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Podcast Episode 15
12:00pm

The Girl from Dream City

with Linda Leith
Hosted by Peter Schneider

The Girl from Dream City

with Linda Leith
Hosted by Peter Schneider
30
Friday
Apr
12:00pm
Linda Leith - Photo by Linda Leith

Peter Schneider, Manager and Executive Secretary of the Public Lending Right Program, sits down with author and publisher Linda Leith to discuss her memoir, The Girl from Dream City: A Literary Life .

 

It's the life that many dream of: education in some of Europe's most beautiful cities before becoming a novelist, essayist, translator and literary curator.

 

But the start of Linda Leith's journey is anything but idyllic. The daughter of a glamorous mother and a charming left-wing doctor, she is never told of her father's psychiatric breakdown or his subsequent shock therapy for what was then called manic depression.

 

As this secret festers, Leith's father uproots the family to various European cities as he reinvents himself as a corporate executive, eventually moving across the Atlantic to Montreal.

 

It's there, in her first year of university, that Leith is inspired by Madame de Staël: a writer and salonnière, banished from Paris by Napoleon himself. With none of Staël's advantages-no wealth, no social status, no château on Lake Geneva-Leith can scarcely imagine a salon, but she is drawn to Paris, and dreams of becoming a writer.

 

This dream fuels her education in London, her marriage and writing in Budapest, and-finally-her journey back to Montreal where she meets a community of writers and readers who she works with to transform the city's literary scene.

 

As Leith publishes, translates, and curates, she also comes to terms with her troubled father and the secrets of her childhood.

 

Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books .

 

The Ottawa International Writers Festival is supported by generous individuals like you. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter and making a donation to support our programming and children’s literacy initiatives .

 

Presented in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library .

 

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