For probably the first time ever, people can hang out in the library after hours this Friday and it’s all completely legitimate. Even when they start drinking wine.
Celebrated Canadian author Angie Abdou is making her solo launch of her new book The Canterbury Trail at the St. Albert Public Library. She recently was up as one of five finalists for the CBC Canada Reads program for essential books of the decade, based on viewer votes. The program is designed to encourage readers to discover and support Canada’s great literary talents.
That was for her last novel, The Bone Cage.
For library director Peter Bailey, it’s going to be a remarkable event for those reasons and maybe one more.
“I’ve known Angie for quite awhile,” he said matter-of-factly. “We go way back.”
In a stroke of luck, his wife, Dr. Anne Bailey, was in the doctoral program with the author at Western. At the time Abdou was a medieval scholar and she is now using that background in her writing.
When Bailey heard she was going to launch the new book in Calgary, he gave her a call.
“I said, ‘Why not come up here?’”
The Canterbury Trail is a recasting of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, transplanting the story from medieval England to the modern day Rocky Mountains. She puts ski bums where nuns once were and sets them on a pilgrimage to a backwoods cabin in the B.C. mountains.
It’s so fresh that you can’t even borrow it from the library shelves. It was just released this month but hasn’t quite made it everywhere.
“The library doesn’t even have a copy of it yet. It’s still on order. We’ll have copies at the reading.”
He added that he hopes people take to the after-hours event as a new way of experiencing a night out in St. Albert.
“We’re trying to make readings more interesting, more fun.”
Angie Abdou will visit the library at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 18 to launch and perform readings from The Canterbury Trail and discuss The Bone Cage, as well as talk about her experiences with Canada Reads. Dr. Anne Bailey will moderate. A question and answer session will follow.
This special event, complete with wine and snacks, is free of charge and open to everyone. Attendees are asked to register with the library beforehand at 780-459-1682.
The library is located in St. Albert Place at 5 St. Anne Street.
If you are unable to attend this event, you can also catch Abdou at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night along with Patricia Westerhof at Audrey’s Books located at 10702 Jasper Ave. in Edmonton.