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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More


On Thursday, May 5th, I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting two great Canadian authors, Elizabeth Hay and Miriam Toews.
Elizabeth Hay started off the evening talking about her latest book, Alone in the Classroom and doing a reading from it.  The idea for the story came from a time when her mother reminisced about high school.  She had a principal who seemed to be disturbed and a classmate who was murdered in 1937.  From there she went to the library to find out about the girl who was killed in 1937 and found a transcript of the court case, that helped with the book.  Elizabeth said that we all contain our grand parents and parents in us and she wanted to explore how we carry the past with us. 
When asked about the actual writing of her novels, she said, “the beginning of a book is hard but the ending is the worse part.  You don’t want a pat ending but it has to mean something.”  She also said, “if the main character is too much like a real person, it doesn’t take off.”
Next, Miriam Toews took the stage and did a reading  and talked about her latest book, Irma Voth.  Irma was a 19 year old Mennonite girl living in Mexico with her family.  She was forbidden from dating Mexican boys but met one and fell in love.  They got married and then went to tell her parents.  Miriam knew a Mennonite woman who married a Mexican in real life and that was the inspiration for the book.
When she first starts to write a new book she thinks to herself, “I can always be a taxi driver if it doesn’t work out.  I have a drivers license and I can drive, so I qualify.”  
I asked Miriam this question: Most of your books have a common theme of a Mennonite woman being cast out of the community,  Have you experienced this or know people who have?  Miriam answered:  “It hasn’t happened to me but I know people who have been excommunicated.  It’s devistating to the person and their family.  It still happens today.”
I haven’t had the chance to read either Alone in the Classroom or Irma Voth but they are high up on my TBR.  Elizabeth Hay’s Late Nights on Air is a favorite book of mine, see my review here.  I also really liked Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness, which I read before I started blogging.

Thanks to the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival for making this awesome author event happen!  If you live in the Vancouver area or find yourself here, be sure to look up the festival.  Besides the festival every October, the writers festival hosts author events throughout the year. 
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Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Two of Canada’s most esteemed and beloved authors, Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness and The Flying Troutmans) and Elizabeth Hay (Late Nights On Air), will be discussing their new books, Irma Voth and Alone in the Classroom.

I saw Miriam Toews back in March 2008 and had a wonderful time (see my post about it, here).  Seeing Miram Toews alone, is worth the price of admission!  I am looking forward to seeing her talk about her new book.

I’ve never have seen Elizabeth Hay live before but I am so excited that she is coming!  I read her book, Late Nights on Air (click for my 5 star review) back in May, 2008 and LOVED it!  It has stayed with me, even 3 years later.  I can hardly wait to hear her talk about Alone in the Class Room!

You can purchase tickets to this highly anticipated event at Vancouver Tix, online or by phone at (604) 629-8849.  Thanks so much to the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival for making this event happen!


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Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

An Evening with Jodi Picoult in Vancouver

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on March 17, 2011
Posted in Author Events  | 8 Comments

On Sunday, March 13th I had the pleasure of attending An Evening with Jodi Picoult.  It was a multimedia experience with her friend, Ellen Wilber, who wrote the lyrics and sings on the companion CD to Jodi’s book, Sing you Home

Ms. Picoult did two separate readings of Sing You Home and Ellen performed 3 songs from the CD.  Jodi explained that she wanted to give her main character, Zoe a voice and for the reader to hear it, that is why there is a CD with the book.  Each song on the CD corresponds with a chapter in the book and Jodi recommended that the reader listen to the song and then read the corresponding chapter to have the best experience.  One of the songs that Ellen sang, was Sammy’s Song, named after Jodi’s daughter, of the same name.  Sammy is also a character in the book.

Sing you Home is wanting to have a child, more than it is about sexual orientation.  However, Jodi decided to write a book about gay rights because she views it as the last human right we haven’t tackled in North America.  While writing the book, her son came out and told his parents that he was gay.  According to Jodi, shis was actually no surprise to them.  Her hope for her son and others is that they don’t have to jump through extra hoops just to get married and have kids.

When Jodi said that it was time for questions from the audience, I asked, “I understand that Zoe would want her own child but wouldn’t it be easier for Vanessa to have a baby with a sperm donor?  Jodi said, “Zoe tried for ten years to have a child while married to Max through in vitro and there were 3 fertilized embryos there to be used.  (for those who haven’t read the book, Max was  an anti-gay activist and would not give permission to Zoe to use the embryos, which were fertilized with his sperm).

Another audience member asked what Jodi’s favorite book was that she wrote.  Jodi answered, “Second Glance, about racial hygiene in the U.S. before Hitler.  She was also asked who her favorite author was and she answered, “Alice Hoffman.”  

Jodi Picoult is the author of 18 novels, published in 34 countries, and in 4 languages.  I have only read one of her books, My Sister’s Keeper.  I don’t often read real commercial authors like Jodi Picoult but I really enjoyed the evening and may read more of her books in the future.  I am quite interested in Second Glance.

Jodi was gracious enough to let me have a photo taken of the two of us together to share on my blog.  (see above). Thanks Jodi!
Have you read any Jodi Picoult books?  What is your favorite?

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Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.