World Voices: International Authors at TIFA 2018

One of the most exciting things about attending the Toronto International Festival of Authors is the rare opportunity to meet, learn and hear from authors from all around the world. This year’s Festival edition won’t disappoint, with a diverse lineup of voices and stories that transcend borders. Here are some names you’ll definitely want to catch this October!


Kirsten McDougallKirsten McDougall

Kirsten McDougall is a New Zealand author who also works in the publishing industry as a publicist. Operating in the realm of short fiction for most of her writing career, McDougall branched out in 2017 with the release of her first novel, Tess, a Gothic love story and coming-of-age tale set in Masterson, New Zealand. Tess appeared on the longlist for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Kirsten McDougall will be appearing in the following event(s):

Panel: Kim Fu, Kirsten McDougall & Sarah Winman
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 6:00 PM

Panel: Kirsten McDougall, D. Nandi Odhiambo & Melanie Raabe
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 5:00 PM

This author is supported by Creative New Zealand.


Pierre J. MeljakPierre J. Mejlak

Maltese author Pierre J. Mejlak began his career as a journalist and a radio producer, including a stint as a BBC correspondent. During this time he won the Malta Journalism Award twice and in 1999, he released his first work of children’s literature, Trab Abjad (White Dust). His subsequent forays into fiction have garnered him international acclaim, including the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature for Having Said Goodnight, an anthology of short fiction.

Pierre Mejlak will be participating in the following event(s):

EUNIC Reading & Reception
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM

Storytelling in Different Forms: Dionne Brand, Isa Kamari, Pierre J. Mejlak & Ondjaki
Thursday, October 25, 2018 – 8:00 PM

This author is supported by the Consulate General of the Republic of Malta.


Witi IhimaeraWiti Ihimaera

New Zealand’s Witi Ihimaera is most well-known for writing The Whale Rider, which was adapted into the critically-acclaimed 2002 film of the same name. He was the first author of Māori descent to have published both a novel and a short story collection and much of his work examines contemporary Māori culture. In recognition of his ongoing contributions to literature, Ihimaera received the Te Tohutiketike a Te Waka Toi award in 2009, Māoridom’s highest cultural honour.

Witi Ihimaera will be participating in the following event(s):

Panel: Brannavan Gnanalingam, Witi Ihimaera & Maryam Madjidi
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 1:00 PM

This author is supported by Creative New Zealand.


Ivana Bodrožić

The first-ever English translation of Ivana Bodrožić’s work was released in 2017, seven years after its initial publication in her home country of Croatia. Hotel Zagorje (The Hotel Tito: A Novel), which is inspired by the Bodrožić’s own experiences during the Yugoslav Wars, has received unanimous praise and won the Kočićevo Pero Award, the Josip and Ivan Kozarac Award and the 2010 Kiklop Award for best work of fiction.

Ivana Bodrožić will be participating in the following event(s):

EUNIC Reading & Reception
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM

Panel: Cristina Ali Farah, Ivana Bodrozic & Monika Zgustova
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 8:00 PM

This author is supported by the Ministry of the Republic of Croatia.


Wu HeWu He

Author Wu He first made his mark on Taiwan’s literary scene with a string of short stories published throughout the mid-to-late 1970s. Shortly thereafter, he left the publishing industry to spend time with Indigenous tribes across Taiwan and would not return to the writing world for over a decade. Remains of Life, Wu He’s third book following his return, has won more than seven of Taiwan’s major awards for literature.

Wu He will be participating in the following event(s):

Panel: Michael Berry, Dulce Maria Cardoso, Wu He & Tina Makereti
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 6:00 PM

This author is supported by The Taipei Cultural Centre in New York.


Dulce Maria Cardoso

Raised in Luanda, Angola (though her family moved back to Portugal after the Angolan War of Independence), Cardoso was a full-time lawyer before transitioning into writing with her award-winning debut, Campo de Sangue. She has since been called one of the most important literary voices in Portugal and O retorno (The Return), which examines the struggles of Angolan refugees in Portugal, is her first novel to be translated to English.

