Last night we welcomed critically acclaimed author Carrie Snyder to the beautiful Reading Lounge at Central Library for a reading and discussion of her 2015 novel,
This was the most recent in our 85 QUEEN series, featuring critically acclaimed authors, thought-provoking films, current events, and controversial issues.
Girl Runner follows Aganetha Smart, an athlete who captured international attention at the 1928 Olympics. Now she’s 104 years old, in a nursing home, with her racing days seemingly forgotten by everyone. It’s a story that travels back to Aganetha’s past, and the challenges women faced as athletes and in general.
The novel has been translated and published in a dozen countries, including Sweden, Poland, Spain, Turkey, and Greece.
“An extraordinary, accomplished novel of love and family: a wonderful story of a free spirit forced to make difficult choices.” ~ Author Sarah Gruen
Carrie, a runner herself, was inspired by the Matchless Six, a group of Canadian women who participated in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
Carrie’s first book of short stories, Hair Hat, was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Award for Fiction. The Juliet Stories, a novel told through a set of linked stories, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award in 2012 and was named as a top pick of the year by the Globe and Mail. Last year, she published her first children’s book, The Candy Conspiracy.
You can learn more about Carrie on her popular blog, but be warned – you’ll either feel extremely lazy or extremely motivated after reading a few posts.
She’s a mother to four children, owner of two dogs, teacher at the University of Waterloo, a leader of writing workshops, and reads widely and diversely. She also takes beautiful photographs, plays and coaches soccer, swims, and practises yoga.
We invited Leslie Gordon to lead the discussion with Carrie. Leslie is familiar to many of you who watched her on CTV as a health and lifestyle reporter for more than a decade. She also served as an editor at Oxygen magazine and has appeared on CNN. She’s now known as Buff Mom, and is a certified personal trainer, life coach, entrepreneur, and mother.
We think her experience as a journalist – and as a woman who helps other women, and men, achieve their goals – made her the perfect interviewer for this evening’s discussion.
Those who attended were treated to a wide-ranging discussion about the writing process, following your passion, and making tough decisions – as Carrie had to do when she was accepted to midwifery school on the same day she sold her book for publication.
Carrie’s advice for aspiring writers? “Read the things you would like to write … and write like a writer you love to read.”
Thank you to both Carrie Snyder and Leslie Gordon for participating, to all of our attendees, and to the Canada Council for the Arts for its financial support.