Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Friday’s Featured Fiction: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

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Friday’s Featured Fiction: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay calls Elizabeth Hay’s latest novel, Late Nights on Air, a "warm story" with "characters so vital it's as if they’re talking to us over java…." Hay is the bestselling author of A Student of Weather and Garbo Laughs. She will be at the Great Books Marquee at The Word On The Street in Toronto this Sunday. Late Nights on Air is one of the 15 titles on the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

Late Nights on Air
by Elizabeth Hay
McClelland & Stewart, 2007
376 pages

Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, has returned to a small radio station in the Canadian North. There, in Yellowknife, in the summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real woman, Dido Paris, is both a surprise and even more than he imagined.

Dido and Harry are part of the cast of eccentric, utterly loveable characters, all transplants from elsewhere, who form an unlikely group at the station. Their loves and longings, their rivalries and entanglements, the stories of their pasts and what brought each of them to the North, form the centre. One summer, on a canoe trip four of them make into the Arctic wilderness (following in the steps of the legendary Englishman John Hornby, who, along with his small party, starved to death in the barrens in 1927), they find the balance of love shifting, much as the balance of power in the North is being changed by the proposed Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which threatens to displace Native people from their land.

Elizabeth Hay has been compared to Annie Proulx, Alice Hoffman, and Isabel Allende, yet she is uniquely herself. With unforgettable characters, vividly evoked settings, in this new novel, Hay brings to bear her skewering intelligence into the frailties of the human heart and her ability to tell a spellbinding story. Written in gorgeous prose, laced with dark humour, Late Nights on Air is Hay’s most seductive and accomplished novel yet, and is already garnering interest abroad.

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