Celebrating Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer’s All The Broken Things
Celebrating Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer’s All The Broken Things:
A fun house mirror on Toronto that will frighten, surprise and enlighten you.
“All the Broken Things enchanted me, opened my eyes, broke my heart, made me wonder, left me changed. Kuitenbrouwer has told a remarkable story that explores the tenuous thresholds between illusion and reality, myth and history, monstrosity and beauty. This is a truly magical and important book.” —Jessica Grant, author of Come, Thou Tortoise “
Monday, January 20, 2014
Gladstone Hotel, Main Ballroom, 1214 Queen Street West
Doors open at 7:30 pm
Event begins at 8 pm
Admission is $5 or FREE with purchase of the book
Join TINARS (This Is Not A Reading Series) and Random House Canada for a special evening launching a remarkable novel by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, All The Broken Things. Kathryn will do a slide show presentation on spectacle and how we see. Nick Mount, fiction editor of The Walrus and a noted literary critic and UofT Professor, will join Kathryn for a discussion of her work. The Gladstone’s Ballroom will be transformed in a carnivalesque manner featuring fun house mirrors, banners and objects that evoke Toronto’s CNE.
All the Broken Things is a dreamy, tender elegy to human failure and imperfection.” —Miriam Toews, author of A Complicated Kindness and Irma Voth
About All the Broken Things
September, 1983. Fourteen-year-old Bo, a boat person from Vietnam, lives in a small house in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto with his mother, Thao, and his four-year-old sister, who was born severely disfigured from the effects of Agent Orange. Named Orange, she is the family secret; Thao keeps her hidden away, and when Bo's not at school or getting into fights on the street, he cares for her.
One day a carnival worker and bear trainer, Gerry, sees Bo in a streetfight, and recruits him for the bear wrestling circuit, eventually giving him his own cub to train. This opens up a new world for Bo--but then Gerry's boss, Max, begins pursuing Thao with an eye on Orange for his travelling freak show. When Bo wakes up one night to find the house empty, he knows he and his cub, Bear, are truly alone. Together they set off on an extraordinary journey through the streets of Toronto and High Park. Awake at night, boy and bear form a unique and powerful bond. When Bo emerges from the park to search for his sister, he discovers a new way of seeing Orange, himself and the world around them.
All the Broken Things is a spellbinding novel, at once melancholy and hopeful, about the peculiarities that divide us and bring us together, and the human capacity for love and acceptance.
About Nick Mount and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
Nick Mount is a professor of English at the University of Toronto, and the fiction editor of The Walrus. His publication When Canadian Literature Moved to New York (UTP, 2005) was the winner of the Gabrielle Roy Prize for the best book in Canadian literary criticism. Mount’s most recent works include articles on the return of beauty to the arts in Queen’s Quarterly, on Canadian poet David McGimpsey in Canadian Poetry, and on Irish playwright Samuel Beckett in Raritan. He regularly gives public talks and interviews on the arts in Canada.
Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer is the author of the novels Perfecting and The Nettle Spinner and a short fiction collection, Way Up. Her fiction has appeared in the Granta Magazine, The Walrus and Storyville. Kathryn is a past recipient of the Sydney Prize and an award-winning professor at University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto.
“All the Broken Things is a strange, beautiful novel about the fundamental human need to be seen and to be loved. Kuitenbrouwer’s Bear Boy, Bo, is an unforgettable creation—a true survivor who carries within him both the poison of war and its antidote. His creator is a fearless writer: she considers the full spectrum of human nature—from the monstrous to the wondrous—with a clear gaze and a capacious heart.” —Alissa York, author of Effigy and Fauna