This is Living Blog
- Posted by: Tim Johnson on August 5, 2012
A picturesque village just north of Peterborough, set on the comely shores of the Otonabee River and Lake Katchawanooka, Lakefield’s charming, small-town feel belies a serious literary history. Legendary 19th century pioneer writer Catharine Parr Traill and her almost-equally legendary sister Susanna Moodie (famously the author Roughing it in the Bush, a memoir of early life for a New Canadian in an unforgiving land) called Lakefield home, and Margaret Laurence, one of the greatest CanLit novelists of the 20th century (author of The Diviners and The Stone Angel, winner of two Governor General’s Awards, and a Companion of the Order of Canada) made her final home at a pretty two-story house in the centre of town.
Now a summer tradition, the annual Lakefield Literary Festival holds a number of events in celebration of this rich heritage. Held this past weekend, the 2012 edition included a number of highlights, including sold-out readings and discussions from some of the nation’s most estimable contemporary writers, including Charlotte Gray, Lynn Coady and Wayne Johnston, as well as a family-friendly children’s tent where two kid-friendly writers (Rachna Gilmore and Ian Wallace) shared their work with some of the festival’s youngest readers. But if you missed it, don’t worry—you can still catch a glimpse of Lakefield’s literary past, at both Laurence’s home, which is not open to the public but displays an informative marker on the front lawn, and a at the nearby Christ Church Community Museum, which houses historical artifacts and pictorial displays detailing the lives of the town’s famous authors.