The Festival once again brings community together with fascinating writers from across Canada, USA, Israel and England. Featured authors’ works reflect the tumultuous world around us, the effects of the rampant anti-Semitism and the conflicting attitudes towards Israel and the big questions stemming from the use of AI (artificial intelligence); they investigate racial and gender diversity in communities around the world, honour a local hero, and explore multicultural connections. Alongside those topics, music and dark humour permeate the Festival events, spicy reads will mark Valentine’s Day and graphic novels, memoirs and cartoons will have a full day in the program!
“We are thrilled to reconnect with our audiences and share moving experiences around books and ideas, as they create such meaningful community gatherings! The nucleus of our festival is Jewish-themed, but our speakers, events and audience happily represent a diversity of cultures and lived experiences that defy narrow categorization. We bring forward universal themes and whether it’s a written, illustrated or performed word, the Jewish Book Festival strives to encompass them all!” says Festival Director, Dana Camil Hewitt.
Some of the 2024 Festival’s highlights include: ?
Opening Night: February 10th, Canadian biographer, Michael Posner is in conversation with Alan Twigg about his monumental biography Leonard Cohen: Untold Stories (right) , whose three volumes constitute the most complete and nuanced portrait of the musician’s extraordinary life published to date. The evening will also include musical performances with Harriet Frost and Martin Gotfrit (guitar, violin).
Our Local Hero, Rudolf Vrba: February 11th, an event honouring the late UBC professor Rudolf Vrba, journalist and bestselling novelist Jonathan Freedland, in conversation with Richard Menkis, discusses his book The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World, which tells how Vrba became one of the very first Jews to escape Auschwitz – and did it to warn the world.
Art and Artifical Intelligence: February 12th, art + AI come together, pairing graphic novelist Amy Kurzweil and her memoir Artificial, where 3 generations of Kurzweil creators preserve their history through unusual means, together with Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Sean Michaels, whose new novel Do You Remember Being Born? takes readers on a lyrical joy ride with a formidable poet and her unusual new collaborator, a digital mind just one month old.
For Book Clubs & Book Lovers: February 13th, the annual Book Clubs event will feature bestselling Cuban/American author Armando Lucas Correa in conversation with Marsha Lederman, discussing his novel Night Travelers , in which four generations of women experience love, loss, war, and hope from the rise of Nazism to the Cuban Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Spicy Valentine: February 14th, celebrate Valentine’s Day, with a pair o spicy novels from LGBTQ+ authors Tamara Faith Berger, author of Yara: A Novel and Rebecca “Bee” Sacks, author of The Lover in conversation with the wonderful acclaimed author Anakana Schofield.
Closing Night: February 15th, hear True Crime Stories from Winnipeg’s Allan Levine with his Details Are Unprintable: Wayne Lonergan and the Sensational Café Society Murder together with EMMY and Gemini Award-winning film maker David Rabinovitch with his Jukebox Empire: The Mob and the Dark Side of the American Dream (left)
This is just a sampling of the events taking place throughout the run of the festival, many more luminaries and authors discuss and present their works over the 6 days February 10-15, 2024.
Visit jccgv.com/jewish-book-festival for the full line-up guide and to buy tickets.