Sunday, November 21: 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

A Long Look Back: Reimagining History in Your Writing

with Alysia Kolentsis, Jean McNeil, and Kathleen Winter.


Unavailable online

Why do we return to the past as a way of understanding the present?

Alysia Kolentsis speaks to Kathleen Winter (Undersong) and Jean McNeil (Day for Night) about their use of real-life characters in fiction. Tune in to hear their process of reimagining historical figures as a way of exploring relationships, loss, trust. What do we learn when we recast history?

  • Kathleen Winter’s novel Annabel was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the First Novel Award, the Orange Prize, and numerous other awards. It was also a Globe and Mail “Best Book,” a New York Times “Notable” book, a Quill & Quire & “Book of the Year” and #1 bestseller in Canada. It has been published and translated worldwide. Her Arctic memoir Boundless (2014) was shortlisted for Canada’s Weston and Taylor non-fiction prizes, and her last novel Lost in September (2017) was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Born in the UK, Kathleen now lives in Montreal after many years in Newfoundland.

  • Alysia Kolentsis is an Associate Professor of English at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo.

  • Jean McNeil is the author of 14 books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and travel. She has twice been the winner of the PRISM International competition, and her work has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Journey Prize, the National Magazine awards, and the Pushcart Prize. In 2016 her memoir and travelogue based on her year as writer-in-residence with the British Antarctic Survey, Ice Diaries, won the Adventure Travel and Grand Prizes at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and was named one of the best nature writing books by The Guardian newspaper in 2018. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Originally from Nova Scotia, she lives in London, UK.