Online Event, Niagara Parks

Coast to Coast: Canada’s Mysterious Women

This four-part speaker series highlights Canadian female authors, their unique perspectives and published works.
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Coast to Coast “Canada’s Mysterious Women” Literary Series

Running from a deranged ex-wife, mysterious deaths in an avalanche-trapped resort, searching for a vanished love in North Korea, old magic from an ancient troublemaker… join us for this year’s Coast to Coast speaker series as we celebrate Canada’s “Mysterious” Women.

Talented Canadian female authors share their unique perspectives and published works in this interactive, online series. Tickets are just $10 per speaker or $30 for access to the entire series. This year’s Coast to Coast Literary Series is delivered as a live-streamed, digital event. Tickets grant access using any computer, tablet or mobile device for these live, interactive sessions with four incredible Canadian authors.

The Authors

Once again, the Niagara Parks Coast to Coast speaker series features the stories of four incredible Canadian women. All sessions are at 7:00 p.m.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

The Almost Wife September 9

Karen McBride

Crow Winter October 14

Ann Shin

The Last Exiles November 11

Elisabeth de Mariaffi

The Retreat December 9

A photo of the novel, The Almost Wife, by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Gail Anderson-Dargatz The Almost Wife

Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s first novel, The Cure for Death by Lightning, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the UK’s Betty Trask Award, the BC Book Prize for Fiction and the Vancity Book Prize. Her second novel, A Recipe for Bees, was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Spawning Grounds, her first novel after the 2007 bestseller Turtle Valley, was published in 2016, nominated for the Sunburst Award and the Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and short-listed for the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for fiction. She taught for nearly a decade within the MFA program in creative writing at the University of British Columbia and now mentors writers online. Gail Anderson-Dargatz lives in the Shuswap region of British Columbia and, until recently, owned a summer home on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

If you almost had everything that you wanted, how hard would you fight to protect it?

Kira is engaged to the man of her dreams: he’s charming, handsome, wealthy, and a great dad to their baby, Evie, and his thirteen-year-old daughter, Olive. Having grown up with a troubled relationship with her mother and mostly estranged from her father, Kira craves a close family and secure home, and with Aaron, Evie and Olive, she almost has it. The only problem is Aaron’s ex-wife, Madison, who’s out of control and trying to get to Olive. When Kira takes the girls out of town to her childhood summer home and finds out that Madison has followed them, she panics.

Between the beach and the forest on Manitoulin Island, Kira fights to protect Olive, Evie and her fiancé, until a dark secret threatens to unravel the life that is almost hers. With the future she has built hanging in the balance, and her past haunting her at every turn, Kira must choose who to believe and who she wants to be.

Karen McBride Crow Winter

Karen is Algonquin Anishnaabe from the Timiskaming First Nation in the territory that is now Quebec. Growing up on the Rez meant the bush was her backyard and that backyard became all manner of places: Middle-earth, Hyrule, a world populated by zombies, and all things in between. She loves to write stories about truth and healing, but mostly about magic and myth. She hopes to continue to explore the themes and lessons taught to her through the oral tradition of her elders and ancestors. Her debut novel, Crow Winter, was shortlisted for the Ottawa Book Awards, the PMC Indigenous Literature Award, and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. She currently lives in Ottawa with her sister and their handsome little dog, Oscar.

Nanabush. A name that has a certain weight on the tongue—a taste. Like lit sage in a windowless room or aluminum foil on a metal filling.

Trickster. Storyteller. Shape-shifter. An ancient troublemaker with the power to do great things, only he doesn’t want to put in the work.

Since coming home to Spirit Bear Point First Nation, Hazel Ellis has been dreaming of an old crow. He tells her he’s here to help her, save her. From what, exactly? Sure, her dad’s been dead for almost two years and she hasn’t quite reconciled that grief, but is that worth the time of an Algonquin demigod?

Soon Hazel learns that there’s more at play than just her own sadness and doubt. The quarry that’s been lying unsullied for over a century on her father’s property is stirring the old magic that crosses the boundaries between this world and the next. With the aid of Nanabush, Hazel must unravel a web of deceit that, if left untouched, could destroy her family and her home on both sides of the Medicine Wheel.

A photo of the novel, Crow Winter, by Karen McBride
A photo of the novel, The Last Exiles, by Ann Shin

Ann Shin The Last Exiles

Ann Shin is a writer and filmmaker, as well as an award-winning poet. Her documentary My Enemy, My Brother was shortlisted for a 2016 Academy Award and nominated for an Emmy. Her previous documentary, The Defector: Escape from North Korea won 7 awards including Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Academy Awards, a SXSW Interactive Award, and a Canadian Digi Award. She has directed programs and series for CBC, Discovery Channel, HGTV, History Channel, W Network, PBS, and Fine Living Network. Ann lives in Toronto, and The Last Exiles is her first novel.

Jin and Suja met and fell in love while studying at university in Pyongyang. She was a young journalist from a prominent family, while he was from a small village of little means. Outside the school, the people of North Korea have come under the grip of great political upheaval, plunged into chaos and famine. When Jin returns home to find his family starving, their food rations all but gone, he makes a rash decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, miles away, Suja has begun to feel the tenuousness of her privilege when she learns that Jin has disappeared. Risking everything, and defying her family, Suja sets out to find him, embarking on a dangerous and uncertain journey that will test both of their love and their will to survive.

In this vivid and moving story, award-winning documentary filmmaker Ann Shin offers a rare glimpse at life inside the guarded walls of North Korea, and the harrowing experiences of those who are daring enough to attempt escape. Inspired by true stories of incredible bravery, The Last Exiles is a searing portrait of a young couple and the lengths they’ll go in their fight for love and freedom.

Elisabeth de Mariaffi The Retreat

Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s debut book of short stories, How to Get Along with Women, was longlisted for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published in magazines across Canada. Her first novel, The Devil You Know, was named one of the Best Books of 2015 by The Globe and Mail and The National Post. Her most recent novel, Hysteria, was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the Globe and Mail. Both her novels were shortlisted for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Elisabeth lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with the poet George Murray and their four children.

In this chilling literary thriller, a dancer arrives at a remote mountain retreat hoping for artistic inspiration—only to find it’s disaster that strikes when an avalanche traps her among six strangers who begin, one by one, to meet unspeakable ends.

Everyone’s been keeping secrets . . .

Maeve Martin arrives at the High Water Center for the Arts determined to do one thing: launch her own dance company. A former principal dancer and mother of two, at only thirty-four, time is running out for Maeve to find her feet again after the collapse of a disastrous—and violent—marriage. At first, there’s a thrill to being on her own for the first time in years, isolated in the beauty of a snowy mountain lodge. But when an avalanche traps the guests inside, tensions begin to run high. Help is coming, so they just have to hold on—right?

But as the days pass, strange deaths befall the others one by one. Soon Maeve must face how little she knows about anyone there . . . and how useless a locked door is if the darkness is already inside.

A photo of the novel, The Retreat, by Elisabeth de Mariaffi