Prairie born and raised author Joan Thomas will offer a comprehensive presentation focused on her most recent novel, Curiosity, at the Lyric Theatre’s Write Out Loud event May 15. Musical entertainment during the evening will be provided by Pil Country, Swift Current’s indie roots singer-songwriter Jacqueline Hudec and the newly-returned, multi-talented performer Kevin Blyth.
Curiosity is a fictionalized account of the 1812 discovery of a 30-foot Ichthyosaur skeleton on an England beach by 12-year-old Mary Anning. Anning is now considered the most knowledgeable English paleontologist of the period, but at the time her gender, her age and her class all prevented the recognition that was her due. Anning's story piqued the imagination of Joan Thomas, and Curiosity is the result of extensive travel and research, a journey Thomas cites as one filled with huge and unexpected pleasures.
Curiosity has also captured the attention and imagination of many others, and has been nominated for a number of prestigious literary awards, among them the ScotiaBank Giller Prize and the International IMPAC-Dublin Literary Award. Thomas’ 2008 novel Reading by Lightning won the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean) and the Amazon.ca First Novel Award.
The Lyric event will include a Power Point presentation featuring photos of Mary Anning and other historical figures from the novel, as well as some of the creatures Anning discovered. In addition, Thomas will read from a new novel that is currently being completed. It is set in the present, but has some thematic links to Curiosity.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with music and readings beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. For more information phone 306-773-6292.