“Words matter more than ever in difficult times,” says Linda Leith, artistic director of the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival literary festival, which runs from today through the weekend. Hence this year’s theme: Words That Matter. Over four days, about 100 readings, panels and workshops will riff on this central idea. We’ve sifted through them all to present five events, all at the Delta Hotel (777 University St.), not to be missed.
Canadian author Jon Paul Fiorentino launches his absurdist, post-modern half-journal, half-graphic-novel, Stripmalling. Think Charlie Kaufman meets Douglas Coupland. Thursday, 7 p.m., Les Courants Room, free.
CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi interviews Jonathan Goldstein – the brilliantly dry, deadpan host of the CBC radio show, Wiretap – about his new book, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! Hilarity guaranteed. Saturday, 7 p.m., Régence-A Room, $10.
At “Bouzouki, Bluegrass, Bagels, Boustan and Beef – Joe Beef,” Bill Brownstein fetes his book about around-the-clock activities in this city, Montreal 24, with live music and special guests. Saturday, 8 p.m., Cartier AB Room, $10.
Tehran-born, Toronto-based cartoonist Nikahang Kowsar discusses his controversial career and his plight after being exiled from Iran for his politically loaded work. Sunday, 2 p.m., Victoria Room, $5.
Local food writers Adam Gollner and Taras Grescoe, along with Dutch biologist Tijs Goldschmidt and Toronto author Erika Ritter, tackle some of the food world’s toughest questions. Sunday, 1 p.m., Régence A Room, $10.