26@26: Hiromi Goto with Kyo Maclear

@ - MT
Series Pass $89
Single Ticket $15
@ - MT
Single Ticket: Nov 9 Hiromi Goto & Kyo Maclear
$14.29 + GST
26@26 Series Pass
$84.76 + GST

An unexpected publishing hit about defiant, independent, kick-ass old women living their best lives. A joyful celebration of Japanese cultural traditions and body positivity for all ages. First-time graphic novelist Hiromi Goto and children’s author Kyo Maclear artfully avoid the clichés of subject matter and genre in their work and in conversation. This will be sublime.

The one-hour livestream event on Wordfest.com starts at 7:00 PM MT. (The pre-show begins at 6:50 PM.) The day after the show, we'll email you our unique Digital Doggie Bag, featuring links and extras sparked by the conversation. 

Can't watch live? Want to rewatch? Purchasing the 26@26 series pass or a single ticket gives you exclusive access to this show on demand until midnight on April 30, 2022. 

We’re grateful to Penguin Random House Canada and Raincoast Books for making it possible for us to connect you with these authors.

About Hiromi Goto

Hiromi Goto is an emigrant from Japan who gratefully lives on the Unceded Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil Waututh Territories. She's written Chorus of MushroomsThe Kappa Child, along with three novels for children and youth, a book of poetry, and a collection of short stories. Shadow Life is her first graphic novel.

Follow her on Twitter @hinganai and Instagram @hiromigotowrites.

About Shadow Life

Goto’s latest is an empowering, emotional tribute to defiant, independent, kick-ass old women living their best lives. Booklist (starred review)

Poet and novelist Hiromi Goto effortlessly blends wry, observational slice-of-life literary fiction with poetic magical realism in the tender and surprising graphic novel Shadow Life, with haunting art from debut artist Ann Xu.

When Kumiko’s well-meaning adult daughters place her in an assisted living home, the 76-year-old widow gives it a try, but it’s not where she wants to be. She goes on the lam and finds a cozy bachelor apartment, keeping the location secret even while communicating online with her eldest daughter. Kumiko revels in the small, daily pleasures: decorating as she pleases, eating what she wants, and swimming in the community pool. But something has followed her from her former residence Death’s shadow.

Kumiko’s sweet life is shattered when Death’s shadow swoops in to collect her. With her quick mind and sense of humor, Kumiko, with the help of friends new and old, is prepared for the fight of her life. But how long can an old woman thwart fate?

About Kyo Maclear

Kyo Maclear is a novelist, essayist, and children's author. She was born in London, England, and moved to Toronto at the age of four. She is the author of two acclaimed novels for adults, The Letter Opener and Stray Love, as well as the #1 National Bestseller Birds Art Life, winner of the Trillium Book Award for English-language prose. Her numerous beloved books for children include Julia, Child and The Good Little Book.

Maclear holds an Honors B.A. in Fine Art and Art History and an M.A. in Cultural Studies from the University of Toronto, and is currently a doctoral student at York University, where she holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. She lives in Toronto, where she shares a home with two sons, two cats, a musician, and a truckload of books.

Visit her at kyomaclearkids.com and www.kyomaclear.com or follow her on  Instagram @kyomaclear.

About The Big Bath House

A must-have celebration of cultural understanding and community and the joy of family. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A joyful celebration of Japanese cultural traditions and body positivity as a young girl visits a bath house with her grandmother and aunties.

You'll walk down the street / Your aunties sounding like clip-clopping horses / geta-geta-geta / in their wooden sandals / Until you arrive... / At the bath house / The big bath house.

In this celebration of Japanese culture and family and naked bodies of all shapes and sizes, join a little girl along with her aunties and grandmother at a traditional bath house. Once there, the rituals leading up to the baths begin: hair washing, back scrubbing, and, finally, the wood barrel drumroll. Until, at last, it's time, and they ease their bodies their creased bodies, newly sprouting bodies, saggy, jiggly bodies into the bath. Ahhhhhh!

With a lyrical text and gorgeous illustrations, this picture book is based on Kyo Maclear's loving memories of childhood visits to Japan, and is an ode to the ties that bind generations of women together.

About Host Shelley Youngblut

Shelley Youngblut is the CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest. She was the recipient of the 2020 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts and the 2018 Rozsa Award for Arts Leadership. She also won the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Magazine Awards. Youngblut was the founding editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine and has created magazines for ESPN, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Nickelodeon, Western Living, and The Globe and Mail. A former pop-culture correspondent for ABC World News Now and Canada Am, she is now often unconventionally opinionated on CBC Calgary’s Eyeopener.

Follow her on Twitter @youngblut and Instagram @youngblutshelley.


  • Shadow Life Quill and Quire
  • Stir Q & A: In Hiromi Goto's new graphic novel, Shadow Life, the older Asian woman is a fierce queer hero Stir
  • The Big Bath House Interview: For body-loving parents, rebel reviewers, and vanguard author-librarians School Library Journal
  • The Big Bath House: A must-have celebration of cultural understanding and community – and the joy of family Kirkus Reviews

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