Chairperson: Eve Patten
"Monumental… Fugitive Pieces is the most important book I have read for forty years."
John Berger, The Observer
Over ten years ago Canadian poet Anne Michaels published one of the most lauded literary debuts in recent memory – the multi-prize-winning Fugitive Pieces. Not since Keri Hulme’s The Bone People, a decade earlier, had a first novel of such 'compelling power' and 'poetic depth' caught the public imagination. Among its accolades were the 1997 Orange Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award.
The long-awaited publication of Michaels’ second novel The Winter Vault will be one of the publishing events of 2009. To celebrate, Dublin Writers Festival welcomes the Toronto-based author to the stage for a one-off Irish visit.
The Winter Vault tells the tale of a young engineer employed to help rescue the great temple at Abu Simbel from the rising waters of the Aswan Dam. But as the floodgates open and lives are deluged, the engineer and his new wife suffer a terrible loss of their own. Like Fugitive Pieces before it, The Winter Vault weaves historical moments with the quiet intimacy of everyday life, exploring, with breathtaking poise, what we might salvage from the violence of human existence.
Anne Michaels is also the author of three prize-winning collections of poetry: The Weight of Oranges (1986), Miner’s Pond (1991) and Skin Divers (1999).