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Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon at the 2012 International Festival of Authors

Junot Diaz (left), Michael Chabon, and interviewer Siri Agrell at the IFOA on October 19. Photo by Laura Godfrey.

Friday night’s International Festival of Authors event featuring Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon—with a surprise audience appearance by Michael Ondaatje—was a perfect blend of nerdy, thought-provoking conversation. The Q&A, moderated by Toronto journalist and author Siri Agrell (“I thought I was going to be in the middle, like a Pulitzer sandwich,” she quipped as they took their seats), covered issues from the dwindling space books are given in the media to the steps both authors take to ensure their female characters are realistic. (As Chabon noted, he avoids the bizarre fixation some male writers seem to have with eagerly describing their female characters’ breasts.)

For Diaz, who recently followed up his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao with a short-story collection called This Is How You Lose Her, working as a creative writing professor at MIT has proven to him that a lot of male students really do have built-in blind spots when it comes to writing convincing female characters. He also admits they’re not the only ones who need help in that regard.

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See you this Sunday at the Toronto Word on the Street Festival!

Here’s something to celebrate about the fall: it’s the return of the annual Word on the Street Festival at Queen’s Park Circle! On September 23, hundreds of Canadian publishers, authors, and magazines will assemble to celebrate the printed word, and as usual, Bookclub-in-a-Box will be there with all kinds of festival-only deals, including: (more…)

Thanks to all who came out and met Joshua Henkin

On Wednesday night, a roomful of booklovers attended our author event featuring Joshua Henkin, who read a passage from his acclaimed novel The World Without You and spoke about his writing habits (and his belief in supporting indie bookstores). Since Henkin directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College, he was a natural at describing his thought process between writing Matrimony, his previous novel that spans 20 years, and this new one, which spans only 72 hours.

Thanks to Joshua, to the librarians at Deer Park, and to everyone who attended!

FREE author event: Meet Joshua Henkin at the Deer Park Library on August 22

Joshua Henkin at the Deer Park Library
40 St. Clair Ave. E., Toronto  |  7:00 p.m.

Tell your friends! Tell your neighbours! Bookclub-in-a-Box is hosting an event with Joshua Henkin, the author of the new family drama The World Without You, which has already received rave reviews. To attend this FREE event—and to be entered in a draw for a signed copy of the novel—just RSVP to laura@bookclubinabox.com.

Copies of the novel will be available for purchase, along with free refreshments.

What the press is saying:

“Like a more bittersweet version of Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You or a less chilly variation on Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, Henkin tenderly explores family dynamics in this novel about the ties that bind, and even lacerate.”  — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Tenderness spills from these pages — so much so that the reader misses Leo too.”— Entertainment Weekly, A– grade

About the novel: On July 4, 2005, the Frankels are coming together for a memorial one year after the youngest sibling, Leo, was killed in Iraq where he was working as a journalist. And although each member of the family—Leo’s parents, his three older sisters, and his widow, Thisbe—struggles to keep things together for their reunion in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, several bombshells hover beneath the surface, not the least of which being the crumbling marriage of Leo’s parents, Marilyn and David.