Dulce Maria Cardoso will be participating in the following event(s):

EUNIC Reading & Reception
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM

Panel: Michael Berry, Dulce Maria Cardoso, Wu He & Tina Makereti
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 6:00 PM

This author is supported by Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language, I.P.


Brannavan GnanalinghamBrannavan Gnanalingam

Brannavan Gnanalingam was born in Sri Lanka and raised in New Zealand, where his family resettled when he was three years-old. Like Dulce Maria Cardoso, Gnanalingam’s professional roots are in law and he is still a practicing lawyer. He has written five novels, two of which have been nominated for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards which are among the country’s most prestigious distinctions in literature.

Brannavan Gnanalingam will be participating in the following event(s):

Panel: Brannavan Gnanalingam, Witi Ihimaera & Maryam Madjidi
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 1:00 PM

This author is supported by Creative New Zealand.


Jakub MaleckiJakub Malecki

Having written two collections of short fiction and seven novels, Polish author Jakub Malecki has covered a variety of genres including fantasy, horror and realist prose. His work has been exceptionally well-received in Poland and over the course of his career, he has been nominated for the Angelus Central European Literary Award, Stanisław Barańczak Awards, Poznań Literary Prize, J. Żuławski Literary Award, NIKE Literary Award and Janusz A. Zajdl Literary Award.  

Jakub Malecki will be participating in the following event(s):

EUNIC Reading & Reception
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM

Celebrating Poland: With Jakub Małecki, Dorota Masłowska & Jakub Żulczyk
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – 6:00 PM

This author is supported by the Poland Book Institute and the Consulate General of Poland in Toronto.


Mojca Kumerdej

Mojca Kumerdej is a Slovenian author and journalist who first turned heads with her debut novel, Krst nad Triglavom (The Baptism Over Mount Triglav), which parodies an epic poem widely considered one of Slovenia’s most significant works of writing. Her most recent novel, Kronosova žetev (The Harvest of Chronos), was awarded with two major distinctions in 2017: the Kritiško sito Award for best book of the year and Prešeren Fund Award.

Mojca Kumerdej will be participating in the following event(s):

EUNIC Reading & Reception
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM

Mojca Kumerdej is supported by the Slovenian Book Agency.


Dorota MaslowskaDorota Maslowska

Dorota Maslowska is an author, musician and playwright from Poland. Her first novel, Wojna polsko-ruska (Snow White and Russian Red), was published when she was just 19 years-old and immediately became a critical and commercial success. Despite the controversy surrounding the book’s vulgar language and cynicism, Maslowska would go on to win the 2003 NIKE Audience Award and the 2002 Paszport Polityki Prize.

Dorota Maslowska will be participating in the following event(s):

EUNIC Reading & Reception
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM

Celebrating Poland: With Jakub Małecki, Dorota Masłowska & Jakub Żulczyk
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – 6:00 PM

This author is supported by the Polish Book Institute and the Consulate General of Poland in Toronto.


Melanie RaabeMelanie Raabe

Melanie Raabe was born and raised in former East Germany. A journalist by trade and an author by night, Raabe earned her big break with 2015’s Die Falle (The Trap), an engrossing thriller for which she was awarded the Stuttgart Crime Prize for best debut novel. Since its release, Die Falle has been published in 21 countries. A film adaptation is currently in development from TriStar Pictures.

Melanie Raabe will be participating in the following event(s):

Panel: Kirsten McDougall, D. Nandi Odhiambo & Melanie Raabe
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 5:00 PM

Melanie Raabe is a guest of the Goethe Institut, Toronto.


Of course, these aren’t the only international authors appearing at #FestofAuthors18! Tina Makereti (New Zealand), Sayaka Murata (Japan), András Forgách (Hungary), Isa Kamari (Singapore), Cristina Ali Farah (Italy), Maryam Madjidi (France), Jakub Żulczyk (Poland), Monika Zgustova (Spain) and more will all be in attendance as well. Don’t miss them at this year’s Festival!