Holiday Book Fair 2021 Annual festival celebrates Quebec’s English-language publishers and writers (November 16-18)

Posted on: 28 October, 2021

Category: Events, QWF News, Salon du livre Montreal

Montreal, October 28, 2021 – Produced by the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF), the Holiday Book Fair returns to celebrate the vibrancy of English-language writing, publishing, and translation in Quebec. With hybrid and online-only events November 16-18, and books available for purchase in person at the Salon du livre, November 25-28, this year’s fair will feature local authors and translators and their exciting new work.

“We’re thrilled about the opportunity to once again be able to bring people together to celebrate their love of Quebec books,” says Rebecca West, Executive Director of AELAQ. “It’s been a tough year and a half, but books have helped us cope. We’re looking forward to getting people out again to discover Quebec books and authors. Book sales are so important for our member publishers as well as for local writers and readers.”

This year’s Holiday Book Fair events:

Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 7 pm
Montreal Review of Books – Fall Issue Launch
Atwater Library and Computer Centre (1200, Atwater Avenue, Reading Room)
Or online at
Free, no registration required
Doors will open at 6:30 pm

Join us for the launch of the Fall Issue of the Montreal Review of Books, featuring Helen Chau Bradley (Personal Attention Roleplay), Eli Tareq El Bechelany Lynch (The Good Arabs), and Tara McGowan-Ross (Nothing Will Be Different). Hosted by Montreal Review of Books Editor Malcolm Fraser.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 7 pm
Marie-Claire Blais in conversation with Katia Grubisic
On (registration required)

Iconic Quebec writer, novelist, playwright, and poet Marie-Claire Blais will discuss her novel Songs for Angel as well as the process of translation with Katia Grubisic, who rendered Des chants pour Angel into English. The ninth novel in internationally acclaimed author Marie-Claire Blais’s extraordinary Soifs cycle, Songs for Angel is an impassioned interrogation of violence and hate that takes us into the soul of a white supremacist on the verge of a racist attack. The conversation will take place on Zoom in English and in French.

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 7 pm
Tomson Highway in conversation with Ann-Marie MacDonald
Shatford Hall, Centre St. Jax (1439, Saint Catherine W.)
Or online at
Free, no registration required
Doors will open at 6:15 pm

Playwright, novelist, composer and pianist, Tomson Highway’s play The Rez Sisters and his novel Kiss of the Fur Queen brought Cree life to the world. He will discuss his new book, Permanent Astonishment: A Memoir, with playwright, actor, and novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald, whose first book, runaway bestseller Fall On Your Knees, was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. The in-person audience will have an opportunity to buy books and have them signed.

Vaccination passports, photo ID, and masks will be required for all in-person events.

The books of the participating authors will be available for sale at the in-person events, and a curated selection of books by Quebec writers will be available through the Read Quebec online catalogue. AELAQ will also be selling books by Quebec authors at this year’s in-person Salon du livre (Nov. 25-28). This is a wonderful opportunity to find the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones.

The Holiday Book Fair is brought to you by the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ) with our partner the Quebec Writers’ Federation, and is made possible with the generous support of the Government of Canada, the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada, the Violet Hour reading series, Babar Books, the Montreal Gazette, Penguin Random House Canada, as well as our invaluable bookseller partner, Paragraphe Bookstore.


Media contact:
Christopher DiRaddo
[email protected]