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Remind Me

An Evening with Elizabeth Philips & Dianne Warren

Monday Oct 05 2015 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium

Reading from their latest books and joined in conversation with host Joan Thomas. Presented in association with the Winnipeg International Writers Festival as part of our collaborative Fall Literary Series.

In The Afterlife of Birds (Freehand Books), Elizabeth Philips draws together characters who subtly, powerfully demonstrate the beauty of ordinary lives and finding our place in the world. Henry Jett finds solace in his eccentric passion, rebuilding and collecting the skeletons of birds and animals. His loneliness and passivity is thrown into relief when his brotherís preoccupation with running casts him out of Henryís life entirely. Henry must discover a way to become a participant in his own story and forge his own way of living in the world.

Elizabeth Philips is the author of four books of poetry, most recently A Blue with Blood in it and Torch River. Among other awards, she has won two Saskatchewan Book Awards, a National Magazine Award, an Alberta Magazine Award, and Torch River was a finalist for the Lambda Book Award in the US. Her poems have been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2009 and 70 Canadian Poets. She lives in Saskatoon.

Liberty Street (HarperCollins Canada) is Dianne Warrenís poignant and often witty new novel about rash acts and altered lives. When sharp-edged Frances Moon and her long-time partner encounter a funeral procession that brings traffic to a halt, she finds herself blurting out the barest thread of a story that she never intended to share. The reverberations drive her back to the past and to the lone house in a failed subdivision where memories are ghosts.

Dianne Warren is the author of the Governor Generalís Award-winning novel Cool Water, as well as three books of short fiction and three plays. Her play Serpent in the Night Sky was shortlisted for a Governor Generalís Award for Drama in 1992. In 2004, she won the Marian Engel Award for a female writer in mid-career. She lives in Regina.

Last fall, Joan Thomas was awarded the Writers Trust Engel/Findley Award for a mid-career writer, in recognition of a remarkable body of work. She is the author of three novels, the most recent of which, The Opening Sky (McClelland & Stewart), was a finalist for the 2014 Governor Generalís Award for fiction and the recipient of the 2015 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. Thomas lives in Winnipeg.

See:

Afterlife of Birds, The

- Trade paperback

by Elizabeth Philips - $21.95 - Add to Cart

Winner of the 2016 City of Saskatoon and Public Library Saskatoon Book Award. A gorgeous, deeply felt debut novel about obsession, loneliness, and the surprising ways we find to connect with each other. Henry Jett's life is slowly going nowhere. His girlfriend recently left, and his job in a local garage is uninspiring, considering that he doesn't particularly like cars. Henry finds solace in his eccentric passion, rebuilding the skeletons of birds and animals. Meanwhile Henry's brother, Dan, is disappearing into an obsession of his own. Without Dan to rely on, Henry begins to engage in new ways with the people around him in his Prairie city: the 80-year-old Russian émigré who delights in telling stories; the very pregnant former employee of his mother's; the lawyer who may or may not be his brother's ex-girlfriend. Gradually they demand that Henry become a participant in his own story, and Henry must forge his own way of living in the world. In The Afterlife of Birds, award-winning poet Elizabeth Philips draws together unforgettable characters who subtly, powerfully demonstrate the beauty of ordinary lives and finding our place in the world.

Liberty Street

- Hardcover

by Dianne Warren - $32.99 - Add to Cart

From the Governor General's Award-winning author of Cool Water, a poignant and often witty new novel about rash acts and altered lives.When sharp-edged Frances Moon and her long-time partner encounter a funeral procession that brings traffic to a halt, she finds herself blurting out the barest thread of a story that she never intended to share. The reverberations drive her back to the past and her mother's old rental property, the lone house in a failed subdivision called Liberty Street.There, memories are ghosts: Frances's mother on her way to Nashville to become a country singer; her father determined to run his farm despite his failing eyesight; the town's bad apple, Dooley Sullivan; a string of renters including the December bride, Esme Bigalow, and a man who met a tragic end, Silas Chance.When a domestic mishap and a torrential hailstorm send Frances to the questionable safety of an eccentric neighbour's kitchen, she learns just how unreliable memory is, and that she was not the only one whose life after Elliot, Saskatchewan was determined by half-truths and bad decisions.With depth, insight and the subtle humour for which she is known, Dianne Warren gives us an engrossing and touching new novel about disappointment, anger and the redemptive power of kindness.

The Opening Sky

- Trade paperback

by Joan Thomas - $22.00 - Add to Cart

Winner of the 2015 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. The breakout novel from award-winning author Joan Thomas, it perfectly balances the dark underside of modern life, love, and family with wit and sharp observation: for fans of Good to A Fault, the works of Carol Shields, of Meg Wolitzer, and Jonathan Franzen. A stunning character-driven novel about the human desire to do the right thing, and the even stronger desire to love and to be seen for who we truly are. Deeply felt, sharply observed, and utterly contemporary. Liz, Aiden, and Sylvie are an urban, urbane, progressive family: Aiden's a therapist who refuses to own a car; Liz is an ambitious professional, a savvy traveler with a flair for decorating; Sylvie is a smart and political 19 year-old, fiercely independent, sensitive to hypocrisy, and crazy in love with her childhood playmate, Noah, a bright young scientist. Things seem to be going according to plan. Then the present and the past collide in a crisis that shatters the complacency of all three. Liz and Sylvie are forced to confront a tragedy from years before, when four children went missing at an artists' retreat. In the long shadow of that event, the family is drawn to a dangerous precipice.