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Gary Geddes & Ann Eriksson in Hamilton
November 9, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7pm
The Reading Room at Bryan Prince Bookseller
1060 King Street West, Hamilton
Free, everyone welcome
Gary Geddes and Ann Eriksson will be here from British Columbia to talk about their most recent books.
Medicine Unbundled: A Journey Through the Minefields of Indigenous Health Care is a shocking exposé of the dark history and legacy of segregated Indigenous health care in Canada.
After the publication of his critically acclaimed 2011 book Drink the Bitter Root: A Writer’s Search for Justice and Healing in Africa, author Gary Geddes turned the investigative lens on his own country, embarking on a long and difficult journey across Canada to interview Indigenous elders willing to share their experiences of segregated health care, including their treatment in the “Indian hospitals” that existed from coast to coast for over half a century.
The memories recounted by these survivors—from gratuitous drug and surgical experiments to electroshock treatments intended to destroy the memory of sexual abuse—are truly harrowing, and will surely shatter any lingering illusions about the virtues or good intentions of our colonial past. Yet, this is more than just the painful history of a once-so-called vanishing people (a people who have resisted vanishing despite the best efforts of those in charge); it is a testament to survival, perseverance, and the power of memory to keep history alive and promote the idea of a more open and just future.
Released to coincide with the Year of Reconciliation (2017), Medicine Unbundled is an important and timely contribution to our national narrative.
Gary Geddes has written and edited more than forty-five books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translation, and anthologies. He has won more than a dozen national and international literary awards, including the British Columbia Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and the Gabriela Mistral Prize from the government of Chile. He is the author of two best-selling travel memoirs, The Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things and Sailing Home, as well as the critically acclaimed Drink the Bitter Root, which was a finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. He lives on Thetis Island, British Columbia.
The Performance: Naive and talented, Hana Knight is a young classical pianist who has been gifted with a musical upbringing, a magnificent Steinway piano, a place at Juilliard and a patron who arranges everything, from her Manhattan apartment to her first European tour.
In the midst of her meteoric career, Hana becomes increasingly aware of an unusual follower, a homeless woman named Jacqueline who sells handmade mittens and collects empties to buy tickets to Hana’s concerts. She manages to track down the evasive woman and they develop a tenuous friendship. But as Hana learns more about Jacqueline, the wall she has built between her past life and her new one begins to crumble. As the novel builds in tension, a potentially career-ending encounter forces Hana to finally face the dark truth behind her privileged upbringing.
Simultaneously lyrical and gripping, and told with clear and powerful prose, The Performance is eloquent in its depiction of the strikingly different worlds that coexist within a single city: the wealthy circles of Manhattan’s cultural elite, and the stark existence of those who struggle to survive from day to day.
Ann Eriksson is the author of The Performance, as well as four previous novels: Decomposing Maggie (2003), In the Hands of Anubis (2009), Falling From Grace (2011) and High Clear Bell of Morning (2014). Eriksson lives on Thetis Island, British Columbia.
Can’t make the event in person? Call or email us to pre-order a copy of Medicine Unbundled or The Performance and we’ll get it signed for you.