Bookworms Unite!

The Frye Festival has unveiled the list of award-winning authors who will participate in the 14th annual Festival April 22 to 28, 2013, in Greater Moncton. Atlantic Canada’s largest literary happening promises many great moments for all kinds of bookworms with its diverse roster: novelists, poets, an obituarist, a book jacket designer, a former diplomat and businessman, journalists, and children’s writers will feed thousands of imaginations in nearly 50 events.

“The 2013 Frye Festival truly has something for everyone,” confirms Dawn Arnold, Frye Festival Chair. “We will explore local matters and worldly ideas, convincing fiction and improbable realities, lives lived and lives imagined. We invite everyone to journey with us to Russia, Guyana, France, Africa, Hong Kong, and Cape Breton, among others, and come meet the people behind the stories during the Festival. We look forward to unveiling a program in March that reflects the richness and depth of our roster.”


The Frye Festival sets up the stage for great storytelling, giving everyone in Moncton the chance to meet the people who have penned some of the best books of the year and to hear them tell their stories. This year’s writers have a combined total of nearly 40 literary award nominations and wins, including the IMPAC Dublin, Governor General’s Literary Award and Giller Prize, making this one of its richest years yet. 

A Window to the World

A book designer by profession, CS Richardson tells the compelling story of an unlikely romance between an illiterate baker and a woman with her head always buried in a book in The Emperor of Paris. It follows Richardson’s critically acclaimed The End of the Alphabet.

Formerly a journalist, senior executive in the federal public service, diplomat, and businessman, Ian Hamilton has penned five books featuring protagonist Ava Lee, including The Scottish Banker of Surabaya, published this month to great reviews.

Kim Thúy tells the tale of her family’s journey from Vietnam to Québec with the boat people in the 1970s in Ru, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Giller Prize. Alternately seamstress, interpreter, lawyer, restaurant owner, food columnist, and full-time writer, Thúy is a Canadian literary force whose exploration of cultural worlds resonates deeply.

Author of 14 books and a Member of the Order of Canada, Marq de Villiers puts his journalistic background to good use in books such as Dangerous World and, most recently, Our Way Out. The Nova Scotia resident, whose works focus mainly on natural history or African themes, won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource. Fellow GG winner Peter Behrens takes us to Ireland during the famine with his award-winning novel The Law of Dreams, followed a few years later by The O’Briens and, coming this spring, Travelling Light, his first short story collection. Together with their French counterparts Perrine Leblanc (whose L’homme blanc, takes place in Russia) and Kim Thúy, Behrens and de Villiers comprise the panel for one of the Festival’s most anticipated events, A Window to the World, showcasing the Canadian perspective on international matters.

To round out the Festival’s international scope, French writer, cinephile, journalist, television host and traveller Olivier Barrot will share his stories and expertise, providing aspiring writers, producers, and artists with invaluable advice on promoting books and literature in the media. 

Canadian Outlooks

As one of Canada’s most prominent literary voices, Alistair MacLeod explores themes of rural Canada in his two short story collections (The Lost Salt Gift of Blood and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun) and in his novel No Great Mischief, which won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1999. MacLeod will deliver the 2013 Maillet-Frye Lecture, followed by an on-stage interview.

Lovers of poetry will be happy to discover a new collection from Saint John-based Anne Compton titled Alongside. The award-winning poet’s rural roots and extensive study of literature are reflected in her poetry.

Deni Y. Béchard was born in British Columbia to French Canadian and American parents and, in his memoir Cures for Hunger, he tells his fascinating story of growing up with a bank-robber father. His first novel, Vandal Love, was chosen best overall first book in the British Commonwealth in 2007.

Award-winning journalist and obituarist Sandra Martin has created a mosaic of modern Canada in Working the Dead Beat: 50 Lives That Have Changed Canada.

As founder and executive director of the charity Project Bookmark Canada, Miranda Hill still finds time to write short stories, recently published in her debut collection entitled Sleeping Funny. Though rooted in the familiar, Hill’s stories nevertheless find a way to twist themselves into strangeness.

