To celebrate the launch of her novel Stunt (Coach House Books), which is about acts of daring and love under the big top, acclaimed playwright Claudia Dey will have a revealing on-stage conversation with celebrated novelist Michael Winter. Also on the bill is “The Stunt Wild West Eighties Show”—a circus-like extravaganza featuring '80s music performed by Kurt Swinghammer, Don Kerr, Paul Linklater and Doug Friesen, and projections of old western films. — A This Is Not A Reading Series event presented by Pages Books & Magazines, Coach House Books and EYE WEEKLY.
Stunt: Eugenia Ledoux (aka Stunt), nine years old, wakes one morning to a note from her father that reads, ‘gone to save the world. sorry. yours, sheb wooly ledoux. asshole.’ Claudia Dey’s debut novel, Stunt, chronicles the eponymous character’s quest to reconnect with Sheb. Stunt writes to the man she believes to be Sheb’s father: I.I. Finbar Me The Three, a retired tightrope walker. As she waits for Finbar’s response, Stunt retreats to Toronto Island, where she meets Samuel Station, a barefoot voluptuary, world traveler and ring-maker. When Finbar does reply, Stunt starts to wonder if she really wants to uncover the truth about Sheb’s disappearance. With her finely tuned ear for everyday conversation, Dey deftly grounds her flights of magic realism with acute psychological insights. Studded with postcards from outer space, the explosion of a shoulder-pad factory, and some accomplished taxidermy, Stunt is an offbeat cowboy hymn to the wilder parts of Toronto and its citizens.
Claudia Dey is a celebrated playwright and columnist. Several of her plays have been produced internationally. Notable amongst these are Beaver, Trout Stanley and the Governor General’s– and Trillium Award–nominated The Gwendolyn Poems. Dey is a graduate of McGill University and the National Theatre School. She also writes the popular "Group Therapy" column for the Globe & Mail. Stunt is her first novel. Dey lives in Toronto.
Michael Winter is the author of The Big Why, which won the Drummer General's Award and was nominated for Ontario's Trillium Book Award and the Atlantic Book Awards' Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Prize. His fictional memoir This All Happened won the Winterset Award and was nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction prize. Winter has also published two short-story collections, Creaking in Their Skins and One Last Good Look. Winter's latest novel is The Architect's Are Here. He divides his time between St. John's and Toronto.
Kurt Swinghammer and the Shoulder Padz is a band comprised of the widely respected visual artist and singer-songwriter Kurt Swinghammer, and noted Toronto musicians Don Kerr, Paul Linklater and Doug Friesen. They rehearsed much of their set for The Stunt Wild West Eighties Show while busking in front of the window display for Claudia Dey’s novel Stunt at Pages Books & Magazines.