Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON
Toronto’s vibrant book, art and indie rock worlds will come together at Storybook Confidential, a night for grownups in support of Small Print Toronto’s interactive literary programs for children.
Local literary luminaries – including Kyle Buckley, Claire Caldwell, Stacey May Fowles, James Grainger, Evan Munday, Grace O’Connell, Damian Rogers, Kevin Sylvester, Ania Szabo, Natalie Zina Walschots, Jessica Westhead, Nathan Whitlock and Liz Worth – will read stories they wrote when they were young.
Top artists, illustrators and picture book creators – including Clayton Hanmer (CTON), Walker Ballantyne-Hill, Matt James, Hilary Leung, Frank Viva, Chris Wilkie, and Cybèle Young – will offer temporary tattoos at a Body Art booth.
Such stellar scribes as Steven Beattie, Hamutal Dotan and Kate Minsky will take turns producing short illustrated tales based on suggestions from the audience at a “Make Me A Storybook” booth.
Leading lights of the Toronto indie music scene Don Kerr, Kevin Lacroix and Bellwoods Trinity will perform original tunes. And DJ Peter Martin will spin retro 80s and 90s dance hits.
And prepare to be dazzled. Celebrated craft artist Kalpna Patel, perhaps most widely known for her eye-poppingly inventive windows at TYPE Books on Queen St West, will design and dress the Gladstone Ballroom.
Don’t miss the first-ever Small Print Toronto extravaganza where parents are encouraged to leave their kids at home!
“If the Blue Jays organization is in any way invested in cultivating and profiting from a new female audience, it would be wise to manage how women are marketed to, and to consider its part in the way we are treated by mainstream sports media. I mean, why would you ever want to support, with your dollars or your love, a franchise that doesn’t respect your knowledge, interest or passion for it? That assumes you are stupid, but hopes you are pretty?”
-Watching Like a Girl, over at The Walrus
Illustration by Chloe Cushman
The Literary Life of RA Dickey
“I’ll never forget my first public book signing,” he says. “I’ll bet no less than 15 or 20 people in that line leaned across the table, people I’d never even seen before that day, to tell me they were abused at some point in their past, and I was the first person that they had ever told. Or that they were going to go home and tell their spouse. There’s this interesting dichotomy going on. It makes you incredibly sad because it reminds you of your own wounds, but at the same time it makes you incredibly happy because here’s a person who is taking one step closer to freedom. That was one of the things that helped me take the next step as a pitcher. Getting out from a life that had been really in the dark and in the shadows. It helped me to live openly and without shame. And that really did a lot for me on the mound.”
Read the rest at The Afterword (The National Post.)
In the National Post:
…People asked me why I hadn’t taken my husband’s name. When we met with a mortgage broker he wouldn’t look me in the eye or address me directly. Mail came to the house addressed to “Mrs. His First Name His Last Name” and “The His Last Name Household.” When I went to a job interview I was asked if, because I was recently married, I was planning on going on maternity leave. I would go to events and parties and people would always ask me where my husband was. These are small things, I know, most of which could be argued are not worthy of complaint — surely feminism has bigger things to worry about? But I saw them as tiny erasures of self, together carving out a loss. I could find no peace in this thing I had been told repeatedly by the mainstream was, next to mothering, the ultimate accomplishment for women. It is a question that Friedan herself articulates about her own life choices: “I felt a strange uneasiness; there was a question that I did not want to think about. Is this really what I want to be? The question shut me off, cold and alone …”
While my husband told me he was experiencing a new kind of respect, an increased trust from business associates because he wore a ring; I instead felt a disappearing of who I thought I was. There was a new burden to perform a role I wasn’t accustomed to, and perhaps didn’t even want — it was promoted by every piece of media I consumed, whether women’s magazine articles, filmic portraits of perfect families or well-coiffed wives Swiffering floors during the commercial break. It paralyzed me, this sudden preoccupation with wifely duties and responsibilities, bedding sets and baking pies, to be good at things I never cared about. And while everyone, including, of course, my husband, said, “Well, then don’t care about those things,” there was still an inexplicable push to perform as perfect, a nameless pressure I found impossible to articulate.
The worst of it was that being disappointed with these expectations, the opportunities of a new shiny life of blissful perfected domesticity, made me feel guilty, suggested I was ungrateful, that I was broken and sick of mind — much like Friedan’s subjects. One of them expresses well the feeling of marital floundering I felt, this idea that I could never fulfill the role properly: “I want so badly to feel like the other girls. I never get over this feeling of being a neophyte, not initiated. When I get up and have to cross a room, it’s like I’m a beginner, or have some terrible affliction, and I’ll never learn…”
As writers feel more and more pressure to be 24/7, real-time public figures, we need to consider those who are disclosure-averse, who prefer to hide away and let their work stand as they have constructed it. We commonly celebrate living openly as a courageous act, being “thick-skinned” as a virtue, yet some people’s mental health (and ability to produce great writing) is intimately connected to a fundamental need for privacy. In embracing an accessible digital age, with countless instructional blog posts about how to gleefully “put yourself out there,” we are inadvertently suggesting that those who create boundaries and limits are both cowardly and doomed to fail.