Alix Ohlin was born and raised in Montreal but now resides in the United States. The author of four books, most recently Signs and Wonders and Inside, a finalist for the 2012 Giller Prize. Ohlin has a knack for exploring the capricious nature of human beings through fiction.

The line-up also features Joséphine Bacon (Nous sommes tous des sauvages), Sonia Cotten (Ovalta), Éric Dupont (La fiancée américaine), Dominic Langlois (La rue en eaux troubles), Daniel Lessard (La revenante), and Jocelyne Saucier (Il pleuvait des oiseaux).

For Young Readers

The Festival will feature a great line-up of children’s and young adult writers who will take part in various events such as Imagination at Work, Budding Writers and KidsFest.

Sara O'Leary is a playwright, fiction writer, and literary journalist. She is the author of the "Henry" series for children: When I Was Small, When You Were Small and Where You Came From. Heidi Jardine Stoddart, whose inspiration comes from maritime scenery and the whimsical ways of children, will share her stories with our youngest creators.

Philip Roy’s love for the ocean has led to the Submarine Outlaw series, detailing the adventures of a young submariner circumnavigating the world. He returns home with his latest work, Blood Brothers in Louisbourg, which tells the story of two brothers at the siege of Louisbourg in 1745.

French-speaking children will get to hear and meet award-winning Sylvie Desrosiers (L’ère glaciaire dans la glacière) and Charlotte Gingras (Guerres). 

Blurring the Language Lines

As Canada’s only bilingual literary festival, the Frye Festival showcases the best of contemporary literature in the country’s two official languages, promoting understanding and closeness between the two cultural communities. The Festival invites its English-speaking fans to discover two French Canadian writers whose recent novels have been translated: Jocelyne Saucier (And the Birds Rained Down, March 2013) and Perrine Leblanc (Kolia, fall 2013).

French-speaking fans have an even greater selection of translated works: Alistair MacLeod (Les hirondelles font le printemps, Cet héritage au goût de sel and La perte et le fracas), CS Richardson (La fin de l’alphabet), Deni Y. Béchard (Vandal Love and Remèdes pour la faim), Peter Behrens (La loi des rêves)  and Philip Roy (Frères de sang à Louisbourg).


Traditionally presented in the fall, the Festival’s Community Read brings together Moncton’s two main cultural communities. Everyone is invited to read Ru, by Kim Thúy, in French or English, and then to come meet the bilingual author and get their books signed on April 27 at 2 pm.

The popular Imagination at Work event for students from kindergarten to grade four is going digital in 2013 thanks to the support of the TELUS Community Board. The works of more than 200 students will be displayed at the Blue Cross Centre from April 20 to 27 and will have an extended presence online thanks to the Beyond the Fridge program. Individuals interested in submitting the text/artwork of a student for all youth programs may contact Rhéa at 506.859.4389 or Deadline is March 8, 2013.

The Frye Festival is delighted to reprise its key events, including Soirée Frye (April 25, 7 pm, Capitol Theatre), KidsFest (April 27, 9:30 am, Moncton Public Library), the Maillet-Frye Lecture (April 27, 8 pm, théâtre l’Escaouette), and Frye Jam (April 27, 10 pm, Empress).

Tickets for Soirée Frye ($12) and the Maillet-Frye Lecture ($15) go on sale today (prices exclude fees). Event line-ups, musical performances, and complete program details will be announced at the end of March.


The Frye Festival is Atlantic Canada’s largest literary happening. The Frye Festival presents events year-round, culminating in a week of festivities at the end of April. The 14th annual Frye Festival will take place April 22 to 28, 2013, in the Greater Moncton area and will feature 30 local, Canadian, and international authors taking part in various events.

As part of its year-round programming, the Festival is pleased to present a one-on-one conversation with Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson, author of Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health Care System Needs to be Dragged Into the 21st Century on March 26 at 4:30 pm at Moncton City Hall.   

Popular Posts