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March's Author of the Month: TIM COOK

by Tyler Vitt - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 8:55pm

Tim Cook is a historian at the Canadian War Museum (CWM), an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University, and a former director for Canada’s History Society. He is the author of several authoritative yet accessible award-winning books on Canadian military history in which he illuminates the inner lives of military men and women on the front lines. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian history, and in 2013 he received the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Burton Award.

In his new book, Vimy, Cook returns to the First World War, the subject upon which he built his name, with books such as At the Sharp End and Shock Troops, winner of the RBC Taylor Prize. The Vimy battle that began April 9, 1917, was unlike any other battle in Canadian history. It was the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together. 10,600 men were killed or injured over four days. It has been described as the “birth of the nation.” But the meaning of that phrase has never been explored, nor has any writer — until now —explained why the battle continues to resonate with Canadians 150 years later. (Hardcover. $38.00. Allen Lane. March)

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

February's Author of the Month: HEATHER O'NEILL

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Dec 31, 2016 at 3:20pm

Heather O’Neill is a Canadian novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and essayist. Lullabies for Little Criminals, her debut novel, was published in 2006 to international critical acclaim and won Canada Reads. It was shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has since published the novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and the short story collection Daydreams of Angels, both of which were shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in consecutive years.

In her new novel,  The Lonely Hearts Hotel, two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their true talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing for the rich, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose fortune hinges on the price of a kiss. (Hardcover. $29.99. HarperCollins. February)

 E  Winnipeg Event Feb. 13 & Saskatoon Event Feb. 14

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

January's Author of the Month: ARAVIND ADIGA

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Dec 31, 2016 at 1:40pm

Aravind Adiga, who wanted to be a novelist since he was a boy, was born in Madras and now lives in Mumbai. His debut, The White Tiger, which has been described as a "compelling, angry and darkly humorous" novel about a man's journey from Indian village life to entrepreneurial success, won the 2008 Man Booker Prize when he was thirty-three.

In his new novel, Selection Day, Manjunath Kumar is fourteen and living in a slum in Mumbai. He knows he is good at cricket, if not as good as his older brother, Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented sibling, and is fascinated by curious scientific facts and the world of CSI. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn’t know.

Filled with characters from across India’s social strata — the old scout everyone calls Tommy Sir; Anand Mehta, the big-dreaming investor; Sofia, a wealthy, beautiful girl and the boys’ biggest fan — Selection Day is a moving story of adolescence and ambition, fathers, sons, and two brothers whose coming of age threatens their relationship, future, and sense of themselves. (Hardcover. $32.00. Simon & Schuster. January)

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

November's Author of the Month: AMI McKAY

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 at 5:40pm

Ami McKay is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Virgin Cure and The Birth House, which was a #1 bestseller in Canada, winner of three CBA Libris Awards, and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Born and raised in Indiana, Ami now lives in Nova Scotia.

Her newest novel is The Witches of New York, which takes place in 1880 New York while the city is fast becoming the “city of wonders.” Telegraph lines crisscross Manhattan, elevated trains race above the streets, the Brooklyn Bridge is nearing completion, and work is underway to fit Broadway with electric lights. As enterprising men chase after their ambitions, the ladies of Manhattan’s high society pursue their dreams by enlisting the help of two women who run a teashop near Madison Square. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, the pair dares to declare themselves witches.

Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide a place for whispered confessions, secret cures, and spiritual assignations for a select society of ladies, who speak the right words and ask the right questions. But the profile of Tea and Sympathy is about to change with the fortuitous arrival of Beatrice Dunn.

When seventeen-year-old Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads “Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply,” she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn’t know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has astounding spiritual gifts—ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. Under the tutelage of Adelaide and Eleanor, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

October's Author of the Month: ANDRE ALEXIS

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Aug 27, 2016 at 3:22pm

André Alexis was born in Trinidad, raised in Ottawa and now lives in Toronto. His most recent novel, Fifteen Dogs, which uses man’s best friend to explore what it means to be human, won the 2015 Giller Prize. Alexis has been a writer to reckon with right from the start of his literary career. His debut novel, Childhood (1998), won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His other books include Asylum, Beauty and SadnessIngrid & the Wolf, and Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa. In 2014 he published Pastoral, which was nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and is the first in a planned series of five novels on philosophical themes, Fifteen Dogs being the second.

His new novel, The Hidden Keys, is the third in the series. It opens in the Green Dolphin, a bar of ill repute, when Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes, meets Willow Azarian. Willow is an aging heroin addict whose wealthy father has recently passed away. She enlists Palmieri to cheat her siblings out of their inheritance by stealing the clues their father left as to its whereabouts in a tale that questions what it means to be honourable, what it means to be faithful and what it means to sin.

Join us for An Evening with André Alexis in Winnipeg on Monday, October 24th, at 7:00 PM.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month
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