has been writing about sexually transgressive young women since she caused a sensation with her first book, Lie With Me. In her latest, Maidenhead (Coach House), Myra is desperate to lose her virginity but may wind up losing more than that. Berger's a unique and fearless talent.
3:45 pm, Great Books Marquee
Ismail's three year-old daughter dies when he accidentally leaves her in a sweltering car. Will the man ever recover? In Six Metres Of Pavement (Dundurn), two very different women try to take him down the healing path. Short-listed for the Toronto Book Award.
12:30 and 4:30 pm, Toronto Book Awards tent
The host of CBC's Q drops a memoir this fall called 1982 (Viking), about that period when glam, glitter and gender-bending ruled. He's proved himself a genre-bender, so the buzz is big for this journey back in time.
5 pm, Scotiabank Giller Prize Bestsellers stage
We liked Onstad's debut novel, How Happy To Be, so much that we put her on our cover six years ago. Her follow-up, Everybody Has Everything (McClelland & Stewart), doesn't disappoint. It's about a couple who become guardians of a child when his parents die in a car accident. Thing is, wife Ana never really wanted children. Long-listed for the Giller Prize.
12:45 pm, Remarkable Reads tent
Pountney's new book, Sweet Jesus (Emblem), about three siblings, including a gay guy, who drive through the U.S. a week before the 2012 election, distills issues pertaining to politics, family and faith in wholly original ways.
1:30 pm, Vibrant Voices of Ontario tent
Swan's always loved the intrigue of small-town Ontario, and goes back into that setting in The Western Light (Cormorant), a story set in the 50s that touches on mental illness, our pre-medicare health system and the national obsession with hockey.
3:15 pm, Vibrant Voices of Ontario tent
This man of many gifts - he sings and is a visual artist, too - is definitely a talent to watch. His self-published God Loves Hair series of short stories was a 2011 Lambda Award finalist, and he's absolutely mesmerizing when he takes to the stage.
3:30 pm, This Is Not The Shakespeare stage
Queen of the young adult fiction scene - and also a NOW cover subject - smarty-pants Tamaki writes books that adults can get into, too. Her latest, (You) Set Me On Fire (Penguin), is set on a college campus, where a female student pursues her lesbian urges.
4 pm, Penguin Pavilion
NOW's Ecoholic, who turned into a best-selling author, releases her third book, Ecoholic Body (Vintage), advising readers on how to look and stay healthy without wrecking the planet. The ultimate demystifer, Vasil's always a knockout in person.
4:30 pm, Nothing But The Truth tent