The freedom of being 80 in lockdown. An appreciation of public trust in government. The downside of zoom interviews. The perils of online shopping. A fake dean of a fake university. A willing castaway in a republic of one. Moved and shaken by a global pandemic and all the chaos it has unearthed, our storytellers remain our best shot at hope, humour and a steadying perspective. Thank you for joining us for The Way We Flattened — our first virtual Storytelling event, which proved that even when forced to pancake our lives, awesomeness prevails.
Please enjoy a tiny universe of joy in these bonus, behind-the-scenes interviews:
The incomparable, award-winning author of Season of Fury and Wonder, Sharon Butala joins us from her aerie high above the Calgary skyline where she yearns for company but finds hope under a “measureless silent sky” (swoon).
Sharon’s book: A Season of Fury and Wonder
While we hungrily await Ethan Lou‘s upcoming book Once a Bitcoin Miner, we vow to seek love and comfort akin to what he discovered in Germany via dutifully following the “rules of plague.”
Ethan’s book: Field Notes from a Pandemic
Bob Wiseman is many things — writer, producer, composer, musician, PhD student. But his most striking gift, fearlessly revealed last night, is his willingness to share his discomfort and vulnerability in this altered state of connection and communication.
Bob’s book: Music Lessons
With writerly expectations dashed and a baby on the way, author Omar Mouallem had to pivot, fast, for his family and his own sanity. His Pandemic University School of Writing lifted a world of fellow storytellers and earned him a well-deserved honorary degree in Being Awesome.
Omar’s alma mater: Pandemic University
A national treasure and the storyteller we’d most want to be washed ashore with in lieu of a stack of books, Vancouver’s Bill Richardson is all surprise and delight. Here, he shares the artful fate of all the would-be-daughters-in-law who, sadly, didn’t make the cut into the Richardson family.
Bill’s Book: I Saw Three Ships
Thank you to ECW Press, Freehand Books, Pandemic University, Penguin Random House Canada, and Talon Books for making this exceptional experience possible. Support Wordfest’s official booksellers Shelf Life and Owl’s Nest Books by purchasing one or more of tonight’s featured titles:
Season of Fury and Wonder by Sharon Butala
Field Notes from a Pandemic by Ethan Lou
I Saw Three Ships by Bill Richardson
Music Lessons by Bob Wiseman
And sign up for a class at Pandemic University, founded by Omar Mouallem.