25th Trillium Award

Focus On: IFOA Ontario, with Catherine Bush

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Catherine Bush

IFOA Ontario is a literary festival like no other, bringing writers from Canada and around the world to cities and towns throughout the province for readings and discussions at local bookstores, libraries and community centres.

If you live in Windsor, Burlington, Owen Sound, Thunder Bay or any of the ten other IFOA Ontario locations, your favourite authors will be coming right to your doorstep between October 19th to November 3rd. All month long, Open Book: Ontario will share feature interviews with writers who are busy packing their suitcases to get on the road.

Today, Toronto's own Catherine Bush joins us to talk about her much-anticipated new novel, Accusation (Goose Lane Editions). Set in Ethiopia, Australia and Toronto (including a juggling scene along the 401), this is the story of Sara Wheeler, a Canadian journalist who chances to meet Raymond Renaud, the founder of an Ethiopian children's circus. When Raymond is accused of mistreating the children in his care, Sara finds herself drawn to his plight, compelled by the strange connection she feels to him and by her own past experience with accusation.

Catherine will be reading with Perrine Leblanc and Kim Scott in Woodstock on Wednesday, October 23. You can also hear her read from Accusation at IFOA Toronto on Saturday, October 26 and Friday, November 1. Visit our Events pages for details.

For more information about IFOA Ontario, visit our IFOA Ontario Page.

Open Book:

Tell us about what you?ll be reading at this year?s IFOA Ontario festival.

Catherine Bush:

I?ll be reading from Accusation, a novel about accusations amid a children?s circus in Ethiopia in the mid-1990s and a journalist?s quest for the truth. I?m interested in how we respond to accusations against others when we have no way to prove what actually happened. I also love the transformational power of the circus, the amazing feats of the human body and the challenges of writing about that, especially in a place like Ethiopia. Accusation also features a great juggling scene set closer to home — in a service centre on the 401.


What is your preferred method of travel for a reading tour and why?


I imagine arriving at a reading on horseback, after galloping down the shoulder of the 401 with my book tucked under my arm, avoiding the rush-hour tie-ups. Stage coach might be more comfortable. Travelling by balloon might be even more relaxing.


What is one luxury you allow yourself when you go "on tour" with a book?


Really good chocolate somewhere along the way.


What book (aside from your own) will you have with you in your bag while you travel to the location of your IFOA Ontario reading?


I?ve been listening to an audiobook of Homer?s The Odyssey and finding myself ridiculously moved to tears by words thousands of years old. There?s also a new anthology titled xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths that I?m hoping to dip into, featuring Canadians Sheila Heti and Johanna Skibsrud among a score of fabulous international writers.

Visit litontour.com for more details about IFOA Ontario.

Catherine Bush is the author of Claire?s Head and The Rules of Engagement, a national bestseller that was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year by the LA Times and The Globe and Mail. She has written non-fiction for a variety of publications and taught in writing programs in Canada and the USA. She is currently the Coordinator of the Creative Writing MFA at the University of Guelph. Accusation (Goose Lane Editions), her latest novel, is a story of global scope about the devastating legacies of allegations.

For more information about Accusation please visit the Goose Lane Editions website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at the publisher, Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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