Born in New York City, Clyde A. Wray moved to the Maritimes from Los Angeles. The author of four books of poetry, Wray is also a producer, director, playwright and a performer, having had his work performed in notable places such as New York, Los Angeles, Denmark, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick. Clyde presently resides with his wife Kelli and their three children Astrid, Shasta and Nikolai in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Jan Wong is a third-generation Canadian who grew up in Montreal speaking English, some French, and no Chinese. In the summer of 1972, while majoring in Asian studies at McGill University, she traveled alone to the People’s Republic of China. At 19, she talked her way into a spot at Peking University, becoming the first of two Westerners to study in China during the Cultural Revolution, a tale she recounts in her memoir, Red China Blues, My Long March from Mao to Now.
Jan soon became fluent in Mandarin as a result of being the one and only student of a humorless Communist Party official (whom she nicknamed Fu the Enforcer.) On Saturday afternoons, as part of Chairman Mao’s Revolution-in-Education Movement, Jan also dug ditches, hauled pig manure and harvested wheat, shoulder to shoulder with her Chinese roommate, Scarlet.
Later, as a foreign correspondent based in Beijing for six years, Jan was an eyewitness to the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square. Named one of Time magazine’s top ten books of 1996, Red China Blues remains banned in China.
Jan began her journalism career in 1979 as the first-ever news assistant for The New York Times bureau in Beijing. She reported on Democracy Wall, the beginnings of dissent in China and the underground disco movement. In 1981, after graduating with a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she became a staff reporter at The Gazette in Montreal and, later, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail.
She is a recipient of the George Polk Award in the U.S. for business reporting, a National Newspaper Award in Canada for foreign reporting, the New England Press Association Newswoman of the Year Award, the Globe and Mail’s Stanley MacDowell Prize for Writing, the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Silver Medal, a National Magazine Silver Award in Canada for column writing and the Daily Bread Food Bank Public Education Award in Toronto, among other honors.
Jan has degrees in history from McGill University and Peking University. She has taught journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto. In 2010, she was the Visiting Irving Chair in Journalism at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She currently divides her time between Toronto, where she is a columnist for Toronto Life magazine, and Fredericton, where she is a professor in journalism at St. Thomas University and a columnist for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the largest independently owned newspaper in Canada.
Her other non-fiction books have been translated into many languages, including Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, Japanese, Romanian, Polish, French and Italian. They are:
-Jan Wong’s China: Reports from a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent
-Lunch With Jan Wong: Sweet and Sour Celebrity Interviews
-Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found, published in the U.S. as Comrades Lost and Found and in the U.K. as Chinese Whispers.
Apron Strings (summary):
Jan Wong knows food is better when shared, so when she set out to write a book about home cooking in France, Italy, and China, she asked her 22-year-old son, Sam, to join her. While he wasn’t keen on spending excessive time with his mom, he dreamed of becoming a chef. Ultimately, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
On their journey, Jan and Sam live and cook with locals, seeing first-hand how globalization is changing food, families, and cultures. In southeast France, they move in with a family sheltering undocumented migrants. From Bernadette, the housekeeper, they learn classic French family fare such as blanquette de veau. In a hamlet in the heart of Italy’s Slow Food country, the villagers teach them without fuss or fanfare how to make authentic spaghetti alle vongole and a proper risotto with leeks. In Shanghai, they home-cook firecracker chicken and scallion pancakes with the nouveaux riches and their migrant maids, who comprise one of the biggest demographic shift in world history. Along the way, mother and son explore their sometimes-fraught relationship, uniting — and occasionally clashing — over their mutual love of cooking.
A memoir about family, an exploration of the globalization of food cultures, and a meditation on the complicated relationships between mothers and sons, Apron Strings is complex, unpredictable, and unexpectedly hilarious.
Alice Walsh writes fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. She studied early childhood education, has an MA in English, and has worked as a preschool teacher and creative writing instructor. Her juvenile novel, Pomiuk: Prince of the North (Beach Holme), won the Ann Connor Brimer Award. Alice grew up in Newfoundland and currently lives in Nova Scotia.
Alice Walsh will be hosting several mystery genre workshops and a mystery writers panel at Fog Lit Festival 2017.
Last Lullaby (summary):
Set in the fictional town of Paddy’s Arm, Newfoundland, Alice Walsh’s debut mystery novel is at once harrowing and homey, equal parts police procedural and diner gossip. When Claire and Bram’s only child dies suddenly, it at first appears to be a case of SIDS. But when the real cause of death indicates homicide and Claire is arrested as the number-one suspect, her friend, lawyer Lauren LaVallee, promises she’ll do everything she can to prove Claire’s innocence.
Lauren combs Paddy’s Arm for suspects amid department politics and small-town talk. Why are professors Frances and Annabelle being so secretive about their adopted daughter? What’s behind a troubled student’s sudden disappearance? And who is the mysterious platinum blonde observed at the scene of the crime? Meanwhile, Lauren’s own secret – a case that almost cost her her career back in Montreal – and the sudden return of an ex-lover who wants back in her life, threaten to overwhelm the investigation altogether.
