Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.

with Craig Davidson,
James Bartleman
and Carmen Aguirre

Hosted by Peter Schneider
"What a bold, brave, and wise artist Carmen Aguirre is. Despite some soul-crushing experiences in her past, she’s written a memoir that’s life-affirming, awe-inspiring, and even wickedly funny in parts. Mexican Hooker #1 has a lot to teach us about the ways of the world.
— Neil Smith, author of Boo
Carmen Aguirre
Craig Davidson - Photo courtesy of Kevin Kelly
James Bartleman - Photo courtesy of Andrew Stawicki-PhotoSensitive

Join us for a taste of three extraordinary and inspiring memoirs, and a conversation overcoming adversity.

With his last novel, Cataract City, Craig Davidson established himself as one of our most talented novelists. But in his early thirties, before writing that novel and before his previous work, Rust and Bone, was made into an Oscar-nominated film, Davidson experienced a period of poverty, apparent failure and despair. In Precious Cargo his new work of intimate, riveting and timely non-fiction, Davidson tells the story of one year in his life driving a school bus full of special-needs kids—a year during which he came to a new, mature understanding of his own life and his connection to others. Or, as Davidson would say, he became an adult. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society.

In Seasons of Hope, James Bartleman, Ontario’s first Native lieutenant governor, looks back over seventy years to his childhood and youth to describe how learning to read at any early age led him to dream dreams, empowering him to serve his country as an ambassador. After a vicious beating in a hotel room robbery in South Africa, however, he was forced to come to terms with a deepening depression. In the end, Bartleman found new meaning in life when he became the Queen’s representative in Ontario and mobilized the public to support his initiatives championing books and education for Native children.

Carmen Aguirre has lived many lives, all of them to the fullest. At age six she was a Chilean refugee adjusting to life as a Latina in North America. At eighteen she was a revolutionary dissident married to a generous-hearted man she couldn't fully love. In her early twenties she fought to find her voice as an actress and to break away from the stereotypical roles thrust upon her--Housekeeper, Hotel Maid, Mexican Hooker #1--all the while navigating the complex paths of lust and heartbreak. As she grew in her career, Aguirre became a writer, a director, an actress, and then a mother, but alongside her many multi-faceted identities was another that was unbearable to embrace yet impossible to escape; that of the thirteen-year-old girl attacked by one of Canada's most feared rapists. Thirty-three years after the assault, Aguirre decided it was time to meet the man who changed her life. Fierce, funny and enlightening, Aguirre tells a story of strength and survival that will leave you speechless.


Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs.

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