Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
Every year the Friends of the Haliburton County Public Library put on an Author’s Gala. This year is no exception with the 11th annual gala taking place on November 13th at the Pinestone featuring Toronto writer Michael Redhill. Redhill also writes thrillers under the name Inger Ash Wolfe so going to this gala is like getting two writers for the price of one.
Today on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood and I will talk about Michael Redhill and Inger Ash Wolfe who although they are the same person write wildly different books.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Coordinator: Michael Redhill has been a fiction writer, playwright, poet, co-editor and publisher of a literary magazine. His first novel, Martin Sloane, was a finalist for the Giller Prize, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Books in Canada First Novel Award. His novel Consolation received the Toronto Book Award, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and was the winner of the Keep Toronto Reading “One Book” campaign. His first book for young readers, Saving Houdini, was a finalist for the Silver Birch Award. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Redhill was raised in the metropolitan Toronto area. He pursued one year of study at Indiana University, and then returned to Canada, completing his education at York University and the University of Toronto. A father of two, Michael tells in a 2013 Toronto Life edition that he was raised as a hockey fan born to non-sporty parents. He describes being surprised, after that childhood, to become the father of two highly athletic young men who have turned him and his partner Anne into full-blown hockey parents. While I haven’t read any of Michael Redhill’s works yet, this bang on paragraph from that Toronto Life article has made me a fan already. It reads; What surprises me most these days is the realization of how pleasant the routine has become, and perhaps how much my own parents and I missed out on when I was a kid. Amateur hockey generates a strange and wonderful sense of community. Once your child belongs to a team for a long time, their friends—and their friends’ parents—become fixtures in your emotional life. I see my hockey family more regularly than I do my own extended family. I have eaten dinner at long tables groaning with friends from walks of life I could never have encountered any other way. One hockey dad, who happened to be visiting the same lake where my family’s cottage is located, appeared at the end of our dock last summer in a speedboat and a pair of underwear and took my family out for a spin. Another went in with me on a case of irresistibly good red wine, but neither of us has tasted it yet because we’ve vowed to open the first bottle together.
Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: When Inger Ash Wolfe first started writing in 2008 it was known the she was a pseudonym for the Canadian writer, what wasn’t known was who that writer was. It took five years for Redhill to reveal himself as Wolfe. Whereas Michael Redhill writes wonderful literary fiction infrequently, his alter ego Wolfe writes very scary murder mysteries on a regular basis. So far Wolfe has written four mysteries starring the unlikely heroine Hazel Micallef who is a Percocet addicted 64 year old living with her mother. Hazel is not a “yes man” and is often in hot water professionally as a police detective for telling it like it is and not taking direction from her younger senior officers. She is in chronic pain and that makes her cranky and her painkiller dependency came from a surgery that didn’t quite solve the problem. She is an unusual heroine but one you quickly admire and cheer for. The first in the series is The Calling that also has a film adaptation starring Susan Sarandon. The most recent book is The Night Bell which will be available for sale at the gala along with Redhill’s award winning book Consolation.
For his gala appearance Redhill is actually reading as Wolfe which he says he has never done before. The library has books by both Redhill and Wolfe that you can read before meeting him. Tickets can be purchased at Master’s Book Store in Haliburton, The Book Nook in the Minden Branch of the Library or by calling Rozanne at 705-286-1071. This event did sell out last year so don’t wait too long to get your tickets.
That’s it for this week’s episode of Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 CanoeFM.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM, October 30-November 5, 2016.