Katherine Ashenburg


Meet noted non-fiction writer Katherine Ashenburg as she talks about her debut novel with Marina Endicott. Sofie & Cecilia is a thoughtful contribution to the now-familiar genre of fiction about women overshadowed by their proximity to successful men.

Ashenburg book

Monday, October 15. 7pm. St. Albert Public Library.  

starfest facts
Katherine Ashenburg is the prize-winning author of three non-fiction books and hundreds of articles, from travel to architecture. Having had a different career almost every decade, Ashenburg was a CBC radio producer, a Globe and Mail arts and books editor, and a freelance writer, lecturer and teacher.

Her non-fiction works are Going to Town: Architectural Walking Tours in Southern Ontario, The Mourner's Dance: What We Do When People Die, and The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History, a spirited chronicle of the West's ambivalent relationship with the washed and unwashed body.

Now Ashenburg has brilliantly turned her hand to fiction with a rich and beautiful first novel about women's friendship. Sofie & Cecilia is the story of a lifelong female friendship set in the fascinating art world of Sweden between 1900 and 1940, just as modern art and the beginnings of the Scandinavian mid-century modern design movement were inspiring a creative revolution across northern Europe. Woven throughout is absorbing detail about Scandinavian painting, design, and textile work, European history and sexual politics, and the secrets and challenges of bright, talented women juggling marriage, career, individual aspirations, and family life.

Host Marina Endicott’s work has won numerous accolades and literary awards. She is at work on a new novel about a voyage to the South Seas on a clipper ship in 1910.


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Photo credit: Joy von Tiedemann