48 All in the Family

British Columbia
Dede Crane British Columbia


Dede Crane is a former professional ballet dancer and choreographer who began writing after moving to Vancouver Island 14 years ago. She has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards, the Victoria Butler Book Prize, the Canadian Library Association Award and the Bolen Book Prize. Crane reviews for the Globe and Mail, teaches in the writing department at the University of Victoria and is a founding member of the Ladies Fiction Club of Victoria. Every Happy Family is her fifth book of fiction. Read more

Andrew Kaufman Ontario

Andrew Kaufman is the author of All My Friends Are Superheroes, The Tiny Wife, The Waterproof Bible and, most recently, Born Weird. His work has been published in 11 countries and translated into nine languages, and he is also an accomplished screenwriter. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children. @severalmoments Read more

Saleema Nawaz Québec

Saleema Nawaz is the author of the novel Bone & Bread, the short story collection Mother Superior, and the winner of the prestigious Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, she currently lives in Montreal, Québec. @pinkmeringue Read more

Mary Swan Ontario

Mary Swan’s first novel, The Boys in the Trees, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. She is the winner of the 2001 O. Henry Award for short fiction and the author of the novella The Deep, a finalist for the Canada/Caribbean Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Her new novel is My Ghosts.

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Host: Angie Abdou
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 10:00am - 11:30am
Improv Centre
$17 / $8.50 for school groups

When it comes to family dynamics, the dramatic possibilities are endless. This morning meet four authors who write the ins and outs and ups and downs of family relationships in completely distinct yet utterly familiar ways. Andrew Kaufman’s Born Weird brings us the five Weird siblings, reunited as their evil grandmother dies. Saleema Nawaz brings us orphaned sisters Beena and Sadhana, growing up above a bagel shop in Montreal, in Bone & Bread. Mary Swan’s latest, My Ghosts, breathes life into a household of Scottish orphans trying to make their way in Toronto in 1879. And Dede Crane gives us a modern-day family in Victoria, BC, whose reality is quite different from outside appearances. You thought your family was crazy? Meet some new families in all their humorous and heartbreaking glory.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

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View the study guide for this event.

All in the Family


Dede Crane, Every Happy Family
Andrew Kaufman, Born Weird
Saleema Nawaz, Bone and Bread
Mary Swan, My Ghosts

Curriculum Connections:

  • Language Arts: fiction
  • Health and Career: family and community dynamics


  • Ask students to write a short profile for each one of their family members. Who are they? Where did they come from? What makes them tick? What do they spend their time doing? This activity will help students develop the skills of bringing a character to life, starting with using a character that they know very well in real life.
  • Have the students make a list of sense memories they have from visiting with their family/relatives. If they’ve never spent time with their grandparents, etc. have them write about visiting another relative. What is the atmosphere? Is there food?
  • Have the students write a story using a vivid memory about their family. Encourage them especially to characterize the family members and establish relationship dynamics within 5 pages.