Frye Festival Announces 2017 Programming

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Canada’s only bilingual international literary festival will welcome an impressive array of authors to the province April 22-29, 2017 in Moncton.

Some of the many titles represented at this year's Frye Festival.
Some of the many titles represented at this year’s Frye Festival.

It’s all systems go for this year’s edition of the Frye Festival. Yesterday organizers announced 40 participating writers from across Canada, the US, Ireland, Demark and France who represent a total of 27 Canadian publishers will gather as part of the 18th annual event and participate in readings, signings, talks, Q&A sessions and workshops.

This year’s lineup includes award winners and nominees from just about every major literary award including the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Book Prize and the Man Booker Prize, as well as best-selling authors and contributing writers to radio, television and print.

Terry O’Reilly, the award-winning co-founder of Pirate Radio and Television and co-creator of the CBC Radio series O’Reilly on Advertising and The Age of Persuasion, is one of this year’s notable guests alongside New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon of the popular Outlander series of novels.

The majority of Frye Festival programming is free of charge and open to the public.

To learn more,

This year’s guests include:


For Young People

King_Incredible Space Raiders from SpaceReaders can explore New Brunswick with Camelia Airheart as she tries to find her way home to her flock after her GPS (Goose Positioning System) goes faulty in Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart (Chocolate River Publishing, 2016), written by NB teachers Odette Barr, Colleen Landry and Beth Weatherbee.

GG Award-winning Quebecois illustrator and author Marianne Dubuc’s stories have been translated into 25 languages, including English with Mr. Postmouse Takes a Trip (Kids Can Press, 2017) and the critically acclaimed The Lion and the Bird.

Nova Scotia-based Wesley King’s stories are about feeling different, about not quite fitting in and about finding our own strength to solve a mystery (OCDaniel, Simon & Schuster, 2016), save the universe (The Incredible Space Raiders from Space!, Simon & Schuster, 2016) or protect the world from monsters (Laura Monster Crusher, Puffin Canada, 2017). Many of King’s novels have been optioned for film and television.

Moncton’s Jennifer McGrath explores how nature and wildlife adapt to snowy conditions in the winter lullaby The Snow Knows (Nimbus Publishing, 2016). McGrath has also written two middle-grade adventure books, Chocolate River Rescue and White Cave Escape.

After many years of drawing pictures Jeremy Tankard decided adding words to his art would be a nice thing to try. To his surprise he loved writing and it seemed to be a natural fit for his drawings, and his three silly picture-books—Grumpy Bird, Boo Hoo Bird and, most recently, Hungry Bird (Scholastic Canada, 2016)—have proved him right.

Made in Canada

O'Reilly_This I KnowWriters’ Trust Journey Prize recipient Devon Code’s debut novel Involuntary Bliss (Book Thug, 2016), is millennial fiction at its best. It’s an unpredictable story of friendship built over common interest in an obscure novella and of friends being set adrift in the streets of Montreal by shared memories and grief.

Wayne Grady is the GG Award-winning translator of 14 works of fiction, including Antonine Maillet’s La Sagouine and On the Eighth Day. He is also the author of a novel, Emancipation Day, and many works of science, nature and travel, including Tree: A Life Story, co-written with David Suzuki, and Breakfast at the Exit Café: Travels Through America, co-written with his wife Merilyn Simonds.

Charlotte Gray is the author of 10 non-fiction bestsellers, including The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas That Have Shaped our Country (Simon & Schuster, 2016), which is particularly relevant as we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Her book Gold Diggers was made into a mini-series by US Discovery Television, and she is a member of the Order of Canada.

Ami McKay, author of the #1 bestselling and IMPAC Dublin-nominated The Birth House, joins the line-up with her most recent novel, The Witches of New York (Knopf Canada, 2016). Set in glamourous 1880s New York, it follows the lives of three young women (including Moth from The Virgin Cure) who practise witchcraft in an era brimming with misogyny and mistrust.

Riel Nason follows up her Commonwealth Book Prize-winning novel, The Town That Drowned, with All the Things We Leave Behind (Goose Lane Editions, 2016), whose 17-year-old heroine deals with the disappearance of her older brother and the responsibilities of the family business in 1977 rural New Brunswick.

