Imagine On Air presents Janet Skeslien Charles

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Wordfest’s Imagine On Air presents Janet Skeslien Charles, author of the bestselling novel The Paris Library. The one-hour conversation will start at 7:00 PM MT and will be hosted by Sarah Meilleur, Interim CEO of The Calgary Public Library. (The pre-show will begin at 6:50 PM.) It's the featured event of the September Community Book Store, featuring books curated by Meilleur, one of North America's leading library innovators.

The livestream broadcast on is free. If you RSVP, we'll send you a reminder on the afternoon of the show, as well as our unique Digital Doggie Bag the next day with bonus extras inspired by the conversation.

We are grateful to Simon & Schuster Canada for making it possible for us to connect you with Janet Skeslien Charles.

About Janet Skeslien Charles

Janet Skeslien Charles is the award-winning author of Moonlight in Odessa, which was published in ten languages. Her shorter work has appeared in revues such as Slice and Montana Noir. Skeslien Charles first became interested in the incredible true story of the librarians who stood up to the Nazi “Book Protector” when she worked as the program’s manager at the American Library in Paris. She divides her time between Montana and Paris. Visit her at or connect with her on Twitter.

About The Paris Library

A fresh take on World War II France that will appeal to bibliophiles everywhere. I fell in love with Odile and Lily, with their struggles and triumphs, from the very first page. Meticulously researched, The Paris Library is an irresistible, compelling read.” –Fiona Davis, bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls

Based on the true World War II story of the American Library in Paris, an unforgettable novel about the power of books and the bonds of friendship — and the ordinary heroes who can be found in the most perilous times and the quietest places.

Paris, 1939. Young, ambitious, and tempestuous, Odile Souchet has it all: Paul, her handsome police officer beau; Margaret, her best friend from England; Remy, her twin brother who she adores; and a dream job at the American Library in Paris, working alongside the library’s legendary director, Dorothy Reeder. When World War II breaks out, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear – including her beloved library. After the Nazi army marches into the City of Light and declares a war on words, Odile and her fellow librarians join the Resistance with the best weapons they have: books. Again and again, they risk their lives to help their fellow Jewish readers, but by war’s end, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983. Odile’s solitary existence in gossipy small-town Montana is unexpectedly interrupted by her neighbour Lily, a lonely teenager craving adventure. As Lily uncovers more about Odile’s mysterious past, they find they share not only a love of language but also the same lethal jealousy. Odile helps Lily navigate the troubled waters of adolescence by always recommending the right book at the right time, never suspecting that Lily will be the one to help her reckon with her own terrible secret.

The Paris Library is a mesmerizing and captivating novel about the people and the books that make us who we are, for good and for bad, and the courage it takes to forgive.

About Host Sarah Meilleur

Sarah Meilleur is the Interim CEO for Calgary Public Library and led the completion and opening of the new Central Library. Outside of her working life, she believes in supporting community through volunteering and served as the vice-chair for the Calgary Heritage Authority. She was the recipient of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 award in 2011.  Meilleur is passionate about the ways in which public libraries transform lives and works to foster curiosity through reading, innovation, and fantastic visitor experiences. 


  • Step into The Paris Library through the pages of this novel Toronto Star

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