Saturday, February 28, 2015

Aging

Frances Itani - Canadian writer of fiction, poetry and essays

March 1 is CDP Theme Day and the theme is AGING.

This wonderful author is an elegant writer who began her career life as a nurse and THEN became a writer. At age 37 she published her first book for children. Ten years later she published her first book of short stories. At age 56 she published her first novel for adults,  and at age 72 she was short-listed for the 2014 Giller Prize, the most prestigious prize for fiction given in Canada (worth $100,000 in November 2014).

Book signing after she delivered her talk

I am privileged to be on the board of the East Gwillimbury Friends of the Library, a group that hosted Frances Itani at an author reading in November 2014. EG is NOT Toronto where an author reading might encourage an audience of 25 or so readers to attend. NO! We are in East Gwillimbury  (in the boonies 45 minutes north of Toronto) where our author readings consistently boast an audience of 80 or 100 people...or more.  I kid you not! Yep, people here READ!!

My favourite Itani book is Deafening - a deeply profound novel about what it was like to be the deaf wife of a Canadian soldier in WWI.

The book for which Itani came close to being winner of the Giller Prize, Tell, is about two small-town Ontario families facing loss at the end of WWI ( a sort-of followup to Deafening, although the books can certainly be read independently.)


As interested about her audience as we were about her

Remembering the Bones is a bit weird, I confess, but I did read it to the end.  And once I got used to the idea that the protagonist was dying, I became curious about what might happen next.

One book I have not yet read, Requiem, is said by friends of mine to be her best,  so it's on my must-read list.

I sense there  are a few more books ready to be written by Frances Itani.  She's in her 70s but not anywhere near  being "old" yet. Frances Itani is aging well.

47 comments:

Gill - That British Woman said...

always looking for new authors to check out, this may be one to look for in the library.

Sylvia K said...

This is SO wonderful to read!! And it does prove that we don't have to stop being creative because we get old!! I know that feeling very well because I'll be 83 in a few months and I feel-- most of the time as though I'm just getting started!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! Made my day and now I'll go look for her books!!

William Kendall said...

Wonderful portrait shots of her, EG!

Minoru Saito said...

Hi! I do not know her books. I remembered a book about aging,"P. F. Drucker, The Unseen Revolution". Thanks for sharing.

Ginny said...

Good for her!! Age should be no limit to anyone. Remembering The Bones sounds like just my cup of tea. What a marvelous and thriving group, and so cool you actually got to meet her.

Hilary said...

Lucky you to have been able to meet her. I have only read one of her books so far.. and I loved it.
Leaning, Leaning Over Water. Excellent story.. so Canadian. Now I must read some of the others.

You took some fine photos.

TexWisGirl said...

a very interesting woman who has had a varied and interesting life thus far!

Sandy Carlson said...

Thanks for recommending this writer, and thanks for lifting her up.

Randy said...

Nice portrait.

Jane Hards Photography said...

This post echos my own thoughts on the theme, that ageing is still living. The pace is slower, but maybe not in this prolific lady's case. Lovely write up and images

Rose said...

I am going to check the library and see if it has any of her books. They sound interesting.

Denton Harryman said...

I hope she writes more .. sometimes great artist become even greater as they age .. we love to read and I will certainly checkout Frances Itani based on your recommendation.

Jack said...

A perfect theme day post about a most interesting writer. Today you show us a different Canadian bird!

Cloudia said...

Excellent post!





ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^=

handmade by amalia said...

I do agree that there are beauty and wisdom that come with age, that are gentler and must not be overlooked. I will look for the books.
Amalia
xo

paul said...

Great portraits, and interesting story!

Jim said...

Great theme day post for ageing.

Kay said...

Bravo! An author for your theme day post! She sounds wonderful and deserving of a place on my growing list of "must reads."

Small City Scenes said...

Perfect post for the theme' Now I must look up her books.
MB

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Some excellent portraits which tell much about the sitter.

Knipsa Passtscho said...

Nice to get to know a little about her and her books, this is a very fine post :)
And my eyes got wide when I read how many people over there are attending those readings! :))
Wish you a beautiful Sunday!
【ツ】Knipsa

Julie said...

I am torn, EG. I love the portraits of Frances, especially that first one with the wonderfully original teeth. However, I really appreciate very much the text, too. I will add her to my beside pile ... and hope it does not topple from the weight. At the moment I am reading Colm Toibin's "Nora Webster". It is finely evocative, with moving characterisations. Suits me to a tee.

Thank you for this wonderful contribution to our monthly theme.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Brilliant portrait shots Tina, Francis has certainly not let ageing hinder her creativity.. One of my very favourite authors Rosamund Pilcher had her first huge success with The Shell Seekers in her seventies.. If you've got it you've got it! Excellent theme day post.

Bergson said...

what a beautiful smile

Gerald (SK14) said...

what lovely portraits

Sandra said...

she has certainly aged well in that every year older the more she writes and the better she gets. this is a very interesting story of her life.. now i am wondering if they had an author at our library how many would show up... we have a five libraries in our town. and one historical Carnigie

eileeninmd said...

EG, what a wonderful post on Frances. She is a very interesting women..She is doing so well with her books, kudos to her! Great portraits.. Have a happy day!

Birdman said...

Aging is a state of mind. She proves it.

Aimeecakes said...

Fantastic portraits! Reading is so great - its cool that you get more people out to an author reading than the big city

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I just love it. I'm a month shy of 60 so my 70's are a lot less abstract than what they used to be and I'm interested in people who stay active and productive for a long time.
I've added Deafening to my goodreads list.

Lois said...

I had never heard of her before, so now I will have to go out and find some of her books. A lovely woman and definitely an inspiration. Wonderful post for Theme Day!

cieldequimper said...

Brilliant post EG.

Judy said...

A wonderful post! I will have to find some of her books to read.

Judy said...

I have put Deafening on my list at the library, but since I have 8 books at home right now, it will have to wait a few weeks...

VP said...

Sorry I didn't know this lady, thanks for introducing her to us...

Michelle said...

Thank you for introducing me to this author.

RedPat said...

I've heard of her, EG. Probably from when she was up for the Giller Prize, but I haven't read any of her books. It's always wonderful to read about someone's life that doesn't stop just because they start to age.

Loire Daily Photo said...

Great photos and thank you for the book suggestions. Always welcome. And I love Canadian litterature.

Dianne said...

What an inspiration ... I must put "Deafening" on my list of must-reads.

LOLfromPasa said...

Your photos are wonderful. This is a lady to has aged well and continues to be creative through her writing.

Tahiti Daily Photo said...

A very good post

Feyza Ramazanoglu said...

I am impressed by her career and success.
Thank you for sharing her story with us. good contribution to the theme. I like it.

orchid Miyako said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orchid Miyako said...

Dearest EG; Oh, wonderful post of a great woman writer 'Frances Itani'. Age doesn't count; yes, she looks elegant, isn't she♡♡♡

Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

Sorry for deleting, typo :-)

Joan Elizabeth said...

Great portraits.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Isn't that terrific!!!

kelley jensen said...

What a wonderful opportunity to meet and listen to a person like her.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.