On Thursday, November 26, we were pleased to help launch Teri Vlassopoulos's new novel, Escape Plans.
The event was hosted by novelist and journalist Ian McGillis, who was very keen to introduce a full roster of what he called "literary lifers," or people so dedicated to their craft that they write wherever they are in their lives, through highs and lows, new babies and puppies.
First to read was Lesley Trites, author of Echoic Mimic and wine writer (“I think it’s good to have at least one wine writer in your life,” said McGillis). She is currently working on a book of short stories, and read an excerpt of a piece about a single woman at a dinner party.
Saleema Nawaz was up next, with McGillis counting her among one of the few heirs apparent to Mordecai Richler. (High praise!) The author of Bone & Bread is working on an interconnected collection of short stories that all take place as an illness spreads across North America. The excerpt she read followed an assistant editor going nowhere with her career.
Teri Vlassopoulos then took the stage, glad to be back in Montreal and thanking everyone for coming. McGillis had mentored her through the Quebec Writers' Federation, and noted that she seemed to start her career already ready and polished. Escape Plans tells the story of a family: father Nico, mother Anna, and daughter Zoe. Nico gets killed at the start of the novel, and what follows is a thoughtful exploration of his last days, and the impact of his death on his family. Told from all three points of view, Vlassopoulos read a chapter from each. Zoe's memory, loss, and studying of Greek weaved beautifully into moments of departure, beige apartment buildings, and Jackie O from Nico, and Paris, warm bodies, and dining and dashing from Anna.
All in all, it was a very memorable event with a great range of writing! Thanks to everyone who came and helped me it a great experience.