New timeline, new energy: set aside the second week of February for an extended literary treat! The Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival (Feb. 9-14, 2019) will warm up your winter nights with an exciting roster of writers from across Canada, the US, Israel and New Zealand. This popular cultural extravaganza attracts sought-after authors and a wide audience from across the Lower Mainland. The six days of the Festival are packed with inspiring and entertaining literary events including unique meet-the-author opportunities, readings and panel discussions, the annual book club event, children’s and youth authors, wellness and food subjects and two onsite bookstores – new and used, open throughout the week. There is something of interest for every age group and literary taste.
Featured 2019 Festival authors will include: Opening Night Gala with JOSHUA COHEN, recognized as one of the boldest voices of his generation and one of Granta’s Best American Novelists, in conversation about his powerful and provocative novel Moving Kings, as well as his extremely timely first non-fiction collection ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction; a side-splitting Closing Night, rejoicing on Valentine’s Day with MIKE REISS who spent three decades writing for The Simpsons. His book Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons celebrates the show’s thirtieth anniversary with riotous comedy; winner of the 2018 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Fiction NATALIE MORRILL headlining our annual Book Clubs Event with The Ghost Keeper, her powerful historical debut novel which takes place in Vienna before and after World War II; US author MARGOT SINGER with her elegant, suspenseful, and deeply powerful debut Underground Fugue, focusing on a woman poised on the cusp of major events; a Mind, Body and Soul Day featuring CBC’s Dr. BRIAN GOLDMAN talking about his latest book The Power of Kindness, US author RACHEL HERZ explaining Why You Eat What You Eat and beloved local doctor MICHAEL C. KLEIN launching his book Dissident Doctor: Catching Babies and Challenging the Medical Status Quo; winner of the 2018 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards for Non-Fiction TILAR J. MAZZEO presenting her book Irena’s Children both at the JCC and in outreach events in the Lower Mainland; parenting expert and firecracker presenter MARJORIE INGALL smashing the Jewish mother stereotype with a witty hammer; New Zealand author DIANA WICHTEL who grew up in Vancouver and won the 2018 Ockham National Book Award in the Non-fiction category with her memoir, Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father ; children and youth authors ELLEN SCHWARTZ , JANET WEES and ANNE DUBLIN presenting their latest books in school events; our first ever French-language event showcasing MICHELE SMOLKIN and her newly published novel Silence, je tombe ; and many other authors, events and genres.
“The Jewish Book Festival embraces everyone who loves the written word and thrives on meaningful, captivating conversations” says Festival Director, Dana Camil Hewitt. “While the nucleus of our festival is Jewish-themed, our speakers, events and audience all defy narrow categorization: they revel in the lively and pivotal ideas stemming from the modern world and, with that, the festival expands its reach and becomes ever more inclusive. The emerging themes are universal: aspects of feminism and focus on women as central characters stand out this year; memoirs are coming out from all publishers and, in them, the Holocaust is never too far away, even in third generation; and, again, we are giving humour and food their honoured places.”