Press-Republican

Out & About

April 24, 2014

Popular Montreal writing festival celebrates 16th edition

EVENT: Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford takes this year's International Literary Grand Prize

MONTREAL — Take your kinship with your Kindle and your camaraderie for the written word one step farther.

Blue Metropolis, Montreal’s premier multilingual literary festival, once again brings writer and reader together for its sweet 16th edition, with more than 100 workshops, author meet-and-greets, lectures, talks, master classes and book launchings.

Greg McCormick, Blue Met’s programming director, says there’s a lot of writing buzz at this year’s Blue Met, specifically a number of notable literary awards.

This year’s Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix has been awarded to American Writer Richard Ford, whose acclaimed works include the Bascombe novels trilogy — “The Sportswriter,” “Independence Day” and “The Lay of the Land.” “Independence Day” was the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/Faulkner Award. Ford’s latest work is “Canada,” a suspense novel about a teenage boy whose parents decide to rob a bank.

Ford will be awarded $10,000 at a ceremony at 4 p.m. May 3 at the Grande Bibliotheque (Montreal’s main library) at 475 De Maisonneuve Blvd. E.

Ford joins an illustrious group of past Blue Met grand prize laureates who include Norman Mailer, Michel Tremblay, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oats and last year’s winner Irish writer Colm Toibin.

LUIS ALBERTO URREA

This year’s second Metropolis Azul Prize will be awarded to Mexican American writer Luis Alberto Urrea.

“He’s really interested in the relationship between Mexico and America historically and currently,” McCormick said.

Urrea has tackled the subject of the complexities of the border through essays and novels, the latest of which, “Queen of America,” garnered Urrea the 2014 Metropolis Azul.

“The book asks, ‘How does the most dangerous woman in Mexico become the Queen of America?’” McCormick said.

Urrea will accept his award at the Grande Bibliotheque at 6 p.m. May 3.

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