IDI GTA’s  Women’s Day Luncheon 2014 was held on March 6th with a keynote address by Author Lee Maracle. During the luncheon, Jane Pyper, City Librarian received Excellence in Community Service Award on behalf of Toronto Public Library.  All guests shared a book that inspired them to attend a prize draw. The list of the books can be seen below, which can give you an idea as to what to read next. The event was organized in partnership with St. Michael’s College and Newcomer Women’s Services of Toronto.

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-As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer

Growing up in the slums of East End London, Charlie Trumper dreams of someday running his grandfather’s fruit and vegetable barrow. That day comes suddenly when his grandfather dies leaving him the floundering business. With the help of Becky Salmon, an enterprising young woman, Charlie sets out to make a name for himself as “The Honest Trader”. But the brutal onset of World War I takes Charlie far from home and into the path of a dangerous enemy whose legacy of evil follows Charlie and his family for generations.

-Beyond The Journey by Althea Prince

Beyond the Journey features the voices of women who have experienced the challenge of living in Canada’s immigrant communities…

-Sleeping Funny by Miranda Hill

In nine stories, Miranda Hill explores the consciousness of a modern teenage girl…

-The Good Book a Humanist Bible by J.C Grayling

The Good Book is a secular humanist bible, made in the same way as the scriptures of the religions…

-A year in the life of a welfare mother by Richelene Mitchell

A young African American mother of seven struggling to raise her children while wrestling with the burden of poverty, callous public policy, and both overt and subtle manifestations of entrenched, institutionalized racism in America.

-Such a long Journey, A fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Such a Long Journey takes place in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in the year 1971. The novel’s protagonist is a hard-working bank clerk Gustad Noble, a member of the Parsi community and a devoted family man struggling to keep his wife Dilnavaz, and three children out of poverty….

A Fine Balance is the second novel by Rohinton Mistry. Set in Bombay, India between 1975 and 1984 during the turmoil of The Emergency, a period of expanded government power and crackdowns on civil liberties…

Warmth of Others Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals…

-A Woman’s Work: Chiara Lubich by Jim Gallagher

The story of the FOCOLARE MOVEMENT and its founder…

-Baumgartner’s Bombay by Anita Desai

BAUMGARTNER’S BOMBAY is Anita Desai’s classic novel of the Holocaust era, a story of profound emotional wounds of war and its exiles. The novel follows Hugo Baumgartner as he flees Nazi Germany — and his Jewish heritage

40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak, the most widely read female writer in Turkey, has earned a growing fan base all over the world with her bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul. In The Forty Rules of Love, her lyrical, imaginative new novel about the famous Sufi mystic Rumi, Shafak effortlessly blends East and West, past and present, to create a dramatic, compelling, and exuberant tale about how love works in the world

-The Bible

– The Way of A Pilgrim

The 19th century Russian spiritual classic on prayer, The Way of a Pilgrim, and its sequel, The Pilgrim Continues His Way, have long fascinated those who have stumbled on this winsome tale…

-Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn

From the moment Anna and Fynn locked eyes, their times together were filled with delight and discovery. In her completely frank and honest way, Anna had an astonishing ability to ask–and answer–life’s largest questions, and to feel the purpose of being. You see, Anna had a very special friendship with Mr. God.
“Extraordinarily moving!”

-The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel by Ayn Rand, and her first major literary success. More than 6.5 million copies of the book have been sold worldwide.

The Fountainhead’s protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. The book follows his battle to practice what the public sees as modern architecture, which he believes to be superior, despite an establishment centered on tradition-worship.

-A Thousand Splendid Suns  by  Khaled Hosseini

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper

Afua Cooper—writer, historian and poet—tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman who was convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734. On appeal, her punishment of death by hanging was modified to an even crueller fate. No longer would she first have her hands cut off; the precursor to the gallows would now be forced to undergo “le torture extraordinaire,” a brutalleg-crushing, to encourage her to name an accomplice—a white man, Angélique’s sometime lover.

