Amanda Hale at Portfolio Reading Series Jan 16

Jan
16
When: Thursday, Jan 16, 2020, 6:30PM - 8:00PM
Off Campus

White Rabbit Coffee Co
321 Selby St
Nanaimo


Add to CalendarAmanda Hale at Portfolio Reading Series Jan 1601/16/2020 06:30 PM01/16/2020 08:00 PMMM/DD/YYYYAmerica/VancouverfalseaYqCFcQpUzxLBYhTummH26494

When Christopher Brooke is arrested under Regulation 18B in June 1940, a slow process of personal disintegration begins, affecting his family irreversibly. Irish farm girl Mary Byrne is hired as housekeeper for the Brooke household and proves an acute observer of the daily lives of Cynthia Brooke and her three children. But when Mary is shockingly expelled from the house upon Christopher's release from internment, 15-month-old Katie -- conceived on a prison leave and now speaking from adulthood -- takes over as narrator.

Moving from the pre-war political era of Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, Mad Hatter delves into the wartime lives of Britons, and tracks them into the aftermath in a disturbing, but ultimately transcendent, story of a daughter's search for family history. Mad Hatter charts the gradual unravelling of a marriage and the tightening of its children in the devastation of post-war England as the story of the Brooke family moves inexorably to a tragic conclusion in which Mary Byrne is once again embraced by the family, but in a most surprising manner. If you think the fascist politics of Oswald Mosley is old hat, read Mad Hatter and think again.

"A beautiful book about a difficult story. This fictionalized memoir, following Christopher Brooke from pacifism into delusional extremism, is told with subtlety and compassion. I am left exhilarated by Amanda Hale’s ability to tell her experience with such insight and candour."-Susan Crean, author of Finding Mr. Wong

Amanda Hale has an M.A. in Creative Writing and Drama from Concordia University, and was a founding member of Toronto’s feminist theatre group, Company of Sirens. Hale’s first novel, Sounding the Blood, was published by Raincoast Book, was a finalist for the BC Relit Awards, and was voted one of the Top Ten novels by Toronto’s Now Magazine. Sounding the Blood has been on reading lists for literature courses at University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Western Washington and University of Victoria and been optioned for a film. The book has been translated into Czech.

Hale’s second novel, The Reddening Path, was published by Thistledown Press in print and as an audiobook and is also available in a Spanish edition. Her third novel, My Sweet Curiosity, was longlisted for the 2010 Relit award for fiction. In the Embrace of the Alligator, and Angela of the Stones, both collections of linked fictions set in Cuba, have been published by Thistledown Press. She has published two poetry chapbooks, Crocodile Sugar and Pomegranate. Hale is also the librettist for an original opera by the same name, which premiered in Toronto in June 2019.

Hale’s poetry and short stories have appeared in Canadian and U.S. magazines, including Arc, Grain, Event, The Dalhousie Review, The Fiddlehead, Room of One’s Own, Contemporary Verse II, Poetry Canada Review, and The New Quarterly. She won the 2008 Prism International Creative Non-Fiction Award for “The Death of Pedro Iván,” and was a finalist for the Malahat Review’s Creative Non-Fiction Award with “Señora Amable Ponce. Hale divides her time between Hornby Island, Toronto, and Cuba.


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