Mootoo, Hurley and Blendell part of Author’s Festival

Every year the library, with a dedicated group of volunteers, organizes the County Reads Authors Festival. The festival is usually launched with The County Reads, a lively book debate that is always a lot of fun. The challenges of 2020 have allowed us an opportunity to pivot and try something new this year. In partnership with 99.3 County FM, the County Reads debate was broadcasted on the radio and streamed online, and Joan McBride’s pick of Woo, The Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr by Grant Hayer-Menzies was crowned the winner after we tallied your votes.

The Authors Festival is also comprised of readings and talks by Canadian authors. One of the authors who had committed to joining us this year was Prince Edward County resident Shani Mootoo. Shani’s novels include Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, longlisted for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Lambda Award; Valmiki’s Daughter, longlisted for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize; He Drown She in the Sea, longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award, and Cereus Blooms at Night, shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Chapters First Novel Award, the Ethel Wilson Book Prize, and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Out on Main Street is her collection of short stories and her poetry collection is The Predicament of Or. Mootoo’s latest novel is Polar Vortex, set in the landscape of Southern Ontario.

We are delighted to announce that Shani has agreed to join us for an online conversation. She will be in conversation with two other Prince Edward County authors, Peter Blendell and Shelagh (S.M.) Hurley.

Peter Blendell is the author of Three Novellas, Glenora Crossing, Jonagold (a novel), Moonlight (a story for spoken word), and has made two short films. He’s written about film and visual art for various publications and blogs, including Canadian Art, Wildflowers magazine, and Cinefest Picton.

S. M. Hurley is the pen name of Shelagh Mathers, a Prince Edward County lawyer, former part-time Assistant Crown Attorney, and resident of the County since the late 80s. The first of a series, Blackwater Bluff  (titled Hiding during its early stages) features Augie de Graaf in an insistent cast of characters, all of whom have been clamouring for release from the author’s imagination for more than a decade. These three authors will take part in an online conversation on Thursday, July 9 at 2 p.m. via Zoom, and you can register online at You can also call in to listen if you like – phone (613) 476-5962 to register for the call-in option. ]

NOTE: Many of our library patrons have contacted us to ask when they may return their library books. Dropboxes are open at every branch of the library. If you are finished with your books or DVDS, please do return them, so that they may be enjoyed by others. We isolate books in between readers, which mean there is a slightly-longer than normal wait time. It also means returned items will take a little longer to show as returned on your online account.

-Liz Zylstra