It was terrific to be invited to Joanna Goodman’s launch of The Home for Unwanted Girls on Thursday. Although it is a challenge to travel to Toronto during the week, Ben McNally Books provided a great setting for the author event.
Who doesn’t love spending time in an independent bookseller? It was so tempting to buy more books as we browsed the artfully displayed shelves (until I remembered my enormous cache of books from the Brantford Symphony Orchestra sale still waiting to be shelved)! I could not resist purchasing a copy of The Home for Unwanted Girls to enable signing by the author!
The evening began with some terrific charcuterie, unique cheeses (I did enjoy the green, marbled cheese although have no idea what it was), brownies and tasty meringues with lemon curd. I wish that I had thought to take a picture as it was so beautifully displayed on natural wood cutting boards. While the audience snacked and shopped, Joanna Goodman introduced herself and chatted with the crowd while her son kept himself busy and her daughter worked on a school project.
It was terrific to have an opportunity for some one to one conversation. I was able to ask what she was working on now and she laughed and said that she had received a call from her publisher today, asking her to shelve her current project and work on a sequel to The Home for Unwanted Girls. It was interesting to learn that the American publisher is keen to learn more about the Quebec Referendum. She admitted to being a “planner” when writing her books and loves to read. She recently enjoyed Meg Wolitzer’s newest book, The Female Persuasion which is also on my TBR list.
Introduced by her literary agent, Beverly Slopen, it was interesting to learn that she had began writing this book 2 decades ago! Originally named The Seedman’s Daughter and redrafted multiple times, she had received approximately 100 rejections over the years! Two years ago, she hauled out and refined the manuscript, describing a dark chapter in Canadian history, and gave it a title change. Now it is on the Globe and Mail bestseller list, has been compared to The Alice Project and has been published simultaneously in French!
After listening to a quick reading – not the 4-5 chapters she jokingly promised, we headed home chatting about the event and all the books on our TBR piles. Thanks to Sarah and Kim for sharing a fun evening in Toronto!
What’s next? This week I am excited to meet Heather Tucker, author of The Clay Girl at book club followed by a Lunch with Kim Thuy. I have been wanting to meet the author of Ru, Man and Vi for a long time so am excited for this FOLD festival event.
Watch for more frequent posts as I catch up on my reviews and author events including Lisa Genova, David Chariandy and Peter Robinson.