Terry O’Reilly is the award-winning co-founder of Pirate Radio and Television and co-creator of the CBC Radio series O’Reilly on Advertising and The Age of Persuasion. He currently hosts Under the Influence on CBC Radio One, which became the inspiration for his most recent book, This I Know: Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence (Knopf Canada, 2017).

Moncton-based Kerry Lee Powell’s 2014 poetry collection, Inheritance, was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award, while her debut collection of short stories, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush (Harper Avenue, 2016) was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, GG Award and Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Five years ago, Dennis Prescott was a musician who didn’t know how to cook. After cooking his way through a few Jamie Oliver books, he found his true passion in food, and has since garnered 300,000 Instagram followers. He writes a weekly column for Food & Wine Magazine/FWx. Eat Delicious (HarperCollins Canada, 2017) is his first cookbook.

Reid, Iain_I'm Thinking of Ending ThingsWinner of the 2015 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award, Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, books of nonfiction, One Bird’s Choice and The Truth About Luck, and articles in The New Yorker and The Globe and Mail, among others. His first novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Simon & Schuster, 2016), is a gripping psychological thriller.

Merilyn Simonds, the author of 17 books including the creative nonfiction classic, The Convict Lover, recounts the experience of producing a book on both a 19th-century press and as a digital edition in Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels, and the Lasting Impression of Books (ECW Press 2017).

Winner of the 2016 Giller Prize and GG Award and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Madeleine Thien’s novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Knopf Canada, 2016) is a brilliantly written family tale set against the backdrop of Mao’s Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square protests in China. Thien is also the author of the story collection Simple Recipes and the novels Certainty and Dogs at the Perimeter.

In her third novel, the bestselling, Giller Prize-shortlisted The Best Kind of People (House of Anansi Press, 2016), Zoe Whittall explores the effects an accusation of sexual impropriety has on family and community. She is also the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible and two poetry collections, and is a writer and story editor for CBC’s Schitt’s Creek and Degrassi: The Next Generation.

The Francophone roster is equally as rich, featuring, among many others, Yves Beauchemin, author of Québec’s all-time bestselling book Le Matou (The Alley Cat), Stéphanie Boulay, Nathalie Petrowski and Annie-Claude Thériault.

Poète flyée

Writer and musician Christine Melanson will be Poète flyée again this year. She is the winner of the Volet Jeunesse-Richelieu du prix Antonine-Maillet Acadie Vie for one of her plays, and has performed as a fiddler at many events and festivals in Ireland, France, the US, and across Canada. Her first solo album, Constellations, is nominated for Traditional Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2017 ECMAs.

Winner of Frye Academy VIII

Winner of Frye Academy VIII and the Beacon Award for Social Justice, Wake the Stone Man (Fernwood Publishing, 2015) by Nova Scotia’s Carol McDougall is a coming-of-age story of friendship between an Ojibwe survivor of the residential school system and non-indigenous girl.

International Authors

Gabaldon_Outlander8American writer Diana Gabaldon (Anchor Canada) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels (now a popular television series of the same name), of the related Lord John Grey books and of two works of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion, Volumes 1 and 2, among others.

Ulrikka S. Gernes is a Danish poet with two books translated by Canadians Per Brask and Patrick Friesen, including the Griffin Poetry Prize-nominated Frayed Opus for Strings and Wind Instruments (Brick Books, 2015).

Thanks to the support of Children’s Literature Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland in Ottawa, four Irish children’s and young adult authors are joining the line-up:

Writer, illustrator and winner of four Children’s Book Ireland Best Book of the Year awards, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick is the author of The Sleeping Giant; Izzy and Skunk; You, Me and the Big Blue Sea; There; and, Owl Bat Bat Owl, her first wordless picture book.

Oisín McGann, with experience in illustration, design, film animation, copywriting and art direction, has produced thirty-five books for all ages, including eleven novels and his most recent trilogy, The Wildenstern Saga.

Dave Rudden’s first novel, Knights of the Borrowed Dark, was the Specsavers Childrens Book of the Year in 2016. He enjoys putting pens in his beard and being cruel to fictional children.

Deirdre Sullivan is a young-adult writer with four novels—The Primrose Leary Trilogy (Prim Improper, Improper Order and Primperfect) and Needlework, which was awarded a White Raven—and a fifth (a collection of fairy-tale retellings called Tangleweed and Brine) coming later this year.

The line-up also features two guests from France, illustrator François Dimberton and novelist Véronique Ovaldé.


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