December 4, 2006
At the Gordon Best Theatre, 216 Hunter Street, W., 8:00pm
Charmaine Eddy teaches twentieth-century American literature and contemporary literary theory at Trent University. She will be discussing Gunther von Hagens' exhibit of corpses, Body Worlds II, and the impact this exhibit has had on our understanding of the body and gender. Her interest in body theory stems from her generally disembodied state.
Hal Niedzviecki is the founder and fiction editor of Broken Pencil, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts (www.brokenpencil.com). He is the author of several works of fiction and cultural commentary including the novels Ditch and The Program, and Hello, I'm Special: How Individuality Became the New Conformity. For more information about his work, please visit his website www.smellit.com.
Betsy Struthers has published three novels and seven books of poetry; she will be reading from her latest, In Her Fifties (Black Moss Press, 2005) as well as new work. Still (Black Moss Press, 2003) won the 2004 Pat Lowther Memorial Award for the best book of poetry by a Canadian woman. A freelance editor of academic texts, Struthers lives in Peterborough, Ontario.
Jan Thornhill is a Canadian children's book author and illustrator. Her Picture Books are about animals, nature and the environment. Some, like The Wildlife ABC & 123, and Before & After are concept books. Others, like Over in the Meadow and The Rumor are perfect read-alouds. Most have a puzzle aspect to them. Many have won awards. What they all have in common is animals and nature.
She has also published an adult book:
Populated by people harboring fixations, the stories in Jan Thornhill's first collection of short fiction for adults are powerful and controlled. A woman tries to woo a taxidermist with roadkill. Another revels in auras she sees rising from the tracks of wild animals while oblivious to her own abuse of cows. One character, resentful of the thrill experienced by her criminal boyfriend when committing a break-and-entry, rearranges the contents of a stranger's refrigerator. A woman, betrayed by her husband, offers freedom to her suicidal goldfish. A mushroom-gathering woman mistakes a one-eyed bear hunter as a romantic prospect.
With an acute ear and a facility for evocative prose frequently interspersed with off-kilter humor, Thornhill writes with a remarkable clarity and compassion. Wildlife figures strongly in this collection - not surprising to anyone familiar with Thornhill's children's books, which she both writes and illustrates - but these are gritty, "desperately beautiful" stories of deftly created people teetering on the edge.
"...striking debut...intricate and unsettling..."
Globe & Mail
"...sad, poignant, and quirky...articulate and provocative..."
Quill & Quire