Authors are converging on Whistler this weekend for 16th annual writers festival

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      Writing a novel or a nonfiction book is a solitary enterprise, and even the most introverted sometimes crave the company of others who are doing the same thing.

      And for writers, one of the charms of the fall book season is the number of festivals that bring them together to swap stories and enjoy the limelight.

      From Thursday (October 12) to Sunday (October 15) some of Canada's most popular authors are in Whistler for the 16th annual Whistler Writers Festival.

      Among them is Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders, who will be at the festival's Saturday book salon as well as a main-stage event on Saturday night and at a Sunday brunch.

      His new book, Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough, is a provocative look at why Canada's population is so low (hint: according to Saunders, there was a "minimizing influence" exerted by the country's leaders from the 19th century through to the end of the Second World War).

      Saunders also explores what Canada needs to do to prepare itself for a tripling of its population this century.

      Delta writer Gurjinder Basran will also be at the festival to discuss her new novel, Someone You Love Is Gone. It's a follow-up to her Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize–winning first novel, Everything Was Good-bye.

      Gurjinder Basran will talk about her new novel, Someone You Love Is Gone.

      Those who love cookbooks will want to drop by the Audain Art Museum on Friday evening to hear Caren McSherry talk about her seventh book, Starters, Salads, and Sexy Sides. She's the colourful founder of Vancouver's Gourmet Warehouse.

      It's part of a Chefs' Reception, which also includes Whistler chef and author Leah Garrad-Cole and Night Owl Brewing's Ben Greenberg.

      Other writers in Whistler this weekend include Monia Mazigh (wife of Maher Arar), Barbara Gowdy, Michael Harris, Mark Leiren-Young, Terry Watada, and John MacLachlan Gray.

      MacLachlan Gray's new novel, The White Angel, tells a fictional tale of the infamous 1924 murder of Janet Smith in Vancouver's upscale Shaughnessy neighbourhood. A Chinese houseboy was accused of the killing and MacLachlan Gray uses this real-life tale as a springboard into an imaginative exploration of the race-based hysteria that existed at that time.