During the last twenty-five years of his life, Drew Hayden Taylor has done many things, most of which he is proud of. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with over 70 productions of his work), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on over 17 documentaries exploring the Native experience. Most notably, he wrote and directed Redskins, Tricksters and Puppy Stew, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada.
He has traveled to seventeen countries around the world, spreading the gospel of Native literature to the world. Through many of his books, most notably the four volume set of the Funny, You Don’t Look Like One series, he has tried to educate and inform the world about issues that reflect, celebrate, and interfere in the lives of Canada’s First Nations.
Self described as a contemporary storyteller, he co-created and for three years was the head writer for Mixed Blessings, a television comedy series, as well as contributed scripts to four other popular Canadian television series. In 2007, a made-for-television movie that he wrote, based on his Governor General’s nominated play In A World Created by a Drunken God, was nominated for three Gemini Awards, including Best Movie. Originally it aired on APTN and opened the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Dreamspeakers Film Festival in Edmonton. In 2011 and 2012, he wrote the script for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.
The last few years have seen him proudly serve as the Writer-In-Residence at the University of Michigan, the University of Western Ontario, University of Luneburg (Germany), Ryerson University, Wilfrid Laurier, as well as a host of Canadian theatre companies such as Cahoots Theatre, Blyth Theatre, etc.
In 2007, Annick Press published his first novel, The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, a teen novel about an Ojibway vampire. Several years ago, his non-fiction book exploring the world of Native sexuality, called Me Sexy, was published by Douglas & McIntyre. It is a follow up to his highly successful book on Native humour, Me Funny. The third installment, Me Artsy, has just been released and deals with the Aboriginal artistic spirit.
Most recently, Douglas & McIntyre published a collection of his Native themed science fiction short stories, titled Take Us to Your Chief: And Other Stories(featured at Fog Lit Festival 2017). Add to this his fresh from the press new play, Crees in the Carribean, and this brings his publication total to 30 books.
Oddly enough, the thing that his mother was most proud of was his ability to make spaghetti from scratch.
Take Us to Your Chief (summary):
Take Us to Your Chief is a collection of archetypal science-fiction stories reinvented with a contemporary First Nations outlook. The nine stories in this collection span all traditional tropes of science fiction – from peaceful aliens to hostile invaders; from space travel to time travel; from government conspiracies to connections across generations. Yet Taylor’s First Nations perspective draws fresh parallels, likening the cultural implications of alien contact to those of the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, or highlighting the impossibility of remaining a “good Native” in such an unnatural situation as a space mission. Infused with Native stories and compellingly mysterious, magical and humorous,Take Us to Your Chief is the perfect mesh of nostalgically 1950’s-esque science fiction with modern First Nations discourse.
Karen Smythe is the author of Stubborn Bones, a collection of short fiction (Polestar/Raincoast Books, 2001). Smythe’s stories have appeared in several literary publications including Grain, Fiddlehead, Antigonish Review, Gaspereau Review, and Water Studies: New Voices in Maritime Fiction. While living in Halifax, she guest-edited the Michael Ondaatje issue of Essays on Canadian Writing and served as the fiction editor of the Pottersfield Portfolio. This Side of Sad is her first novel.
This Side of Sad (summary):
Part mystery, part elegy, This Side of Sad begins with an ending: the violent enigma of a man’s death. Was it an accident or did James commit suicide? In the shattering aftermath, his widow, Maslen, questions her own capacity for love and undertakes a painful self-inquiry, examining the history of her heart and tracing the fault lines of her own fragile identity. What emerges is a mesmerizing tour of a woman’s complex past, rendered in the associative logic of memory and desire.
A gifted storyteller reminiscent of Alice Munro or Joan Didion, Karen Smythe finds poetic complexity in the seeming trivialities of the ordinary. Meditative, philosophical, and confessional, This Side of Sad is a provocative and piercing novel that explores the disintegration of a marriage; the enduring colloquy between the living and the dead; and the meaning we find within the random architecture of despair and joy.
Barbara Sibbald spent an itinerant childhood as an Air Force brat. In 1983 she graduated with a double major in Psychology and Journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa. She worked as an editor of a small-town weekly, a Valley correspondent for the Ottawa Citizen, editorial director at a small press and a staff writer for The Canadian Nurse Journal.
Barbara began publishing fiction in 1993. Her short stories have appeared in 13 magazines and journals, and she has had two novels published and a third appeared online in installments. She attended The Banff Centre’s Writer’s Studio in 1998 and has received writing grants from the Canada Council, the Ontario Art’s Council and the City of Ottawa.
She is now the editor of news and humanities at the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Her work has garnered the Canadian Association of Journalist’s Investigative Journalism prize (2005), two citations of merit from the Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism, and three golds in the Canadian Business Press, Kenneth R. Wilson Memorial Awards. Barbara’s writing has also been published in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and other publications.
She lives in Ottawa with her husband, artist Stuart Kinmond.
The Museum of Possibilities (summary):
A collection of quirky short stories focusing on pivotal moments of intense longing—for love, for power, for fame, for freedom, for revenge, and perhaps most of all, for connection in an increasingly disaffected world.