Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Knox Presbyterian Church120 Lisgar Street (at Elgin)

Crime and Punishment: D.W. Wilson, Catherine Bush & Lisa Moore

Hosted by Sandra Ridley

Crime and Punishment: D.W. Wilson, Catherine Bush & Lisa Moore

Hosted by Sandra Ridley
Knox Presbyterian Church
120 Lisgar Street (at Elgin)
Catherine Bush
DW Wilson - Photo by Mark Pringle
Lisa Moore

Mark Twain once said, “Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one.” Three extraordinary writers explore lives on the razor’s edge between conscience and the law, between right and wrong, between profit and loss, action and reaction. Join us for a taste of three acclaimed novels and a conversation on the choices we make and the choices made for us.


Ballistics, the new novel by D. W. Wilson, is a family drama with two narratives, both set in Western Canada, thirty years apart. In 2003, while the firestorm rages through Kelowna, Alan West is asked to rescue his estranged father, Jack, who abandoned him as a baby. Unbeknownst to Alan, he is tracing a path through events that were initiated years before, in 1969, by American veteran Archer Cole, who deserts the army rather than return to Vietnam and flees to Canada. Ballistics looks at the bonds that tie a family together; it looks at the relationship between sons and fathers, real and surrogate, and the wounds that can linger for generations when that relationship is betrayed.


With Accusation, Catherine Bush artfully confronts the destructive power of allegations and examines the impossibility inherent in attempting to uncover “the truth.” In the novel, Sara Wheeler, a Toronto journalist, happens upon Cirkus Mirak, a touring Ethiopian children’s circus. and its founder, Raymond Renaud. After a friend of Sara’s begins work on a documentary about the circus, unsettling charges begin to float to the surface, disturbing tales of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of Raymond. Accounts and anecdotes mount, denunciations fly, and while Sara tries to untangle the narrative knots and determine what to believe, the concept of a singular “truth” becomes slippery. Accusation follows a network of lives that intersect with life-altering consequence, painfully revealing that the best of intentions can still lead to disaster, yet from disaster spring seeds of renewal and hope.


Internationally acclaimed author Lisa Moore returns with Caught, a remarkable new novel about a man who escapes from prison to embark upon one of the most ambitious pot-smuggling adventures ever attempted. Here are bravado and betrayal, bad weather and seas, love, undercover agents, the collusion of governments, unbridled ambition, innocence and the loss thereof, and many, many bales of marijuana. Here, too, is the seeming invincibility of youth and all the folly that it allows.


Books by participating authors available on-site. A booksigning will follow each event.


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