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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Re-Cap: Our Yann Martel event!

Our Yann Martel event last week was the very first partnership between the Westmount Public Library and Librairie Drawn & Quarterly and it was a rousing success! A hall packed with a terrific audience and the author and interviewer engaged in a compelling discussion on literature and life!


Librairie D+Q friend Joseph Rosen did a wonderful job with the interview and, of course, the main topic that night was Yann's new book THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF PORTUGAL and the discussion careened between religion -and its remarkable capacity to explain and contextualize evil- to  crisis of faith - the passivity of grieving- to our projection of innocence on animals.


Yann explained his writing process: write, write, and write some more. He is an incessant re-writer and tends to work on one thing for years before moving onto another. He considers himself dogged and lucky, rather than a "good writer" (an opinion many of us may disagree vehemently with) and that he learned to write through reading. What has he been reading lately? Homer's The Iliad  ("Game of Thrones 3000 years ago!").


Before the lively Q&A began, Yann's mom jumped up and regaled us with some stories of  his childhood ( like his drive to witness the exact moment a raw carrot became a boiled carrot) and told us how much she worried about how Yann could make a living while studying philosophy in university.

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Following the Q&A, Yann signed books for one of the longest line-ups the Victoria Hall had seen for an author event. There were many re-connections with Montreal friends and acquaintances and words of advice for young writers from Concordia.




And Librairie D+Q manager Rebecca was not about to let a chance at a family picture go, here is Yann with his Mom and Dad...such sweethearts!


In the end, a terrific night! An amazing turn-out too, for such a dicey weather day, proving once again that Montreal book lovers aren't daunted by the ice and snow.  Thank you Donna Lach, Julianne Cordella and Carolyn Proctor from the WPL and Sharon Klein and Michael Rose from Penguin Random House for all your work that made the evening possible.  Thank you, Joseph Rosen and thank you Yann Martel, for the event and your wonderful book. We have some signed copies at the store, drop by and grab one before we run out!


Thank you, both Librairie D+Q and Westmount Public Library patrons, here's to hoping our paths intersect again in the near future!

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