Our November Author of the Month is Amy Tan.
Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and two children's books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which has been adapted as Sagwa, a PBS series for children. Tan was also the co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club, and her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Tan, who has a master's degree in linguistics from San Jose University, has worked as a language specialist to programs serving children with developmental disabilities.
The Valley of Amazement is Tan's newest book. Spanning fifty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement sweeps the reader along a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, the legacies of traumas, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters, returning readers to the compelling territory Tan so expertly mapped in The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic wisdom, grace and humour, Tan conjures up a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and senses, its illusions and truths.Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month
During the course of a 50-year career the reclusive author of such contemporary classics as V., The Crying of Lot 49, and Gravity's Rainbow, has been at the forefront of America's engagement with postmodern literary possibilities. As such, his work tends to be self-reflexive, fragmented, and his forms in constant flux, but his reputation as a "difficult" author is more often a perception than a reality.
His latest novel, the very approachable Bleeding Edge, continues to employ his playful use of genres and his fascination with the undercurrents of American history. The book opens in 2001 during the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there's no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what's left. Maxine Tarnow is a working mom happily running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down small-scale con artists. Life is as normal as it ever gets in the neighborhood -- till she starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and a billionaire geek CEO.Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month
Our current Author of the Month, Louise Penny, was kind enough to share with us some heartwarming memories of Winnipeg.
Ms. Penny wrote,
I arrived in Winnipeg in 1982 a little lost and dispirited, going through a difficult time in my life. I remember looking at the license plate of the car in front of me:
Up until then I'd been fairly cynical. Eschewing what I thought were platitudes, aphorisms. Niceties. I saw them as shallow. Beneath someone as clearly evolved as moi.
Up until then.
Now, thirty years later, I still remember staring at the license plate. And feeling the crust fall away, like a scab. I needed 'friendly'. I needed Manitoba. And I hoped and prayed the license plate wasn't just a come-on, a tease. A lie.
I made friends in Winnipeg I still have today. Friends for life. I bought a home, put down roots. Went to the summer Folk Festival and the winter carnival. I drove to work at the CBC on tires frozen square, and a seat that felt like concrete. I was introduced to sushi, to opera, to ice fishing.
And I was introduced to kindness, and healing power of friendliness. Both in having friends and being one.
That experience is on every page I write. The books are not about murder, they're about our yearning to belong. I found that in the open arms of Manitoba.
Louise Penny's new book, How The Light Gets In, is available now in hardcover. McNally Robinson is also proud to carry many of Ms. Penny's other works. You can come browse them all on our Author of the Month display in-store.Categories: Authors, Winnipeg, New Releases, Author of the Month
In 1996, Louise Penny walked away from a very successful 18-year career as a CBC journalist and radio host (including a stint on the afternoon show in Winnipeg) to become a writer. Five years later, she had nothing to show for her time and was thinking she had made the worst blunder of her life. Her breakthrough came when she decided to give up on the historical novel she was working on -- or not working on -- and write traditional mysteries. Eight novels later and a myriad of awards, including the Agatha Award for Best Mystery and the Anthony Award for Best Crime Novel, Penny can't believe her luck. But there's more to her success than luck.
Her complex characterizations and intricate plots continue to unfold with subtlety and intelligence in her ninth novel, How the Light Gets In. Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it's a time of dazzling snowfalls and bright lights. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When he receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, Gamache, at first, welcomes the chance to get away from the city.Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month
England's Jane Gardam is one of the most prolific novelists of her generation. She has published 25 books over the past 30 years and won a number of prestigious prizes. She is the only writer to have won the Whitbread for best novel twice; she has been nominated for the Booker and the Orange Prize; and in 1999 she was given the Heywood Hill award for a lifetime's contribution to the enjoyment of literature.
Last Friends, the final novel in her trilogy (after Old Filth, 2004, and The Man in the Wooden Hat, 2009), picks up with Terence Veneering, Filth's great rival in work and in love. Veneering's were not the usual beginnings of an establishment silk: the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in northeast England and a devoted local girl, he escapes the ravages of WWII to emerge in the Far East as a man of panache, success and fame. But at the stuffy English Bar he is treated with suspicion: where did this blond Slav come from? Veneering, Filth and their friends tell their tale of love, friendship and the grace of a now-forgotten Empire among the disappointments and consolations of age.Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, New Releases, Author of the Month
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