Authors, readings and lots of talk about books

San Miguel has a plethora of literature related events this and the following weeks. So get the books, look at the author websites, read the full articles that continue on pages 43, 45 and 46 and go to the events! And don’t forget the San Miguel Poetry Week closes Friday, January 6, 7pm with a Participants Reading at the Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A.

The San Miguel Writers’ Conference “Big Read” presents “Video Interviews with Margaret Atwood”. Wed, Jan 11, 5pm. Posada San Francisco, Crnr Hidalgo & Canal. 70 pesos. (50 pesos for Literary Sala members)

The San Miguel Literary Sala presents two novelists: Rikki Ducornet & Patricia Selbert. Thu, Jan 12, 5-7pm. Posada San Francisco, Cnr of Hidalgo & Canal. 70 pesos, 50 pesos for members

San Miguel PEN Lecture Series: Tuesdays at 6 pm

Jan 17, Eva Hunter

Jan 24, Lars Svanstroem

Jan 31, David Lida

Feb 7, Teresa Nicholas & Gerry Helferich

Feb 14, Austin Briggs

Feb 21, Elizabeth Starcevic

Ángela Peralta Theater

100 pesos each lecture

Seventh Annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival. Thu, Feb 16-Sun, Feb 19.

The novelist Margaret Atwood on video

By Diane Berman

The Annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival is pleased to announce the Third Annual Big Read, leading up to the Writers’ Conference in February. Our featured book this year is The Year of the Flood by celebrated Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood, who will keynote the Conference here in San Miguel on February 16, 2012. Big Read director, Diane Berman, invites you to join a Big Read Book discussion group and to attend two programs designed to better acquaint us all with Margaret Atwood, one of the most distinguished writers working today.

Literature: The San Miguel Writers’ Conference “Big Read” presents “Video Interviews with Margaret Atwood” Wed, Jan 11, 5pm. Posada San Francisco, Corner of Hidalgo and Canal. 70 pesos (50 pesos for Literary Sala members)

The first pre-Conference event, “Meet Margaret Atwood,” presents a series of short video interviews with Atwood by Bill Moyers, Richard Dawes and others on several of her controversial positions from the use of dystopia to her thoughts on humanity, literature, the environment and God. Several short clips will help acquaint us with her personally, including one in which she is acting like one of her animal characters from The Year of the Flood. It’s hysterical! The book, The Year of the Flood, and discussion questions for book groups will be available at this event.

The Writers’ Conference is incredibly fortunate to have engaged Margaret Atwood. She is the author of 14 novels, nine short story collections, 20 poetry collections and numerous essays on a wide variety of subjects. She has received so many awards that we will mention only two: The Booker Prize (twice), and the Governor General’s Award, the highest fiction award in Canada (also twice). She is the recipient of 17 honorary degrees.

This year’s Big Read selection, Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, is another “stimulating dystopia from the always provocative author whose complex, deeply involving characters inhabit a bizarre yet frighteningly believable future.” (Kirkus Reviews.)

We encourage the whole reading and literary community to join a book group. As a participant, you are encouraged to discuss challenging questions written by the Big Read committee to guide you in understanding Atwood’s intellectually challenging and timely themes, as well as her literary style and the use of a dystopian future to convey her concerns.

Our second pre-Conference program inspired by The Year of the Flood is, “The Age of Stupid: What’s Being Done.” It will focus on speakers and videos about cutting edge solutions to ecological problems. This program focuses on people and projects working hard to avoid the dystopian future Atwood has conceived. “The Age of Stupid” will be held at the Posada San Francisco on February 2, at 5pm.

The Big Read promises to be a richly exciting opportunity for readers to delve more fully into Atwood’s compelling book, The Year of the Flood, in preparation for Atwood’s much anticipated appearance here in San Miguel on February 16, 2012.

If you would like to join a Big Read Book Discussion group, please contact Diane Berman at

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