Writer-in-residence John Asfour welcomes novelist, playwright, and essayist Ann Diamond to read excerpts from My Cold War, stories from 1950s Montreal
Monday, April 6, at 7:30pm, by donation
Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver
Ann Diamond’s best-known work is a long poem, A Nun’s Diary (1989), which was adapted for theatre by Robert Lepage and became the subject of a National Film Board documentary, “Breaking a Leg” directed by Donald Winkler. Her first novel, Mona’s Dance, was chosen by CBC as the best small press novel of 1988. In 1994, a story collection, Evil Eye, won the Hugh MacLennan Award for fiction. As an experiment, she self-published her novel Static Control after it had been accepted by DC Books and Les Editeurs XYZ.
Since 2002 when Diamond began work on her memoir, My Cold War, she has reincarnated as a researcher and haunter of libraries, fine-tooth-comber of documents and files, and explorer of a forbidden chapter in recent Canadian history. This ongoing project has been, in many ways, about reclaiming her own history as the daughter of a Canadian Air Force intelligence officer, who came to Quebec from Sea Island, BC, in 1943 to “hunt for Nazi spies.” Learning of her father’s secret activities led her inevitably into a wide-ranging study of the history of that period, some of which remains classified to this day.
It has also changed Diamond’s relationship to the community she came from–Anglo Montreal. It was a mixed blessing to live in a city with a rich cultural tradition and a multi-layered history. By the mid-1980s, when I began publishing fiction and poetry, Montreal had wandered off the literary map of Canada. Diamond waged a personal campaign to change that, writing for the Gazette, Books in Canada, Canadian Forum, CBC, Montreal Mirror, Room of One’s Own, Geist, and so on.
Today Diamond continues to study the history of Cold War experiments on children, a secret program that spanned the country. Her birthplace, Montreal, was the epicentre of a project that has altered our future in countless ways which need to be faced. After five years of research and writing, Diamond is pleased to shared those stories with a Vancouver audience at Kogawa house.
Join us on Monday, April 6, at 7:30pm at Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue in Vancouver. Admission by donation.