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Sunday, 25 May 2014

Recap: Heather O'Neill at the Rialto Hall

On Saturday, May 10, we had the honour of hosting Montreal luminary Heather O'Neill at the Rialto Hall to launch her new, much-anticipated book, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night! Heather read several excerpts from the book, and engaged in a lively, thought-provoking discussion with musician Laurel Sprengelmeyer of Little Scream. The room was packed and an awed hush reigned as long as Heather was onstage. After the presentation and discussion, Heather met her many fans and signed books for all!

Here are some photos from that lovely evening! I should mention that this is the first time we've done an event in the newly refurbished Rialto Hall, and that it is a beautiful space (the photos don't quite do it justice).

A delectable spread!



Store staff member Kira working the book table
Most helpful, youngest staff members of the evening: Ella and Esme, directing traffic!
Other most helpful, youngest staff member of the evening: Oliver, taking tickets!
The stylish crowd!
Laurel Sprengelmeyer giving a warm welcome to Heather O'Neill!
Heather began the evening by reading the (two-page long) first chapter of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, "Girls! Girls! Girls!", which deftly sets the scene for this complex love letter to Montreal. Cats, cars full of barely-of-age boys, strip joints and the girls who work in them, and the Quebec French accent all make appearances.

Heather was then joined onstage by Laurel! The rapport between the two was palpable and a pleasure to witness! We especially enjoyed the ongoing joke (or perhaps not) that everything Heather writes comes true... Heather also took questions from the audience. Discussion ranged from the great Quebec singers who inspired the character of √Čtienne Tremblay ("the worst of them all!"); to Heather's writing process (very involving, due to the many recurring details she weaves into her text - for instance, did you know that a cat appears on nearly every page of the book?); to the difficulties of translating a Quebec book from English to "international" French.



After gracing us with another reading from the book (from Chapter 13, "The Lazy Day Revolution"), Heather welcomed her many fans at the signing table, and spent time chatting with each person. She was smart and charming and certainly deserves all the fans she has!

Thank you to everyone who attended! And if you missed it, don't worry - we still have signed copies of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night at the store for you!

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