Elaine Dewar interviews Patrick Radden Keefe at TIFA

October 24, 2021 @ 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Join Elaine Dewar (On the Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years) as she interviews bestselling author Patrick Radden Keefe on his latest work of nonfiction, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty. Don’t miss a rivetting discussion about the family who built an empire on impunity, greed and human suffering in the early 20th century, and the mark they left on the world as the makers and marketers of Valium and OxyContin, opiod drugs that impacted on countless lives across North America. The event will take place on Sunday, October 24 at 8:30PM EDT.

Register here!



When the first TV newscast described a SARS-like flu affecting a distant Chinese metropolis, investigative journalist Elaine Dewar started asking questions: Was SARS-CoV-2 something that came from nature, as leading scientists insisted, or did it come from a lab, and what role might controversial experiments have played in its development? Why was Wuhan the pandemic’s ground zero—and why, on the other side of the Atlantic, had two researchers been marched out of a lab in Winnipeg by the RCMP? Why were governments so slow to respond to the emerging pandemic, and why, now, is the government of China refusing to cooperate with the World Health Organization? And who, or what, is DRASTIC?

Locked down in Toronto with the world at a standstill, Dewar pored over newspapers and magazines, preprints and peer-reviewed journals, email chains and blacked-out responses to access to information requests; she conducted Zoom interviews and called telephone numbers until someone answered as she hunted down the truth of the virus’s origin. In this compelling whodunnit, she reads the science, follows the money, connects the geopolitical interests to the spin—and shows how leading science journals got it wrong, leaving it to interested citizens and junior scientists to pull out the truth.


Elaine Dewar—author, journalist, television story editor—has been honoured by nine National Magazine awards, including the prestigious President’s Medal, and the White Award. Her first book, Cloak of Green, delved into the dark side of environmental politics and became an underground classic. Bones: Discovering the First Americans, an investigation of the science and politics regarding the peopling of the Americas, was a national bestseller and earned a special commendation from the Canadian Archaeological Association. The Second Tree: of Clones, Chimeras, and Quests for Immortality, won Canada’s premier literary non-fiction prize from the Writers’ Trust. Called “Canada’s Rachel Carson,” Dewar aspires to be a happy warrior for the public good.


Get your copy of On the Origin from Biblioasis here!