Manx Pub370 Elgin St.

Plan 99: BookThug Launch with
Michael Blouin, Sandra Ridley and André Alexis

Hosted by David O’Meara
"Alexis [has an] astute understanding of the madly shimmering, beautifully weaving patterns created by what we have agreed to call memory.
— Ottawa Citizen
Andre Alexis
Michael Blouin
Sandra Ridley

We celebrate another exciting Fall publishing season from BookThug with an afternoon of cutting-edge writing presented in collaboration with the Plan 99 Reading Series.  


I Don’t Know How To Behave, by Michael Blouin, combines the true story of Canadian daredevil and stunt driver Ken Carter (1938-1983) with imagined biographical elements from the lives of Canadian film director Bruce McDonald and Canadian poet Gillian Sze. Along the way, this quintessential Canadian story (told in a manner that has never been attempted before!) crashes head first into many related things, from screenplay theory to hip hop history to the story of early Canadian film to drawings to photographs to bank robberies to chaos theory to technical specs for Detroit muscle cars to re-imagined movies to imagined documentary to advertisements to newspaper interviews to instructions for making molotov cocktails to Evel Kneivel to Steve McQueen’s Bullitt to self-help tomes.


Akin to a bookkeeper’s accounting of what’s given and taken in a fraught, uncertain exchange, The Counting House, the latest poetry collection from Sandra Ridley, goes on to record the pageantry and pedantry of courtly affection gone awry. Symbols and origins of traditional rhymes involving kings and queens serve as inventory, alongside elements of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. In forensic sequences of inquisition, scrutiny, and reckoning, Ridley reveals the maiden as muse as modern darling – unhoused and exacting – in “all of her violet forms.”


A is a work of fiction in which André Alexis presents the compelling narrative of Alexander Baddeley, a Toronto book reviewer obsessed with the work of the elusive and mythical poet Avery Andrews. Baddeley is in awe with Andrews’s ability as a poet – more than anything he wants to understand the inspiration behind his work – so much so that, following in the footsteps of countless pilgrims throughout literary history, Baddeley actually tracks Andrews down thinking that meeting his literary hero will provide some answers. Their meeting results in a meditation and a revelation about the creative act itself that generates more and more questions about what it means to be “inspired.” Alexis further develops this narrative through a reflection in essay form presented as an annex that build layers of thought upon not only the original narrative, but provides Alexis’s own motives (and perhaps, obsessions) behind writing A.


Books by participating authors available on-site. A booksigning will follow each event.


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