Jul 27, 2014

32nd Festival of the Written Arts

32nd Festival of the Written Arts
14-17 August 2014

Summer is here and so is the Festival of the Written Arts in Sechelt, BC, just a couple of hours away from the Vancouver on the Sunshine Coast.

Dozens of Canadian authors will gather to talk about their published books and emerging writers will have a wonderful opportunity to share and learn from their experiences.

You can find the Festival Planner here:

Tickets are on sale by telephone: 

call the Festival Office: 604.885.9631 
or toll free: 1.800.565.9631
or  book the tickets in person at the 

Festival Office 
5511 Shorncliffe Avenue, Sechelt., BC 
(9 am to 4:30 pm) 

Every event has a cost of 15$ or you can purchase day passes (75-85$) or even a full pass (250$). For changes and refund please see instructions of the Festival Planner:

See you all there!

Please share your comments and questions here:

Jul 7, 2014


Let the Games BeginLet the Games Begin by Niccolò Ammaniti
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Let the games begin" (Italian edition published in 2009; English edition published in 2013) is a novel by Italian author Niccolò Ammaniti, a member of the '90s literary group known as the "Cannibals".
The tale is hunting, somewhat blaspheme, captivating; it is the perfect balance between realism and fiction. A millionaire party is organized in a historical Villa in Rome and all Italian famous VIPs are invited to join an absurdly rich and weird hunting party that will end in disaster. The resulting image is a truthful and disgusting snapshot of an old Italy that is exploited, tired, exhausted.

Saverio, a frustrated father and husband, finds himself head of a satanist group of four, his adepts being weirdos and unlikely dark souls. Fabrizio, a famous writer with a narcissistic soul, is stuck between the fear of losing his privileged status and the paranoid delusion of being the best of them all. Their lives will run parallel in a climax building until they will clash in an explosion of bitterness and injustice. The reader will be left with a sense of vengeance for a beautiful country suffering of a prolonged carelessness.

The author Niccolò Ammaniti (1966) was born in Rome and he became famous in 2001 with his best seller "I'm not scared" that is a major movie picture now. Ammaniti's voice speaks for his generation, including myself and everyone belonging to the so called "Generation X". As an emerging writer I wish one day I will be able to express myself just like him, with a fluidity and a sarcasm that hits the target and lingers in the heart. "Let the games begin" is a good reading exercise for emerging writers as there can be found all the basic rules of novel construction. Two parallel narrative lines grow separately, a crucible forces the characters together and gives credibility to their coexistence even if they have to face harder and nastier obstacles. The resolution comes when the climax reaches its top and the reader is left with lots to think about.

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Jul 2, 2014


Anna KareninaAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A must read for every emerging writer, "Anna Karenina" (1878) is one of the most famous classics of all times. Together with "War and Peace" is considered the masterpiece by Russian author Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910). First appeared as a series of installments in a local periodical, "Anna Karenina" is an accurate snapshot of the Russian society of the time, it's been labelled as realist fiction.

The love story between married aristocrat Anna Karenina and a young affluent bachelor, Count Vronsky, unravels in a slow tale packed with female feelings and male rational thinking. Two more love stories run parallel to the main one: Levin, a country land owner who despises the city life, is desperately in love with naive Kitty, the little sister of Dolly, who is in turn the mother of three and betrayed wife of Anna's brother, Stephan.

"Anna Karenina" is the perfect book for the summer, when there's time and space enough to focus on the many characters and intrigues created by Tolstoy's imagination. Leo Tolstoy used his novels to express his ideas on various subjects like politics, war, religion, economy. His characters speak the author's mind and doubts, discussing between themselves different point of views and solutions. In the 1870s Leo Tolstoy went through a moral crisis and spiritual awakening and his novels reflect this inner turmoil.

I personally had trouble identifying with the character of Anna as a woman, and maybe for this reason I didn't feel the same attachment for this novel as I felt for "War and Peace". Still, I'm glad I read this masterpiece and I can add it to my classics library.

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