Authors Jordan Abel (left), Marsha Lederman and Harrison Mooney are the keynote speakers at the Fraser Valley Literary Festival in Abbotsford on Nov. 3 and 4. (Photo credits from left: Sweetmoon Photography, Ben Nelms and Jeff Vinnick)

Authors Jordan Abel (left), Marsha Lederman and Harrison Mooney are the keynote speakers at the Fraser Valley Literary Festival in Abbotsford on Nov. 3 and 4. (Photo credits from left: Sweetmoon Photography, Ben Nelms and Jeff Vinnick)

Literary Festival returns to UFV with 11 authors on the schedule

Keynote program features Jordan Abel, Marsha Lederman and Harrison Mooney

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) welcomes 11 authors to its Abbotsford campus on Thursday, Nov. 3 and Friday, Nov. 4 for the Fraser Valley Literary Festival.

The writers discuss writing, craft and the writing life in contemporary Canada.

The festival includes a keynote program featuring authors Jordan Abel (attending remotely), Marsha Lederman and Harrison Mooney.

Mooney, who earned a bachelor of arts from UFV in 2006, recently published his memoir, Invisible Boy. The book reflects on his experiences as a Black child adopted and raised in Abbotsford by a white fundamentalist Christian family.

Coming back to read as a published author at his alma mater is a bit of a dream come true for Mooney.

“I’ve dreamed about returning to UFV — mostly nightmares about tests I’m unprepared for,” he quipped. “This is a much better way to be back, and I’m honoured.”

Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver and an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, where he teaches Indigenous literature and creative writing.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Literary Festival goes online for 2020

He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize).

Abel’s autobiographical book NISHGA attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence and the intergenerational impact of residential schools. He recently completed a PhD at Simon Fraser University and served as UFV’s writer-in-residence in 2017.

Lederman is a Vancouver-based columnist with The Globe and Mail. Her 2022 memoir, Kiss the Red Stairs: The Holocaust, Once Removed, is an intimate look at the intergenerational trauma that is a legacy of the Holocaust.

Lederman’s parents were survivors, and many members of her family perished in the Holocaust. She has struggled with that legacy her whole life.

The 2020 version of the festival was virtual due to the pandemic, and the 2021 version was a hybrid. Most of the authors will attend in person this year, with three attending virtually.

The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. on Nov. 3 with the keynote panel, followed by a reception.

On Nov. 4, the event features two afternoon panels. Doors open at 11:45 a.m., and the event runs from noon to 3:15 p.m.

Attendance is free. Register by searching “Fraser Valley Literary Festival” at eventbrite.ca, where the complete schedule can also be viewed.

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