Emerging Authors at #FestofAuthors19

Toronto International Festival of Authors is well-known as a destination to hear established, celebrated authors. However, we also provide countless opportunities to discover the rising stars of the literary world; the authors that everyone will soon be talking about.

Here are some debut authors whom you should look out for at this year's Festival.

Kate Harris

Who wouldn't want to hear from a debut author who has been called "one of Canada's top modern day explorers"? Kate Harris' debut work, Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road, delves into what it means to be an explorer in a modern age. Written based on her bicycle trip down the infamous Silk Road, the work is packed with adventure and beauty. Harris has written for Canadian Geographic, among other reviews, and lives off-grid in a log cabin in British Columbia.

Kate Harris will be appearing in the following event: 

Reading & Conversation: Kate Harris, Anna Maxymiw and Caroline van Hemert
November 3, 2019  3pm

Nazanine Hozar

Nazanine Hozar lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, but her debut novel Aria takes readers back to the city where she was born: Tehran, Iran. Set during the early 1950s, Hozar explores the Iranian revolution through the eyes of an abandoned girl found on the roadside by a soldier. Aria has gained acclaim from renowned authors John Irving and Margaret Atwood, among others.

Nazanine Hozar will be appearing in the following event:

Karen McBride

Algonquin Anishinaabe writer Karen McBride weaves a story of grieving, spirit and mystery in her debut work, Crow Winter. McBride, who has a bachelor of education from the University of Ottawa and a master of arts in creative writing, currently teaches at an elementary school on her home reserve.

Karen McBride will be appearing in the following event:

Reading & Conversation: Karen McBride, Teodor Reljić and Drew Hayden Taylor
October 26, 2019  4pm

Julie Morrissy

Irish poet, critic and activist Julie Morrissy‘s long awaited first collection of poetry is comedic, intimate and gripping. Where, the Mile Ends launched in Europe and in cities all over North America to consistent praise. Before releasing her collection, Morrissy was selected as a “Rising Generation” poet by the editor of Poetry Ireland Review.

Julie Morrissy will be appearing in the following event:

Joanne Ramos

Joanne Ramos worked as a staff writer at The Economist and a board member of The Moth before writing The Farm. The debut novel features a high society surrogacy company, dubbed “The Farm”, that hires vulnerable women to carry babies for the rich and famous. The gripping, thoughtful novel has already received acclaim from O: The Oprah Magazine, which read “Equal parts feminist dystopia and immigrant story, Ramos’s debut novel couldn’t be more relevant or timely.”

Joanne Ramos will be appearing in the following event:

Reading & Conversation: Kai Aareleid, Joanne Ramos and Gabriela Ybarra
October 30, 2019  6pm

Roberta Staley

As a reporter, documentarian, magazine editor and now, author, Roberta Staley has worked in some pretty impressive roles. Her debut work is a memoir of the inspiring Mozhdah Jamalzadah, who has been called the Oprah of Afghanistan. In Voice of Rebellion: How Mozhdah Jamalzadah Brought Hope to Afghanistan, Staley tells the beautiful and important story of the singer and TV show host who broke barriers and changed the way important topics, such as domestic violence, are discussed in Afghanistan.

Roberta Staley will be appearing in the following event:

Voice of Rebellion: Mozhdah Jamalzadah with Roberta Staley
October 30, 2019  9pm

Benedek Totth 

Before writing his debut work, Benedek Totth translated numerous popular works into Hungarian, including novels by Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, Hunter S. Thompson and William S. Burroughs. Dead Heat, his first book, was published to immediate acclaim and has since been said to be a Hungarian cult classic that is comparable to the film Trainspotting or book Lord of the Flies.

Benedek Totth will be appearing in the following events:

Reading & Conversation: Mona Awad, Rein Raud and Benedek Totth
October 26, 2019  6pm

Europe On Tour: Reading & Reception
October 27, 2019  7pm

Evan Winter

Evan Winter has always dreamed of being a writer, but he lived quite an interesting life before finally putting pen to paper in his debut novel, The Rage of Dragons. His biography includes: cinematographer and director whose work has been viewed more than 500,000,000 times, a Creative Director and now, Epic Fantasy writer. Rage of the Dragons has been said to be “if Game of Thrones met Gladiator”, a novel that has already received the attention, and praise, of many.

Evan Winter will be appearing in the following event: 

Jacek Dukaj, Guy Gavriel Kay and Evan Winter in Conversation
October 31, 2019  6pm

Gabriela Ybarra

The Dinner Guest, Gabriela Ybarra‘s prizewinning debut, is a revealing look at her family history through tragedy and loss. Her novel recounts the story of her grandfather, the former mayor of Bilbao, who was kidnapped and later killed by terrorists. Though the event took place years before Ybarra was born, she vividly pieces together her memories and detailed research through a beautifully flowing prose. The Dinner Guest was published to international praise, winning the Euskadi Literature Prize 2016 and making the longlist for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

Gabriela Ybarra will be appearing in the following events:

Samra Zafar

Samra Zafar‘s debut work, A Good Wife: Escaping the Life I Never Chose, is a beautifully written memoir about resilience and strength through her experience of being pushed into marriage at age 15. Now a successful professional speaker, advocate and award-winning writer, she has spoken out on diversity, inclusion and gender-based violence at Yale University, Amnesty International, ME to WE, Women’s Business Network and TEDx.

Samra Zafar will be appearing in the following event:

Samra Zafar in Conversation
October 26, 2019  1pm

Be sure to visit #FestofAuthors19 to see these rising stars, and more: