Knox Presbyterian Church120 Lisgar Street (at Elgin)

Living History:
In the Shadow of War
with Margaret Sweatman,
Johanna Skibsrud
and Frances Itani

Hosted by CBC's Laurence Wall
"Frances Itani is an artist who understands what to include and what to leave out, when to whisper and when to shout.... Utterly absorbing.
— Newsday
Frances Itani - Photo courtesy of Maggie Knaus
Johanna Skibsrud
Johanna Skibsrud
Margaret Sweatman

Don’t miss this look at the intersection between global wars and individual experiences. As Martin Luther King, Jr., noted, “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” Join us for a conversation on the damage wrought long after the last shots are fired, and the lasting scars of war.


We welcome Margaret Sweatman back to the Festival with Mr. Jones . Emmett Jones is adrift. Having firebombed civilians as a pilot during World War II, he searches for something to cling to when life loses focus. Post-war, he becomes compulsively drawn to John Norfield, a former POW who has found his focus in Communism. Set in a time of rampant paranoia, Mr. Jones peels back the veneer of Canadian politics to reveal a nation willing to sacrifice its own. It is a fearful time, a time of “peace” at the onset of the nuclear age. Mr. Jones is an exploration of a past where world governments threaten annihilation while training housewives in the proper techniques for sweeping up radioactive dust.


Taking us on an unforgettable journey through individual experience and memory against the backdrop of seismic historical events, Quartet for the End of Time by Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Johanna Skibsrud is a profound meditation on human nature. The year is 1932, and America is roiling with unrest. Angry WWI veterans, embittered by the ruinous poverty inflicted by the Great Depression, join forces and, calling themselves the Bonus Army, march on Washington to demand payment of the wartime bonus promised them for their service during the war.


Ottawa’s own Frances Itani, the bestselling author of the award-winning international sensation Deafening returns to the period following the First World War with Tell , an extraordinary novel of secrets withheld and secrets revealed. In 1919, only months after the end of the Great War, the men and women of Deseronto struggle to recover from wounds of the past, both visible and hidden. Tell is a deeply moving story about the burdens of the past.


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