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Glenbow Museum Theatre

130 9th Ave SE

Calgary, Alberta T2G 0P3

Canada

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Join us for a quartet of uncompromising and innovative takes on the family novel. Each book tackles unique filial challenges, while touching on issues so many of us are facing right now. This event puts a spotlight on four North American writers at the top of their form.

How to Behave In a Crowd (Camille Bordas)

Isidore Mazal is 11 years old, the youngest of six siblings living in a small French town. He doesn’t quite fit in. Berenice, Aurore, and Leonard are on track to have doctorates by age 24. Jeremie performs with a symphony, and Simone, older than Isidore by 18 months, expects a great career as a novelist — she’s already put Isidore to work on her biography. The only time they leave their rooms is to gather on the old, stained couch and dissect prime-time television dramas in light of Aristotle’s Poetics.

Isidore has never skipped a grade or written a dissertation. But he notices things the others don’t, and asks questions they fear to ask. So when tragedy strikes the Mazal family, Isidore is the only one to recognize how everyone is struggling with their grief, and perhaps the only one who can help them — if he doesn’t run away from home first. With How to Behave in a Crowd, Bordas immerses readers in the interior life of a boy puzzled by adulthood and beginning to realize that the adults around him are just as lost.

Brother (David Chariandy)

Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry. Propelled by the pulsing beats and styles of hip hop, Francis, the older of the two brothers, dreams of a future in music. Michael’s dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school, whose own eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic shooting, and the police crackdown and suffocating suspicion that follow.

Chariandy’s long-awaited second novel, Brother, explores questions of masculinity, family, race and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991.

Malagash (Joey Comeau)

Sunday’s father is dying of cancer. Her mother and her brother are both devastated, but devastated doesn’t fix anything. Sunday has a plan. She’s started recording everything her father says. His boring stories. His stupid jokes. Everything. She’s recording every single “I love you” right alongside every “Could we turn the heat up in here?” It’s all important. Because Sunday is writing a computer virus. A computer virus that will live secretly on the hard drives of millions of people all over the world. A computer virus that will think her father’s thoughts and say her father’s words. Her father will live forever.

Mothers and Other Strangers (Gina Sorrell)

When Elsie Robins learns of the death of her estranged mother, she’s flooded with a mix of emotions. As she travels back to her hometown of Toronto she hopes that in death, her mother can help her fill the missing pieces that made her feel unrooted her whole life. But upon arrival she discovers that her mother wasn’t who she claimed to be. And when her mother’s apartment is ransacked, Elsie realizes that she is not the only one looking for answers. While dealing with threats she suspects are coming from the secretive spiritual group her mother belonged to, Elsie sets out to understand who her mother was, and in turn, she’s forced to face herself. A gripping and affecting portrait of family, identity, and of how far we will go for a sense of belonging, Mothers and Other Strangers is a debut not to be missed.

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Glenbow Museum Theatre

130 9th Ave SE

Calgary, Alberta T2G 0P3

Canada

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