Laura Cok


Giller Prize Shortlist Reading


The reading event for the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlisted finalists, on Saturday, October 29th, was entirely sold out. With the Fleck Theatre filled to capacity, it was immediately clear that this was one of the most highly anticipated events of the International Festival of Authors’ schedule. Carol Off of the CBC’s As It Happens hosted, providing some needed levity to the proceedings. The...

International Festival of Authors: Michael Ondaatje


There was a flutter of excitement when Michael Ondaatje walked onto the stage of the Fleck Theatre: this is a writer of serious calibre, and the auditorium filled nearly to capacity attests to his popularity. He was at the International Festival of Authors on October 29 to be interviewed by Eleanor Wachtel; the interview was interspersed with readings from his latest novel, the Giller-nominated...

The Magicians and The Magician King: Review


Reviewed in this essay: The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Viking Press, 2009. The Magician King by Lev Grossman. Viking Press, 2011. Lev Grossman’s books The Magicians and The Magician King are fantasy as it ought to be: dark, funny, and brilliantly realized. The books cannot avoid comparisons to Harry Potter — geeky boy, magical school, an improbable talent at a magical sport — and so Grossman...

Magic, Myth, and Forces Beyond Reason


On Tuesday the 25th, Lev Grossman (The Magicians, The Magician King), Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), and Simon Toyne (Sanctus) were all on hand for an excellent roundtable discussion, moderated by Lesley Livingston, on the topic of magic, myth, and forces beyond reason.  This event, a part of the International Festival of Authors, took place in the Studio Theatre at the York Quay Centre...

Governor General’s Awards Finalists Reading


On Monday night, the finalists for the 75th Governor General’s Literary Award in Fiction (English) gathered in the Fleck Theatre to read from their nominated works; although the International Festival of Authors attracts an astounding number of literary luminaries, awards events such as this are notable for their impressive rosters.  Shelagh Rogers of The Next Chapter on CBC Radio introduced each...

The Night Circus: A Review

The Night Circus

  Few books this year benefited from the publicity machine as much as The Night Circus. For this novel, her first, Erin Morgenstern received a staggering seven-figure advance, the film rights were purchased months before the release of the book on September 13, and it was a bestseller in preorders. The Night Circus was a phenomenon before it even appeared.   The story follows two...