Reader Logoby Simon Trewin at the International Festival Of Authors in Toronto.

Gosh they are working us hard here in Toronto! Our first day consisted of lots of really engaging one-to-one meetings with Canadian publishers, agents and journalists.

I really enjoyed chatting with the inspiring Daniel Wells from Biblioasis who publishes an eclectic mix of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. He is an ex bookseller who saw the light and crossed over to the bright side of the road and started his own small press. It is difficult to find a book on his list that hasn't either won or been shortlisted one of the many Canadian prizes to promote literature. I especially liked the look of 'The Meagretarmac' by Clark Blaise which Daniel described as 'an Indo-American Canterbury Tales, which explores the places where tradition, innovation, culture, and power meet with explosive force'. With quotes from Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates on the cover this looks like a smart piece of publishing. On the non-fiction list I was interested in 'The Pigeon Wars Of Damascus' by Marius Kociejowski which is an outisder's view into post 9-11 Islamic society in the years prior to the Arab Spring. Like many Canadian publishers he relies to a certain extent on some of the $20.1 money which the Canada Council for the Arts which last year was invested in writing and publishing throughout Canada. In these straightened times it is great to see a nation take its writers so seriously. Many other countries could learn from that...

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