25th Trillium Award

On the Road with Linda Spalding: The IFOA Ontario Interview Series

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Linda Spalding (photo credit: Michael Ondaatje)

Many of Ontario's most passionate and dedicated readers live in communities spread across the province, so the International Festival of Authors (IFOA), now in its 33rd year, is taking its show on the road once again to bring its exciting program of literary events to 14 locations throughout Ontario. From October 16th to November 2nd, outstanding authors from Canada and across the world will visit Barrie, Brantford, Burlington, Hamilton, Markham, Midland, Parry Sound, Picton, Orillia, Owen Sound, Thunder Bay, Uxbridge, Windsor and Woodstock.

Today Open Book catches up with Linda Spalding, who will be reading in Woodstock on Wednesday, October 17, along with Tanis Rideout, Kjersti A. Skomsvold and Cordelia Strube. Linda's new novel, The Purchase, (McClelland & Stewart) is a finalist for both the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction.

For more information about the IFOA Ontario: Woodstock, visit our Events Page.

Open Book:

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

Linda Spalding:

I?ll read from my new novel, The Purchase, which tells the story of a man who is exiled by his community, takes his young family to the Virginia frontier and confronts the ultimate challenge to his beliefs and values.


What are you most looking forward to about reading in the town of your IFOA Ontario event?


Woodstock will be a wonderful place to read from The Purchase, which takes places in a small community and features a young woman who saves her family by making butter "holy." She begins with one weary cow and becomes an 18th century entrepreneur.


How do you manage the shift between being solitary writer and a public reader?


After months of working alone, when the only voices you hear are in your own head, the pleasure of being surrounded by writers and readers is huge. I do have moments when I want to retreat and curl up alone in a big fetal ball, but the fun of companionship wins out every time.


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


Good question! I guess it depends on what?s available. At the Cuitt festival in Ireland there was a quiet little spa in my hotel and I luxuriated with a massage when I saw an ad in the elevator saying they were half-price.


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 think it?s going to be a short trip out of town and I can?t read in the car! During the IFOA in Toronto, I?ll be living at home where I am surrounded by hundreds of tempting books.

Visit litontour.com for more details about IFOA Ontario.

Born and raised in Kansas, Linda Spalding immigrated to Canada from Hawaii in 1982. Spalding is the author of three novels and two acclaimed works of non-fiction: The Follow (Key Porter), which was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize; and Who Named the Knife (McClelland & Stewart), the true story of the murder trial of Maryann Acker. She lives in Toronto, where she is an editor at Brick magazine. She is also the recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize. In Spalding's new novel, The Purchase, a young Quaker father and widower leaves his home in Pennsylvania to establish a new life.

For more information about The Purchase please visit the McClelland & Stewart website.

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

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