AX Literary Series: Frye Festival Readers, David Bergen and Elaine McCluskey

April 25, 6:30pm

AX Literary Series:

Frye Festival Readers:

David Bergen and Elaine McCluskey

Thursday, April 25, 6:30pm
FREE Event. Donations welcomed and appreciated.

AX is pleased to welcome to the gallery authors David Bergen and Elaine McCluskey!

Join us on Thursday, April 25th, 2924 at 6:30pm for a FREE public reading.

We acknowledge the support of Canada Council for the Arts. Thank you to the New Brunswick Department of Tourism Heritage and Culture for their support of this event.

David Bergen Bio

David Bergen is the author of numerous acclaimed novels and short-story collections, including The Time In Between, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Out of Mind, winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. Away form the Dead is his thirteenth book of fiction. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Away From the Dead:

Violence is the domain of both the rich and the poor. Or so it seems in early 20th-century Ukraine during the tumult of the Russian Revolution.

As anarchists, Bolsheviks, and the White Army all come and go, each claiming freedom and justice, David Bergen embeds his readers into the lives of characters connected through love, family, and loyalty. Lehn, a bookseller south of Kiev, deserts the army and writes poetry to his love back home; Sablin, an adopted Mennonite-Ukrainian stableboy, runs with the anarchists only to discover that love and the planting of crops is preferable to killing; Inna, a beautiful young peasant, tries to stop a Mennonite landowner from stealing her child. In a world of violence, Sablin, Lehn, and Inna learn to love and hate and love again, hoping, against all odds, that one can turn away form the dead.

In this beautifully crafted novel, David Bergen takes us to a place where chaos reigns, where answers come from everywhere and nowhere, and where both the beauty and horror of humanity are on full display.

Elaine McCluskey Bio

Elaine McCluskey is a critically acclaimed fiction writer based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Her 2022 collection Rafael Has Pretty Eyes won the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction. McCluskey’s stories have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Room, and subterrain. The Gift Child is her seventh book of fiction..

The Gift Child:

How important is truth? What is normal? These are the questions raised in The Gift Child, Elaine McCluskey’s fictionsl oeuvre – a funny, poignant, sure-shot novel, populated with a community of petty criminals, beloved broadcasters, undercover intelligence agents, and more.

The novel opens with the disappearance of a man in Pollock Passage, Nova Scotia, a man last seen driving away from a government wharf with a giant tuna head in the basket of his Schwinn delivery bicycle. The man’s name is Graham Swim; he’s goos at playing the harmonica and making friends.

When Graham’s cousin Harriett decides to investigate his disappearance, she comes up against her own family history. A news photographer now jobless and adrift, Harriett has lived most of her life int he shadow of her larger-than-life father – a once-beloved TV news anchor and borderline narcissist.

When Harriett arrives in Pollock Passage, she meets a stranger who tells her he is researching the Shag Harbour UFO mystery. While this stranger helps Harriett reconnect with pieces of herself she thought long-dead, she also learns that what she knows about her father may not be true.

Vintage McCluskey, The Gift Child showcases McCluskey’s unique ability to capture the malleability of memory and the complex absurdity and nobility of humanity. It’s a novel that’s hard to put down; it’s even harder to forget.


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Thank you to the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture for their support of this event.