On Sept. 29, Greg Hollingshead, a Governor Generalís Award winner, will be reading from recent work in Sechelt. Hollingshead is the first author invited this fall to take part in the program of readings organized by the literary committee of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council.
Since 1979, when the Sunshine Coast Arts Council was established, readings have been offered. The readings are sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts that, in 1957, established a program to promote Canadian writing.
The list of writers who have visited us reads like a recent history of Canadian literature: Audrey Thomas, Neil Bissoondath, Michael Ondaatje, Susan Musgrave, John Ralston Saul, Lorna Crozier, Patrick Lane, Sandra Birdsell, and many others including local writers; Howard White, Theresa Kishkan, John Pass, Andreas Schroeder.
Hollingshead, who teaches at the University of Alberta and the Banff School of Fine Arts, has written three novels and three works of short fiction plus hundreds of essays on literary and general topics. It was his collection of short fiction, The Roaring Girl (1995), which won the Governor Generalís Award for fiction.† Subsequent novels were The Healer (1998), which won the Rogers Writersí Fiction Prize, and Bedlam (2004), which was short-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2012, Hollingshead was honoured with the Order of Canada for his services to literature.
His works explore the occurrence of the irrational in every day life. This might take the form of merely different ways of living, or a bizarre incident that upsets normal routine. But it may equally be the mystery of faith healing (The Healer), or madness itself; Bedlam is set in the madhouse Bethlem in 18th century London. As a result his novels and stories are sometimes sad, sometimes happy and sometimes even hilarious.
Hollingshead will be reading at the Arts Centre in Sechelt (Trail and Medusa) at 8 p.m. next Saturday.
On Nov. 3 J.J.Lee, who was here for the Festival of the Written Arts, will be back, and on Dec. 1 we shall hear from Ontario writer Alison Pick.
Admission to the readings is free. Itís an intimate atmosphere and you will have every chance to meet and talk to the authors. Donít miss this experience of hearing the best in Canadian writing.