THE FESTIVAL THAT LIVENED UP TORONTO’S LITERARY SCENE WRAPS ITS 40TH EDITION

Sunday marks the end of the 40th anniversary edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors, after a week of readings and panel discussions and author appearances and celebration.

Margaret Atwood and H.S. Bhabra at the 1989 opening party for the International Festival of Authors DICK LOEK / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO


It’s the festival that changed the way literary readings were performed, making them joyful and celebratory.

Sunday marks the end of the 40th anniversary edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors, after a week of readings and panel discussions and author appearances and celebration.

It also marks the end of an era in some ways, as executive director Geoffrey Taylor, who has worked with the festival since 1990, gets set to step down.

We met in the Harbour Castle Westin hotel for a coffee recently; it’s a hotel that’s been associated with the festival for years. It’s where most of the authors have stayed and the scene of many parties.

“Certainly in the early days of the festival, right up into the ’90s, people drank a lot,” Taylor laughs. These days, they’re not drinking so much. “We used to go through cases of Scotch, now we go through cases of wine.”

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