Books & Ideas Audio
Books & Ideas Audio
Vancouver Writers Fest
Exhilarating conversations and ideas from the world’s greatest storytellers and luminaries. From the esteemed vaults of the Vancouver Writers Fest, located in beautiful British Columbia.
Celeste Ng: Our Missing Hearts
Where does one start when listing the accolades and praise for Celeste Ng’s deeply felt, intelligent body of work? Little Fires Everywhere sold millions of copies worldwide and was adapted to a highly acclaimed series on Hulu. Of her latest, Our Missing Hearts, Stephen King shared that “it’s impossible not to be moved,” while TIME, NPR, People, The Globe and Mail, and more, listed it as a book of the year. Celeste Ng joined us at the Festival for a conversation with Jael Richardson.
Apr 30
50 min
The Poetry Bash
Our annual Poetry Bash is a gateway to discovering exceptional poets from across the globe. In this release from our 2023 flagship Festival, hear readings from Victoria Adukwei Bulley (Quiet), Lorna Crozier (After That), Patrick Friesen (Reckoning), Susan Musgrave (Exculpatory Lilies) Michael V. Smith (Queers Like Me), and Matthew James Weigel (Whitemud Walking).
Mar 31
1 hr 24 min
Sheila Heti: Alphabetical Diaries
Acclaimed Canadian writer Sheila Heti speaks with Molly Cross-Blanchard in this conversation from our 2024 Incite series, presented in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library. Her latest book, Alphabetical Diaries, collects lines from a decade's worth of her journals—rearranged in alphabetical order to create something entirely fresh and sublime. Heti is the author of ten previous books, including experimental and philosophical works such as Motherhood, Pure Colour, and How Should a Person Be?
Feb 29
1 hr 1 min
Zadie Smith in Conversation with Madeleine Thien
Widely recognized as one of the finest and most influential authors writing in English today, Zadie Smith speaks about her acclaimed latest novel, The Fraud, with her internationally-renowned Canadian contemporary, Madeleine Thien. This event was presented in 2023 in partnership with UBC School of Creative Writing and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, and with the support of Penguin Random House Canada.
Jan 31
48 min
Naomi Klein: Doppelganger
Naomi Klein’s new book, Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World, delves into what she calls the Mirror World—our destabilized present rife with doubles and confusion, where far-right movements playact solidarity with the working class, AI-generated content blurs the line between genuine and spurious, and so many of us project our own carefully curated digital doubles into the social media sphere. Klein delivers a revelatory treatment of the way many of us now think and feel, in this conversation with Jarrett Martineau from our 2023 Festival.
Dec 1, 2023
1 hr 13 min
Margaret Atwood in Conversation
The legendary Margaret Atwood joined award-winning author Ian Williams to discuss Old Babes in the Wood, her extraordinary new collection of short fiction, as part of our May Bestsellers Series. A cornerstone of Canada’s literary canon, Atwood is the author of over fifty books. Presented in partnership with Scotia Wealth Management and with support from the Chan Endowment Fund at the University of British Columbia.
Aug 31, 2023
1 hr 5 min
Pierre Jarawan in Conversation with Eleanor Wachtel
After 33 years as the acclaimed host of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, Eleanor Wachtel retired this year. Celebrate her long career by revisiting her interview with Lebanese-German author Pierre Jarawan, who joined us at the 2022 Festival to discuss Song for the Missing, named one of 24 must-read 2022 Books in Translation by BookRiot. Critically lauded by European and North American press alike, this poetic novel links events of the Middle East, including the Lebanese Civil War and the Arab Spring. Discover a deeply personal lens on the complex, tumultuous history of this region—and a literary voice as mysterious as it is moving.
Jul 31, 2023
1 hr 9 min
Yellowface: R. F. Kuang
Rebecca F. Kuang shot to #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list with her previous novels Babel and the Poppy War Trilogy. She joined the Vancouver Writers Fest, Massy Books, and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs with her new literary thriller, Yellowface—a timely and cutting satire that investigates racism in the publishing industry and beyond. She speaks here with Writers’ Trust of Canada Rising Star Eddy Boudel Tan about transparency in publishing; the nuances of cultural identity and appropriation; Asian representation and stories; and her perspective on Yellowface’s messy main character.
Jun 30, 2023
1 hr 19 min
On Freedom: Maggie Nelson
Those who are first introduced to Maggie Nelson soon notice her name throughout their literary and social worlds. The award-winning writer, scholar, poet, and critic is one of the most prolific and influential Western thinkers today. She’s the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award winning work The Argonauts, a genre-bending memoir that gives a firsthand account of the complexities and joys of queer family-making. Her latest work, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint, draws on a vast range of material to explore how we might think, experience, or talk about freedom. Thinking publicly through the knots in our culture—from recent art-world debates to the turbulent legacies of sexual liberation, from the painful paradoxes of addiction to the lure of despair in the face of the climate crisis—is itself a practice of freedom, a means of forging fortitude, courage, and company. Hear her in conversation with bookseller-turned-librarian Baharak Yousefi.
May 31, 2023
53 min
Writing in America Today
These three American writers are at the top of their game, their works each addressing timeless and timely themes of individuality, freedom, justice, equality. Megha Majumdar’s electrifying debut, A Burning, follows three characters seeking to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies. Kawai Strong Washburn’s groundbreaking novel folds the legends of Hawai’ian gods into an engrossing family saga. Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown is an intimate story about race, pop culture, and escaping stereotypes. These three sharp minds talk about upending stereotypes, writing with a day job, and the bright side of living and writing in America right now.
Apr 30, 2023
1 hr 8 min
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