After attending the County Reads on Thursday evening, April 19 at Waring Hall, plan to join us for the events the next day. The Fundraising Committee for Picton Library, the County Reads Committee, Le Cercle Francais de Milford and County Kids Read have all joined forces to make The County Reads More a celebration of Canadian literature. Check out next week’s column to find out the events for Saturday, April 21.
Students at Queen Elizabeth school will enjoy Kean Soo, the creator of the children’s comic character Jellaby. Kean Soo, educated as an electrical engineer and born in England, but raised in Hong Kong is currently living in Canada and pursuing a writing career. Thanks to the County Kids Read Committee for co-sponsoring this presentation.
The second event takes place at 3 p.m. at the Picton Town Hall. This is a very special event — a Christmas present actually to Dorothy Speirs-Vincent from her French students. The group Le Cercle Francais de Milford, who meet at the Milford branch library, wanted to give Dorothy a gift that she could share with the community. They approached Marlene Fraser from the County Reads More Committee. Fraser, who used to work in the publishing industry and still maintains strong ties with former colleagues, was able to connect with Roch Carrier through an industry friend and learned that he would be pleased to travel to Picton!
Carrier is a French Canadian novelist and writer – among the best known of Quebec writers in English Canada. He was born in Sainte-Justine Quebec and studied at the College St-Louis in New Brunswick, the University of Montreal and at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France where he received his doctorate in literature.
In 1991 Carrier was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1992 his Prayers of a Very Wise Child won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Interestingly a quote from his much loved The Hockey Sweater was reprinted on the back of our five-dollar bill.
Carrier will be talking about his latest book published in March of last year: Demain matin, j’ecris un roman. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the Town Hall. This bilingual event will appeal to both English and French speakers.
Finally, on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Picton library branch another very accomplished presenter, although a relative newcomer as a writer, will speak. Debra Komar has had a distinguished career as a forensic anthropologist. She has worked all over the world employing her skills to solve old mysteries. She worked for a year in New Mexico to establish that the remains of outlaw Billy the Kid were authentic and therefore those claimed in Arizona and Texas were not. Funding was pulled after a year without resolution, but it whetted Komar’s appetite for solving history’s cold cases.
Komar’s former career took her to the scenes of some of the world’s most heinous events in Bosnia, and Serbia. She worked for the United Nations and Physicians for Human Rights. She now employs her skills re-opening murders from the past and examining the documented evidence using modern methods. Her book The Bastard of Fort Stikine is an examination of a true event – the murder of John McLoughlin Jr. She exposes the self-serving nature of the Hudson’s Bay Company investigation into the crime and over 100 years after the fact the true murderer is named.
This is a fundraiser for the library. Tickets can be purchased in advance at any branch of the County of Prince Edward Public Library. Find the complete schedule at peclibrary.org/countyreads and remember to read our column next week for the details about Saturday’s events.