-The Wars is  by Timothy Findley

The Wars is a 1977 novel by Timothy Findley that tells the story of a young Canadian officer in World War I. Nineteen-year-old Robert Ross tries to escape both his grief over his sister’s death and the social norms of oppressive Victorian[1] upper-class society by enlisting in the Great War.

-The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy’s debut novel The God of Small Things rapidly became a world-renowned literary sensation after it was published in New Delhi in 1997. Immediately recognized as a passionate, sophisticated, and lushly descriptive work, it won Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize and launched its author to international fame. The novel tells the story of the Kochammas, a wealthy Christian family in a small village in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Based loosely from the perspective of Rahel Kochamma, who has returned to her hometown to see her twin brother, it pieces together the story of the dramatic events of Rahel’s childhood that drastically changed the lives of everyone in the family.

-The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

The Orenda is a historical novel, takes place in what was to become Canada in the early 17th century and is narrated by a Huron warrior named Bird, a young Iroquois girl named Snow Falls, and a French Jesuit missionary named Christophe.

Dudaktan Kalbe (From The Lip To The Heart ) by Resat Nuri Guntekin

Resat Nuri Güntekin represented one of the most popular writer of his period and also one of the prominent names of the history of Turkish literature and drama. His novel “Dudaktan Kalbe” recalls the romantic sad touch of Leo Tolstoi’s novels. It was published after the first world war and focus on the struggle of ethics, loyality, love and dreams.

-The truth about stories by Thomas King

“Stories are wondrous things,” award-winning Canadian author and scholar Thomas King declares in his 2003 CBC Massey Lectures. “And they are dangerous.” Stories assert tremendous control over our lives, informing who we are and how we treat one another as friends, family and citizens. With keen perception and wit, king illustrates that stories are the key to, and the only hope for, human understanding, He compels us to listen well.

-Orlando by Virginia Woolf

A Biography is a novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf’s lover Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf’s most accessible novels. The novel has been influential stylistically, and is considered important in literature generally, and particularly in the history of women’s writing, gender studies, and transgender studies.

-A Prayer for Owen Meany by  John Irving.

John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany is the inspiring modern classic that introduced two of the author’s most unforgettable characters, boys bonded forever in childhood…

-How to Solve our Human Problems by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

A Tibetan Buddhist monk and scholar; Geshe Kelsang has written twenty books that aim to provide Western Dharma practitioners with essential Buddhist texts; some are books for beginners such as Transform Your Life and How to Solve Our Human Problems, books about the Mahayana path like Universal Compassion (Lojong), and books on Vajrayana (Tantra) like Mahamudra Tantra; (born 1931, in Tibet).

-The Golden Notebook  by Doris Lessing

The Golden Notebook is a 1962 novel by Doris Lessing. This book, as well as the couple that followed it, enters the realm of what Margaret Drabble in The Oxford Companion to English Literature has called Lessing’s “inner space fiction,” her work that explores mental and societal breakdown. The book also contains a powerful anti-war and anti-Stalinist message, an extended analysis of communism and the Communist Party in England from the 1930s to the 1950s, and a famed examination of the budding sexual and women’s liberation movements.

-You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Louise L. Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” The author has a great deal of experience and firsthand information to share about healing, including how she cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer.

-Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi is a Canadian Fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age.

-The Glass Castle , Half Broke Horses By Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is a 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls. The book recounts Walls’ and her siblings’ unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents.

Half Broke Horses is a 2009 novel by Jeannette Walls detailing the life of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith.

Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow

This brilliant new novel by an American master, the author of Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, Billy Bathgate, and The March, takes us on a radical trip into the mind of a man who, more than once in his life, has been the inadvertent agent of disaster.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.” First published in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

The Stone Diaries is a 1993 award-winning novel by Carol Shields.

