Another Story Bookshop, Pages UnBound and Penguin Random House Canada present The Beautiful Scars of Tom Wilson—A music legend discovers his Indigenous Identity.
Join us for three-time Juno Award winning singer-songwriter Tom Wilson's debut as a writer with Beautiful Scars, a heartbreakingly powerful, moving, and at times, hilarious memoir about identity and family.
Tom Wilson will read from Beautiful Scars and speak frankly about his heritage, which wasn't revealed to him until he was in his fifties. Acclaimed Indigenous activist, curator and CBC radio broadcaster Jesse Wente will interview Wilson about his identity and career. Rounding out the evening memorably will be a musical performance by the multi-talented Tom Wilson.
Tom Wilson is a three-time Juno winning Canadian musician with multiple gold records. He has written for and recorded songs with Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour, Jason Isbell, Colin James, Lucinda Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mavis Staples and The Rankin Family. His band Junkhouse has scored eleven top-ten hits, and his iconic, Americana-fuelled Blackie and the Rodeo Kings was widely publicized for its presence on George Bush's iPod. Tom's most recent incarnation, Lee Harvey Osmond, has received extensive praise and airplay throughout the United States, where he's been touring for the last two years as a result. His art has shown in galleries in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and more recently, Ottawa.
Jesse Wente is an Ojibwe broadcaster, curator, producer and public speaker. Jesse spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival, the last 7 as Head of Film Programmes at the Lightbox, where he has curated retrospectives on Stanley Kubrick, Michael Mann, Ida Lupino and First Peoples Cinema. Jesse is also a columnist for CBC Radio's Metro Morning, where he has covered film and culture for 21 years. Wente is currently co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King's best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples, Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit, CMPA's Prime Time and numerous Universities and Colleges. Jesse currently serves on the board of directors for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council, and was just named the inaugural recipient of the Reelworld Film Festival's Reel Activist Award.
In this sensitive Penguin Random House book, carefully guarded secrets and profound acts of forgiveness are recounted. Tom Wilson writes about growing up as an outsider in two families—the family he lost, and the family who took him in. His story takes us from working-class Hamilton of the 1960s and '70s, neighbourhoods peopled by fall-guy wrestlers, broke mobsters and WWII vets, to today, as he continues his journey to connect with the man he now knows to be his father and with his Mohawk heritage and relatives, discovering Kahnawake chiefs, Brooklyn “skywalkers” and nomadic Arnold Palmer groupies among them.