Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hill Climbs High

The day the world found out that Lawrence Hill was on the long-list for the Giller Prize, he was sitting in my office, recording readings for AuthorsAloud. One thing didn't naturally lead to the other — the recording session had been planned for a while — but it's a good indication that this site strives to represent the best of Canadian literature, and to remain current always.

Hill grew up in the predominantly white suburb of Don Mills, Ontario, in the sixties, and in his writing he has been greatly influenced by his parents' work in the human rights movement. He's been dedicated to his art for a long time and it's nice (not only because I consider him a friend) to see him getting his due with his latest marvelous novel. Take the time to listen to Lawrence Hill's reading from The Book of Negroes, and to the insight he gives into the challenges of taking on what for him is a dramatically new style and voice, here.


Monday, September 10, 2007

The richness of language

The latest addition to AuthorsAloud is a reading by accomplished poet Richard Harrison, who has given us something special. At the launch for TransLit 7, the most recent edition of the annual collection published by the Literary Translator's Society in Calgary, he read his moving poem "September 11, 2001, 6pm". Then, in the TransLit tradition, the poem was presented in two other languages — in Arabic by Antoine Sassine, and in French by Gilles Mossière.

AuthorsAloud has the pleasure of offering you, its visitors, all three readings. Each is a wonderful performance, and listening to all three, one after the other, creates the effect of drawing a bridge of shared appreciation and understanding between cultures. It's a very fine way to spend about 8 minutes and I encourage you to do so.