StoryFest 2024

Greenwood Centre for Living History is delighted to launch StoryFest 2024 by welcoming Nahlah Ayed who has thoroughly researched and engagingly written a story of two heroic individuals who later made their home and raised their children in Hudson, Quebec, for a number of years.
Stay Tuned for Upcoming 2024 Events

Love, betrayal, and a secret war: Nahlah Ayed’s new book is the untold story of two elite agents, one Canadian, one British, who became one of the most decorated couples of World War II.

On opposite sides of the pond, Sonia Butt, an adventurous young British woman, and Guy d’Artois, a French-Canadian soldier and thunderstorm of a man, are preparing for war.

From different worlds, their lives first intersect during clandestine training to become agents with Winston Churchill’s secret army, the Special Operations Executive. As the world’s deadliest conflict to date unfolds, Sonia and Guy learn how to parachute into enemy territory, how to kill, blow up rail lines, and eventually . . . how to love each other. But not long after their hasty marriage, their love is tested by separation, by a titanic invasion—and by indiscretion.

Writing in vivid, heart-stopping prose, Ayed follows Sonia as she plunges into Nazi-occupied France and slinks into black market restaurants to throw off occupying Nazi forces, while at the same time participating in sabotage operations against them; and as Guy, in another corner of France, trains hundreds into a resistance army.

Reconstructed from hours of unpublished interviews and hundreds of archival and personal documents, the story Ayed tells is about the ravaging costs of war paid for disproportionately by the young. But more than anything, The War We Won Apart is a story about love: two secret agents who were supposed to land in enemy territory together but were fated to fight the war apart.

NAHLAH AYED is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and currently producer and host of CBC’s Ideas. For two decades, Ayed worked in hot zones around the globe—from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Her first book, A Thousand Farewells, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards.

The War We Won Apart goes on sale May 28th, 2024, published by Viking Canada in hardcover (ISBN 9780735242067) 416 pages, and will be on sale at the StoryFest event.

Previous Guests

Past StoryFest guests are remembered fondly for their generous spirit of sharing, engaging presentations and enthusiastic discussions with our audiences over the last 20 years.




Anakana Schofield
Steven Price
Alix Ohlin
Frances Itani
Rawi Hage
Ann Hui
D’Arcy Jenish
Dave Williams

Michael Redhill
Sylvain Rivard
Liona Boyd
Marjorie Simmins
Zoe Whittall
Ian Hamilton
Ken Dryden
Catherine McKenzie
David Adams Richards

Mary Walsh
Lawrence Hill
Daniel Levitin
Beth Powning
Monia Mazigh
Laurie Gough
Douglas Gibson
Lee Maracle
Ian Howarth
Alexandre Trudeau

Nisha Coleman
Saleema Nawaz
John Farrow
Eric Siblin
Heather O’Neill
James Orbinski
Terry Fallis
Marina Endicott
Takriluk Partridge
Don McKay
Monique Polak
Ian McGillis
Gail Anderson
Gwynne Dyer
Guy Vanderhaeghe

Kim Thúy
Ann-Marie MacDonald
Kathleen Winter
Lisa Moore
Tomson Highway
Lauren B. Davis
David Halton
Sean Michaels
Terry Mosher

Margaret Atwood
Kate Pullinger
Michael Winter
Paul Thompson
Peter Behrens
Merilyn Simonds
Graeme Gibson
Stephanie Bolster
Monty Reid
Arleen Paré
Roméo Dallaire
Ian Keteku
Oana Avasilichioaei
Paris Elizabeth Sea

Michael Crummey
Emma Donoghue
Charles Foran
Helen Humphreys
Bonnie Laing
Michael Ondaatji  Linda Spalding

Sally Armstrong
Wayson Choy
Lauren B. Davis
Elizabeth Hay
Ami McKay
Jeffrey Simpson

Linden MacIntyre
Joel Yanofsky
Catherine Chandler
Margaret Trudeau
Gary Townsend
John Asfour
Merilyn Simonds Wayne Grady
Anthony De Sa
Wayne Johnston
Bill Haugland
Colleen Curran

Trevor Ferguson (aka John Farrow)
Johanna Skibsrud
Louise Penny
M.G. Vassanji
Nino Ricci
Claire Holden Rothman
Jason Heroux
Robyn Sarah
Claudia Coutu Radmore

Jane Urquhart
Jan Wong
Donna Morrissey
Maria Loggia
Jeff Heinrich

Stevie Cameron
Joseph Boyden
William Toye
Shane Kelly
Mark Smith
Jon Paul Fiorentino
Susan McMaster
Susan Gillis
Mark Abley

Tony Hushion
Claire Mowat
Noah Richler
Roy MacGregor
Mark Smith
Lorne Elliott
Gil Courtemanche
Karen Molson

Karen Molson
Ken McGoogan
Barry Callaghan
Louisa Blair

Dinu Bumbaru
Charlotte Gray
Jane Brierley
Mark Abley

Victor Owen
Victoria Freeman
J.L. Granatstein
Marian Fowler

Ed Lawrence
Christopher Moore
Sylvia Fraser

Philippe Gigantès

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