Wordfest presents Ann-Marie MacDonald
Memorial Park Library, 2nd Floor
1221 2 St SW
Wordfest is thrilled to present Ann-Marie MacDonald in celebration of the publication of her long-awaited new novel, Fayne. The 75-minute conversation, hosted by Christina Frangou, will begin at 7 PM MT and includes an audience Q&A and book signing.
As with all of MacDonald's previous works, Fayne began with an image. "This time, it was of a moody and beautiful landscape: a windswept moor that looked to me like an ocean whose turbulent surface had been stilled by the wave of a wand. Then I drew a picture – literally. I am no visual artist, but my stories always seem to start with an illustration," MacDonald told CBC Books in an email. "In this case it was of a young person in romantic late 19th century garb. I couldn't tell if it was a young man or young woman. But the caption I wrote gave me a clue as to the story that would become Fayne: 'I had heard something out on the moor.' I needed to find out who this young person was. And what they had heard ...."
We are grateful to Knopf Canada (celebrating its 30th anniversary) for making it possible for us to connect you with Ann-Marie MacDonald.
A beloved writer returns with a tale of science, magyk, love and identity.
In the late nineteenth century, Charlotte Bell is growing up at Fayne, a vast and lonely estate straddling the border between England and Scotland, where she has been kept from the world by her adoring father, Lord Henry Bell, owing to a mysterious condition. Charlotte, strong and insatiably curious, revels in the moorlands, and has learned the treacherous and healing ways of the bog from the old hired man, Byrn, whose own origins are shrouded in mystery. Her idyllic existence is shadowed by the magnificent portrait on the landing in Fayne House which depicts her mother, a beautiful Irish-American heiress, holding Charlotte’s brother, Charles Bell. Charlotte has grown up with the knowledge that her mother died in giving birth to her, and that her older brother, Charles, the long-awaited heir, died soon afterwards at the age of two. When Charlotte’s appetite for learning threatens to exceed the bounds of the estate, her father breaks with tradition and hires a tutor to teach his daughter “as you would my son, had I one.” But when Charlotte and her tutor’s explorations of the bog turn up an unexpected artefact, her father announces he has arranged for her to be cured of her condition, and her world is upended. Charlotte’s passion for knowledge and adventure will take her to the bottom of family secrets and to the heart of her own identity.
About Ann-Marie MacDonald
Ann-Marie MacDonald is an award-winning novelist, playwright, actor, and broadcast host. Her writing for the stage includes the plays Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Belle Moral: A Natural History, and Hamlet-911, along with the libretto for the chamber opera Nigredo Hotel, and book and lyrics for the musical Anything That Moves. She is the author of the bestselling novels Fall on Your Knees, The Way the Crow Flies, and Adult Onset. MacDonald is a graduate of the Acting Program of The National Theatre School of Canada. In 2019 MacDonald was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her contribution to the arts and her LGBTQ2SI+ activism. She is married to theatre director Alisa Palmer, with whom she has two children.
About Host Christina Frangou
Christina Frangou is a journalist, writer, and editor who specializes in writing about health, medicine, and social issues. She writes regularly for Maclean’s, The Guardian, Chatelaine and The Globe and Mail. In 2016, she won the National Newspaper Award for long-feature writing for a story about her experience as a young widow in the aftermath of her husband’s death. Frangou’s many other awards include both gold and silver awards for short feature at the 2021 National Magazine Awards and multiple Alberta Magazine awards. She lives in Calgary.