Award-winning lesbian author Gabriella Goliger is set to read from her new book Girl Unwrapped as part of the 2010 Jewish Book Festival on November 23rd.
Goliger will share the spotlight with author Danielle Bluman Schroeder as part of Coming of Age: Reports from the Field.
Girl Unwrapped, Goliger’s second novel, is a coming-of-age story set in the late 1960s telling the story of Toni Goldblatt’s awakening to taboo desire and its conflict with the expectations of her Holocaust-scarred parents and the conservative mores of her times. Yearning to re-invent herself, she flees to Israel but finds the realities of life in the Middle East more complex than she imagined, and that her quest for normalcy has been thwarted. Only on her return to Montreal, when she discovers kindred spirits in the underground lesbian bar scene, does Toni begin to accept herself and find her own path.
Described as achingly honest, Girl Unwrapped is a novel about forbidden love, isolation, and the search for personal truth despite the stranglehold of family history.
In a recent interview, Goliger said: “I wanted to write from the two major sources of my identity and my outsider status —the lesbian and the Jewish me. However, this book is not autobiographical. I worked at making my protagonist, Toni Goldblatt, a character unto herself rather than an alter ego. She’s taller, butchier, more spontaneous and more bumbling than I ever was. I drew on my own life of course, but the events in the novel are fiction, as are the characters.”
Goliger’s first book, “Song of Ascent”, won the 2001 Upper Canada Writer’s Craft Award, was co-winner of the 1997 Journey Prize for short fiction, and won the Prism International award in 1993. She has also been published in a number of journals and anthologies. Golinger lives in Ottawa with her partner of thirty years, Barbara, who she married in 2006.
Coming of Age: Reports from the Field
Part of the 2010 Cherie Smith JCCGV Jewish Book Festival
Monday, 22 November 2010 @ 6:30pm
Tickets are $12. Full Festival information and tickets are available online at www.jewishbookfestival.ca or by calling the Festival Box Office at 604.257.5111.