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Manitoba Reads Shortlist Announced

by Andrew Balfour - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 7:11pm

The polls have closed, and Manitoba has spoken. The shortlist has been officially announced for Manitoba Reads 2012. Winnipeg's own C.C. Benison leads the pack with Twelve Drummers Drumming, sharing the stage with some distinguished company.

The finalists are...

1. Twelve Drummers Drumming by C.C. Benison
2. Automatic World by Struan Sinclair
3. The Knife Sharpener's Bell by Rhea Tregebov
4. Autumn, One Spring by Patti Grayson

A panel of four will be selected for the final selection stage; each panelist championing one of the four titles. The panel will debate the merits of each book before a live audience at the Thin Air kickoff on Friday evening, September 21st, and the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain.

McNally Robinson Booksellers is a proud partner in presenting the Manitoba Reads contest, alongside CBC Manitoba and Thin Air, the Winnipeg International Writers' Festival.

Categories: buzz, Winnipeg

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See:

Automatic World

- Trade paperback

by Struan Sinclair - $19.95 - Add to Cart

A stunning and fearless first novel from the Canadian author of the critically acclaimed Everything Breathed.Four strands spanning several generations are woven together through the fragmented consciousness of a patient in rehabilitation from an accident that leaves him stuck in present tense. Unable to recall who he is, where he is from, or who he knows, and determined to access his history, the patient harvests and assembles the narratives of his friends, family, and other witnesses. Out of this miscellany emerge surprising stories: Merrick, an inventor who dreams of a clockwork universe; Dory, a girl who commits a mercy killing at a local hospice; Merle, whose repeated suicide attempts function to forge a relationship with his estranged son; and finally the narrator's own elusive past. Between these threads is the story of a train crash and of three minutes lost -- three minutes that will prove a turning point in the lives of all the characters caught in this complicated clockwork.From the Hardcover edition.

The Knife Sharpener's Bell

- Trade paperback

by Rhea Tregebov - $21.00 - Add to Cart

Ten-year old Annette Gershon is content enough growing up in her father's delicatessen on Main Street Winnipeg, but for immigrant families scratching out a living in the Dirty Thirties, even subsistence is a delicate balance, easily upset. Everything changes when her parents decide to take the family "home" to the Soviet Union to escape the devastation of the collapsing capitalist economy. Annette struggles to maintain her sense of who she is, first adapting to her life in Stalinist Odessa, then fleeing to Moscow, ahead of the Nazi occupation. But it is in the post-war years that her identity, and her very life, are threatened by the anti-Semitism of Stalinism's final years. The Knife Sharpener's Bell is the story of a girl who tried to stop a train, but finds herself on the runaway train of historical events. It is a story about loyalty and betrayal, heroism and fear. What is most memorable is the empathy we feel for these characters who must make their way through some of the twentieth century's most tumultuous events. The writing is infused with a poet's sensitivities to rhythm, image, and linguistic energy, yet it is also beautifully restrained--each image and each gorgeous observation is there for a reason; the entire story hums with the tension that arises from the taut, athletic language.

Autumn, One Spring

- Trade paperback

by Patti Grayson - $19.00 - Add to Cart

Autumn Greene returns to her hometown after a six-year absence, uninvited to her sister Christineís wedding, the daughter she conceived in a one-time encounter with her sisterís ex-fiancť in tow. Once burned, twice angry, Christine does all she can to make Autumn unwelcome, assuming another wedding disaster. A harbinger of truth, Autumn reveals all of Christineís secrets and brings about a near-nuclear explosion of emotion and confusion among the family and wedding party. In the fallout of this strangest of romances, forgiveness emerges as the biggest challenge.Autumn, One Spring is a humour-infused drama that takes truthfulness in relationships seriously. Autumn constantly berates herself for making people unhappy when she opens her big mouth, but canít stop herself from stating frankly all she sees, hears, and thinks.Graysonís Autumn is a young woman who has transformed from a love poem-writing teenager with a crush on her high-school English teacher, Mr. Ashton, to a world-weary working single mom. Returning to her hometown brings her face to face with both Gabriel Ashton and the father of her child, forcing her to open doors to new life possibilities.Autumnís well-developed character touches a chord in anyone who has ever experienced loveís cruel injustice, and the ever-spiralling plot keeps her readers glued to the page to see what the final outcome will be.