EVENT DATE: February 14, 2019
TOPIC: How a Novel is Written – A Craft Talk
Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including the novel Coventry, a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year, and the memoir Nocturne, nominated for the Trillium Book Award . Her novel The Evening Chorus was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 2015.
Humphrey’s latest book, The Ghost Orchard, explores the history of the apple in North America. Inspired by the discovery of a rare and delicious apple in an abandoned orchard near her home, the author delved into the history of the fruit. An engaging storyteller, Humphreys brings to light diverse aspects of the apple’s history, from how the fruit first came across the Atlantic Ocean to the cataloguing of over 17,000 varieties by the U.S. Department of Pomology, to little-known stories of poets, artists, and thinkers who were inspired by this humble fruit.
The Ghost Orchard, however, is more than a history, as Humphreys writes about undertaking the research while one of her closest friends was suffering from a terminal illness. With her signature lyrical prose, Humphreys weaves insights about illness and friendship into this fascinating history, resulting in a book both personal and universal.