Three Novels, Four Authors – The AngloStore’s Latest Author Event

Three Novels, Four Authors – The AngloStore’s Latest Author Event

by Farnell Morisset

I’ve lived in Quebec City my whole life, and pride myself in knowing more nooks and crannies about our beautiful city than most. However, before the AngloStore’s author event last April 25th, I’d never been aware that Place Naviles had a bottom floor, despite having been to the Second Cup just above it several times.

It was in this quaint half-basement, which feels something like a rustic frontier town hidden in a private bunker, that the AngloStore hosted three Québec authors for its latest Author Event outside the store shop.

By the time the event started, 51 chairs had been set up (I counted) and we were looking at a full house, with some people even sitting in the nearby steps or standing along the sidelines, waiting to hear from four distinguished authors about their books.

While I myself have never been much of a reader, I found the evening quite pleasant. While the wine and good company certainly didn’t hurt, the main attraction was the prospect of getting an inside look at the inspiration, the writing process, and a short reading of three unique books written by Québecois authors – an insight too few ever get a chance to have.

Barbara Verity, who co-edited a historical account of David Thompson’s surveying and map-making efforts of the Canadian west for fur trading interests in the late 1700s, described the research and fact-finding that went into the book Even the Owl Is Not Heard. Especially touching were the descriptions of areas of Québec which are now a short drive from major urban centers, but which were then a no-man’s-land that even the natives wrote off as impassable terrain.

Harold Griffin followed with a his humorous family of bed-wetters as a mood-whiplash inducing preamble to his historical fiction novel, Three Letters to Pine River, a re-imagining of the hidden story of the murder of his father’s uncle recast in 1950’s Shannon amidst a backdrop of government expropriations. Judging from the excerpt, it’s hard to believe such a dark story can come from such an outwardly comical man. While he stayed as true as possible to the original spirit of the historical account, he explained how some lee-way needed to be taken in understanding the motivations and reasoning of his characters, which were for obvious reasons not a matter of public record.

Closing the trio of books was Marielle Teasdale’s story “Undercurrents”, an introspective story about a painter coming to terms with the meaning of her work after years of commercially-oriented endeavours. Teasdale, herself a painter, provided the painting which became the cover of the book, but due to either shyness or discomfort, it was her daughter Sophie’s genuine calm and mellow voice which read a short section of the novel.

The AngloStore hosts such author events regularly, with the next one being at 7:15pm on June 6th. Drop by for a chance to meet with authors and to browse the selection of books ranging from delightful children’s stories to the definitive guide on How To Be A Bush Pilot. Come for the wine, stay for the authors, and leave with new friends.

Article: Farnell Morisset
Photos: Caroline Fournier

About Farnell-Morisset

Born and raised in Québec City, Farnell Morisset attended English school throughout his primary, secondary, and CEGEP studies, before ultimately choosing to stay in Québec City and study civil engineering at Laval University.

While at Laval, he served as president of the civil engineering student association. It was there that he discovered his affinity for writing and commentary, preparing a weekly column in the student newspaper dealing with the issues he, as president of the association, felt were important and relevant.

Farnell is passionate about discussing (amongst other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québecois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québecois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image.

He is also alarmed by what seems to be an invasive and aggressive polarization of complex social issues for which there are no black-and-white answers. This eventual identity crisis, he feels, will only be solved through good faith in, and honest communication with, all sides pulling on our ever dwindling “pure laine” blanket.

It is with this in mind that he contributes to as a valued member of our, in-house, writing team.

Categories: News

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset has an engineering degree from Université Laval and common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, where he also studied economics.