Continuing the Major Book Festival Question

(This week I’m covering the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.)

To continue the point I made in this post, one of the things that separates what’s being done at Harbourfront Centre (the organization that puts on the IFOA) from similar literary festivals in the U.S. is that their program is year-round, and it’s a fairly well-developed framework–and it’s non-profit. Yes, there is a strong culture of literary events in certain U.S. cities, but it’s generally tied to bookstores or other for-profit enterprises, and we saw what could happen wen Cody’s Books in Berkeley closed rather suddenly, leaving Berkeley without it’s primary venue for author readings and events. (Fortunately, Berkeley Arts and Letters has sprung up to take up some of that slack, but it would have been better if Cody’s had never closed down to begin with.) Also, I’ve yet to find a U.S. organization that does a year-round schedule of events with the scope and systematization of what I’m seeing here.

Of course, I could be wrong, and I’d love to hear if there is something in the U.S. that fits this description . . . but, based on what I know of the U.S. scene, I think there’s a lot to be learned from what’s happening here in Toronto.

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Where’s the Major Book Festival in the United States? (This week I’m covering the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.) After seeing how the Harbourfront Centre and the Canadian government (and in addition, Scotland,...
  2. Coetzee's Question It's a good one. Taking advantage of a "captive audience" of international vice-chancellors at the Association of Commonwealth Universities Conference of Executive Heads in Adelaide,...
  3. Bolano’s Major and Minor Novels I usually try not to quibble with small details in otherwise coherent book reviews, but I've seen this more than once, and it deserves to...
  4. That Same Old Question The matter of new media lit crit (read: litblogs) versus old media is pretty much dead at this point, but that won't stop columnists in...
  5. Cody's Terrible news. Via many, many places. I’ve got to say that it will be just plain weird walking down Telegraph and not seeing Cody’s there....

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Sounds interesting. Would love to know more about what you are learning in Toronto and how it can be applied here in the SF bay area.

The New Yorker festival, I’m told, is quite good.
There should be something like this. Do we know anyone wealthy enough to fund it? I’d be happy to run the damn thing.

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