Institut Ramon LLull



Unpacking Grief: Marta Orriols & John Elizabeth Stintzi at Toronto International Festival of Authors

Literature.  CANADA, 29/09/2020

Two acclaimed authors, Catalan writer and art historian Marta Orriols and Canadian non-binary writer and poet John Elizabeth Stintzi, investigate the many ways of losing someone and opportunities to move forward from past broken relationships. Orriols delivers a darkly funny yet piercingly honest portrayal of grief in Learning to Talk to Plants, while Stintzi suggests that what haunts us most is what remains, in Vanishing Monuments.

The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) is Canada’s largest and longest-running festival of words and ideas celebrating its 41st edition this year. Bringing a new world into focus, the Festival will offer an expanded array of free virtual programming, celebrating stories, connecting communities and diving into important discussions relevant to the current state of the world. TIFA will bring audiences together to meet authors, artists, musicians, performers, and thinkers through live-streamed conversations, video readings, podcasts, interactive apps, workshops and more.

Several new programmes are introduced this year, including TIFA Kids!, multi-lingual events, original writing commissions, a Critical Conversations series on the events shaping our world today, creative writing masterclasses and an innovative range of digital apps and virtual performances. The Festival will offer something for everyone with over 200 storytellers from Canada and across the globe, including Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Japan, UK and USA. Bringing together some of the best names and brightest new voices in fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, graphic novels, science, politics and more. 

Institut Ramon Llull has been collaborating with TIFA for years, creating an opportunity for Catalan writers to present their work to Canadian audiences and publishers. In 2015, TIFA and IRL together organized a special focus on Catalan literature featuring eight Catalan contemporary authors.

Catalan autor invited to the Festival this year is Marta Orriols, coinciding with the promotion of the English edition of her novel Aprendre a parlar amb les plantes, the story of a young neonatologist whose partner dies in an accident. It was translated by Mara Faye Lethem and published by Pushkin Press (Learning to Talk to Plants, 2020).

Based in Barcelona, Marta Orriols graduated in Art History, and she also studied creative and screenplay writing. Orriols broke into the Catalan literary scene with short story collection, Anatomia de les distàncies curtes. Her novel, Aprendre a parlar amb les plantes has been translated into 11 languages. The novel won the best Catalan Novel Òmnium Award in 2018. Orriols is a contributor to several Spanish media. Her second novel, Dolça introducció al caos, was recently published in September 2020. Appearance supported by Institut Ramon Llull.


The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA)

October 22 to November 1, 2020

Registration opens on Tuesday, September 29


Unpacking Grief: Marta Orriols & John Elizabeth Stintzi

October 23, 2020 at 6:00pm EST


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