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85 QUEEN: An Evening with Catherine Bush

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85 Queen An Evening with Catherine Bush

On December 9th, library customers were treated to a fascinating conversation about the nature of accusations. Can we ever really know the truth of a situation?

Andrea Bellemare, journalist with CBC-KW, interviewed  author Catherine Bush about her most recent critically acclaimed novel, Accusation.

The novel tells the story of a journalist, Sara Wheeler, as she seeks the “truth” behind an alleged crime. Raymond Renaud, a Canadian who is running a children’s circus in Ethiopia, has been accused of abusing the children he works with. The novel was inspired by actual events, and a circus that Catherine wrote about for the Globe and Mail.

It was an indepth and far-ranging conversation: Who do we believe, and why? How would the story (which takes place in 1996) be different if it took place today? What does it feel like to be accused of a crime, and is it possible to prove a negative? How are Catherine’s female characters judged differently than male characters? Does a character have to be “likable”?


“Accusation is both a psychological thriller and a novel of anxiety.” Read a review of Accusation

The reading, discussion, and question-and-answer session took place in our beautiful Reading Lounge. Before the event, Catherine met with a small group in our Meet the Author Book Club. New members are always welcome to attend. See below for details on upcoming 85 Queen discussions and Meet the Author Book Clubs. All are free, and anyone is welcome to attend.

We’d like to thank Catherine and Andrea for an engaging and thought-provoking reading. We’d also like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.


CATHERINE BUSH  Catherine is the author of four novels, including Minus Time, The Rules of Engagement, Claire’s Head, and Accusation. Her books have been nominated for the Books in Canada-Smithbooks First Novel Award, the City of Toronto Book Award, and the Trillium Award. Her name frequently turns up on “Best of” lists, including those of Now Magazine, the Globe and Mail, and the New York Times.

Her non-fiction has appeared in the Globe and Mail and New York Times Magazine. She has written about dance, performance arts, running, and bears. She’s also generous in sharing her craft: she ran a successful reading series in New York City, has taught at the Humber School for Writers, at UBC and for the Summer Literary Seminars in Kenya. Catherine is currently the co-ordinator of the Creative Writing Master’s program at the University of Guelph.

ANDREA BELLEMARE Andrea, like Sara Wheeler in Accusation, is a journalist. And like Sara Wheeler, she is also a world traveller, who has spent time in Italy, France, Spain, the UK, and Asia, and she lived in Australia for almost a year.

She began her career as an intern at the CBC, took time off to travel, and returned in 2009. Since then she has held several positions – as a chase producer, writer, story editor and control room producer. She is currently a reporter at CBC-KW 89.1. Andrea is also a dedicated bibliophile. Right now she’s reading a lot of essay collections including Rebecca Solnit and Susan Sontag, part of a larger theme of reading only women writers for a period of time.

This series features critically acclaimed authors, thought-provoking films, current events, and controversial issues. These are not just lectures or presentations, but a chance for you to be a part of the conversation. Upcoming 85 QUEEN events include:

Saturday, Dec. 19
Roch Carrier, The Hockey Sweater (all ages)

Tuesday, Jan. 19
An Evening with Carrie Snyder
Meet the Author Book Club with Carrie Snyder

Saturday, February 6
A Morning with Susanna Kearsley
Meet the Author Book Club with Susanna Kearsley



Author: Charlotte Prong

I'm the Social Media Editor at Kitchener Public Library. Follow us on Twitter @KitchLibrary, on Instagram @kitchenerlibrary, or like our page on Facebook.

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