International Festival of Authors – Linwood Barclay, John Brady, Jennica Harper, Ian Rankin

By Sam Mooney

Andrew Pyper at IFOA Tonight I spent another evening being read to at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA).  I realized that if authors are going to stand on a stage and read, they need to have a stage presence.  That isn’t to say that any of them didn’t, rather some authors had presence in spades.

Linwood Barclay could stand on stage reading from the phone book and manage to stop at a place that would make me rush out to buy the phone book, just so that I could finish reading it.

He read from Fear the Worst.  One sentence.  A brilliant opening sentence.

And then read from his new novel that will be published in the spring.

I knew beforehand that I would love whatever Ian Rankin read, and I did.  Arguably the most unusual part of his reading was when he stopped, reached into his pocket for a pen, and made a note on a piece of paper.  He’d noticed a missing apostrophe.

The unexpected bonus was Jennica Harper reading from her book of poems What it Feels Like For a Girl.  It’s definitely a book now on my wish list.

Andrew Pyper was the host.  I mention this because he was an excellent host and the picture I took of him was the least blurry, so I’m using it here.

The Globe and Mail is recording the readings and podcasting them (though I don’t think all of them,) on their blog In Other Words.  You can pick your favourite authors, download the podcasts and listen to them whenever you want.


The International Festival of Authors – IFOA – runs until October 31 in various Harbourfront venues.
-Tickets to most events are $15 and are available at the box office – Harbourfront Centre Box Office, York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West – by phone – 416.973.4000 or online.
IFOA Ontario runs until November 3.

Picture of Andrew Pyper by Sam Mooney