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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Michael Ondaatje

Tonight, Ottawa’s Elizabeth Hay hosts an evening with one of the world’s most acclaimed authors, Booker Prize winner Michael Ondaatje, reading from his eagerly anticipated new novel, Divisadero, and answering audience questions. More info at Ottawa International Writers Festival website.

Also in town is the lovely and talented Nairne Holtz. She's reading from her book The Skin Beneath which starts at 8:00 pm at Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar. Also featured are readings by Megan Butcher and Jennifer Whiteford.
UPDATE: 10:30pm

I went specifically tonight to take a photo of Mr. Ondaatje but at the last minute, literally, his (anti?) publicist came to our seats in the auditorium and warned us photogs not to take any photos during the event. I respected this request. But she also said there was to be no photography during the book signing after the interview. No (reasonable) reason was given for this, nor did I ask for one. I just thought this was odd behaviour. I was going to buy his new book but passed after hearing this. Anyway, I during the interview portion of the evening I whipped out my moleskin notepad and drew a pen & ink sketch of Mr. Ondaatje on stage. A photo would probably show him in better light... I was thinking that I would auction off this sketch and all the proceeds would go to the OIWF and their literacy fundraising. What do you think? [The sketch is posted on Flickr.]

In any event, I left after the reading with no photographic record. So, I headed straight for the Venus Envy reading event and met up with author Nairne Holtz to buy her latest book and have a brief chat with Jen and Megan. As Nairne had no apparent hang-ups about getting her photograph taken I politely requested a short photo-shoot after her reading. Happily, she obliged. A photo is forthcoming. Thanks Nairne!


Blogger Stephen Rowntree said...

Some much for (the) Canadian Patience. I'm sure your photograph would have done Mr. Ondaatje proud.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Amanda Earl said...

hey, i didn't see you at the venus envy reading! that's ridiculous about ondaatje's publicist. an author who is too far from his audience is an author who doesn't deserve an audience in my opinion, but then i haven't become a fan of ondaatje yet. i feel like i read his stuff in the 19th century already.

Thursday, May 17, 2007 6:41:00 AM  

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