Nancy Richler recommends kid's lit to poetry

From voracious reader to successful author, Nancy Richler recalls reading Charlotte's Web with fondness and is now enjoying poetry by Lydia Kwa.
Author Nancy Richler is appearing at the Tarbut Festival of Jewish Culture on November 21. (CBC)

It's always interesting to read what published authors recommend when it comes to books.

Nancy Richler, second cousin to novelist Mordecai Richler is one of the guests at the fourth annual Tarbut Festival of Jewish Culture.

Originally from Montreal and now based in Vancouver, Richler's latest novel The Imposter Bride is this year's Canadian Jewish Book Award winner for Fiction. It was short listed for the 2012 Giller Prize, was chosen as an editor's choice book in the New York Times Book Review and was listed as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Globe and Mail.

SCENE asked Richler which books have had a notable impact on her personally:

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (Published by Harper & Brothers)
Some of the books that made the greatest impression on me were those I read in childhood. Charlotte’s Web is particularly memorable. I credit it with opening my eyes to the truth that animals have emotional lives and relationships that we as humans can barely see or understand.

I permanently lost my taste for eating meat the year I read this book and while I don’t make a direct causal connection between the two events, I can’t deny the empathy I felt for Wilbur the pig, or the lasting impact of the opening sentence “Where’s Papa going with that axe?”

Sinuous by Lydia Kwa (Published by Turnstone Press)
At the moment I’m reading Sinuous by Lydia Kwa. Kwa is a poet and novelist originally from Singapore, who now lives in Vancouver.

Sinuous is a book of poetry that charts the author’s journeys both external and internal, from Singapore to Canada, and from trauma and suffering to self-realization and understanding of her own resilience and strength.

Kwa is a writer who is unafraid to challenge herself and her readers. Her writing is as sensual as it is intelligent and the journey is as full of unexpected, interesting and startling turns as the title suggests.

The Tarbut Festival runs from November 16 - 24. Hear Nancy Richler in conversation with Charlene Diehl on Thursday November 21, 7:30 p.m. at the Tarbut Festival of Jewish Culture at Berney Theatre, Rady JCC.


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