If you are a writer or a reader looking for a good time, why not consider going to a book launch or reading. Vancouver is a great city for this and almost every night there is a launch, a reading, a poetry slam or something free and literary to do. Last night, a friend and I drove to the other side of the water (that would be North Vancouver) and more precisely Edgemont Village to 32 Books, an amazing Indie bookstore, to see Amanda Hale launch her latest novel, In the Embrace of the Alligator.
Amanda read a chapter from her book, and I listened with my eyes closed so I could fully experience and enjoy being transported, through her lyrical words to the real Cuba, where everything isn’t all rosy, but the people are steadfast and colourful. Anyone who has looked at map or flown over Cuba, will recognize the unique alligator like shape of this county, that inspired the book’s title.
While there, I met Cathie Borrie who was recently interviewed on North by Northwest (CBC Radio One). I listened to that interview and put her non-fiction book about dealing with a mum with Alzheimer’s on my reading list, so what a joy to meet her in person. Her books, The Long Hello, (oh how I love that title) and it’s companion, Looking into your voice guarantee an intimate look into the world of this debilitating and all too common disease. And they are beautifully written. I plan to offer one of my copies to a friend who is struggling to deal with the pain of her mother’s descent into this frightening, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes insightful place.
So, all in all, a great evening. And there is more to come! On Monday May 9th, Bernhard Sehlink, author of The Reader will be presenting at the VPL, courtesy of the Vancouver Writers Festival, incite program – free!!