It is the fictional autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett, a seemingly ordinary woman whose life is marked by death and loss from the beginning, when her mother dies during childbirth. Through marriage and motherhood, Daisy struggles to find contentment, never truly understanding her life’s true purpose.


-Meditations by Chiara Lubich

In this series of inspiring meditations, Chiara Lubich((1920-2008) was founder of the Focolare Movement) shows us that living in the present is our way to be connected with the unlimited, with eternity.

-Sister Outsider

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, sister outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope.

Solitaire by Kelley Eskridge

Jackal Segura is a Hope: born to responsibility and privilege as a symbol of a fledgling world government. Soon she’ll become part of the global administration, sponsored by the huge corporation that houses, feeds, employs, and protects her and everyone she loves. Then, just as she discovers that everything she knows is a lie, she becomes a pariah, a murderer: a person with no community and no future.

-I Married the Klondike by Laura Beatrice Berton

In 1907, Laura Beatrice Berton, a 29-year-old kindergarten teacher, left her comfortable life in Toronto Ontario to teach in a Yukon mining town. She fell in love with the North–and with a northerner–and made Dawson City her home for the next 25 years. I Married the Klondike is her classic and enduring memoir.

-The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal

The Hare with Amber Eyes, is a one-of-a-kind inherited collection of ornamental Japanese carvings known as netsuke. The netsuke are tiny and tactile–they sit in the palm of your hand–and de Waal is drawn to them as “small, tough explosions of exactitude.” He’s also drawn to the story behind them, and for years he put aside his own work as a world-renowned potter and curator to uncover the rich and tragic family history of which the carvings are one of the few concrete legacies.

-The Next Eco-Warriors by Emily Hunter

Emily Hunter, daughter of Greenpeace co-founders Robert and Bobbi Hunter, introduces us to the feisty and diverse global community of young people who are tackling issues of energy use, overfishing, overconsumption, waste management, the disappearance of indigenous cultures and rainforest, and other urgent environmental/social concerns with a sense of passion and possibility.
Together their message is clear: anyone can be an eco-warrior if they use their talents for change.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It is a 1967 novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez that tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founds the town of Macondo, the metaphoric Colombia.

– High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never by Barbara Kingsolver

Essay 10: Civil Disobedience at Breakfast

 Award-winning author Barbara Kingsolver is one to the contributors with her essay entitled “Civil Disobedience at Breakfast.” Kingsolver describes the root problem she experiences with her two year old as a difference in personality.

When Barbara’s daughter Camille was in the Terrible Twos, she was a handful. She took her good old time getting ready in the mornings, ignoring her mother’s urging to pick up her pace. One morning, after Barbara cautioned her not to knock over her orange juice—she did just that and on purpose. The Terrible Twos and the teen years are those most dreaded by parents—but they are both ages in which the individual is discovering himself and attempting to establish independence…


Eventbrite - Women's Day Luncheon: "Women & Literature" feat. Lee Maracle

International Women’s Day Luncheon 2014

Theme: “Women & Literature”

Keynote Address by
Award winning author, instructor & orator,
University of Toronto


City Librarian Jane PYPER will be there to receive
Excellence in Community Service Award
on behalf of Toronto Public Library

Fr. Madden Auditorium, Carr Hall
100 St. Joseph St., Room 100
Toronto, ON M5S 2C4

Thursday, 6 March 2014 from 11:00 AM


Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed literary works including:
Sojourner’s and Sundogs,Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, 3 O’clock press, Daughters Are Forever, Will’s Garden, Bent Box, First Wives Club,Theytus books, I Am Woman” ,RaincoastMy Home As I Remember, Natural Heritage books. Ms. Maracle is widely published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. Ms. Maracle is an award winning author, an award winning instructor & orator. Maracle is currently an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Program teaching the Oral Tradition and Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House In 2009, Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington.

co-organized by
Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA
Newcomer Women’s Services of Toronto
St. Michael’s College of University of Toronto.

Sponsored by