• Audrey Wall

Hudson’s StoryFest welcomes a formidable virtual line-up


Montrealer Tommy Schnurmacher is one of the authors taking part in this year’s edition of Hudson’s Literary Festival StoryFest and he’ll help wrap up the event discussing his latest book titled ‘Makeup Tips from Auschwitz: How Vanity Saved my Mother’s Life.’

Readers from far and wide are invited to join us online for our 19th edition of StoryFest Literary Festival via Zoom. For those who would like to find out more about the books our authors will be discussing, here is a preview. Joan Thomas won the Governor General’s Award for fiction for her novel ‘Five Wives,’ described by the Globe and Mail as, “…brilliant, eloquent, curious, far-seeing.” It is based on a true story of five American missionary families who moved into the territory of the reclusive and isolated Waorani people in Ecuador in 1956. Called Operation Auca, the story centres on the five wives left behind in the rainforest when their husbands are killed. It is a fascinating look inside the minds of evangelists.

Annabel Lyon’s newest novel ‘Consent’ will be published next week, but has already been placed on the longlist for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller prize. The story centres around two sets of sisters whose lives are forever changed by tragedy. It is a thought-provoking exploration of how complex familial duty can become, and it shows us how complicated love becomes when it is mixed with guilt, resentment and regret.

Margaret MacMillan’s new book, ‘War: How Conflict Shaped Us’ looks at the ways war has influenced human society and discusses controversial questions such as, “Does human nature doom us to fight another war?” She discusses how changes in political organizations, technology and ideologies affect why and how we fight. The author of the acclaimed book ‘Paris, 1919: The War That Ended Peace,’ Margaret MacMillan’s voice is an important one in our world of today.

Emily Urquhart’s book ‘The Age of Creativity: Art, Memory, My Father and Me,’ was just released September 1. In this work, Emily shows us that human creativity doesn’t come with an expiry date. Based on her firsthand observations of award-winning artist Tony Urquhart, Emily tells stories of her relationship with her father as she grows up, travels, and watches him age.

Michelle Good, author of ‘Five Little Indians.’ is a writer of Cree ancestry and a lawyer. In her first novel, she draws on the personal experiences her mother and her grandmother had at Canada’s residential schools. Her book is both compassionate and insightful, and chronicles the desperate quest of residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, to find a way forward. Good’s book has also just been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller prize.

Tommy Schnurmacher’s latest book, ‘Makeup Tips from Auschwitz: How Vanity Saved my Mother’s Life,’ is a story of courage in the face of adversity. It is a wonderful tribute to his Mother, Olga, who would not be defeated against all odds. The book is made up of 51 short chapters, comic in the time-honoured tradition of Jewish Mother humour, but moving forward to a place where the reader is emotionally invested in the outcome.

Greenwood’s StoryFest will take place every Thursday during October online using the Zoom platform. The regular time will be 7 p.m. Eastern time with one exception – the event with Margaret McMillan will take place at 2 p.m. Eastern time as she is joining us from London, England. The final event with Tommy Schnurmacher takes place Sunday, November 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

Ticket are free and can be reserved at www.greenwoodstoryfest.com Please follow the directions on the website to get a virtual ticket and a Zoom Webinar ID number.