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Spur Winnipeg: Books That Spur - David Layton on "The Dictator"
Sun, 7 May 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM CDT
Award-winning author David Layton sit down to disucss his latest work The Dictator with Winnipeg lawyer and board member of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Laurelle Harris.
About The Dictator
From the author of The Bird Factory, a new novel about an estranged father and son forced together under the same roof-one losing his grip on reality and the other discovering a secret past that he may never fully understand.
Aaron, unhappy in middle age, must deal with the reverberations of the financial crisis, his increasingly alienated teenaged daughter and the sudden care of his father, Karl, a man he hardly knows, who is descending into Alzheimer's.
Karl is a man who has survived by reinventing himself many times over. Blustering, arrogant, he is convinced that the world is intentionally trying to confuse him, not least his good-for-nothing son. Not like his other son, the one he left behind. If only Karl could remember his name, and where he is, Karl would go and find him.
With a deft touch and a wonderful ability to show the humorous in the tragic, David Layton has created a novel that explores the relationship between fathers and sons, and how the events of the past translate down through generations. Told from the alternating perspectives of Karl and Aaron, and travelling from present-day Toronto to a postwar settlement of Jewish immigrants in the Dominican Republic, The Dictator is at turns funny, poignant and insightful.
David Layton has had short fiction and articles published in literary journals, newspapers and magazines including Exile, The Daily Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveler and The Globe & Mail. He is the author of Motion Sickness, a memoir that was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award, and the bestselling novel The Bird Factory. David Layton teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto and is the course director for Backstage IFOA, part of the Toronto International Festival of Authors program.
Laurelle Harris is a partner at Levene Tadman Golub Law Corporation where she practices primarily in the area of domestic litigation. In additional to her undergraduate and law degrees, she has undertaken graduate studies in Women’s Studies and Black Studies at The Ohio State University. Laurelle currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Women’s Health Clinic, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, and is an honourary board member for Canadian Magen David Adom (Manitoba).