RBC Taylor Prize 2015 winner: PLUM JOHNSON

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 3:12pm

This year's RBC Taylor Prize, which "commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary nonfiction", was awarded to Plum Johnson for her autobiography, They Left Us Everything. Congratulations, Ms. Johnson!

You can read more about the 2015 Taylor Prize on their website.

 

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

Winnipeg Blues' Read & Run program

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 11:17am

February was "I Love To Read" Month, and in celebration of this the Winnipeg Blues Junior Hockey Team went to schools all across Winnipeg to read to students. Not only that, but they also got the kids on their feet and led classes on runs. Great support for both literacy and fitness!

As part of the Read & Run program, each school visited was put into a draw to win a big batch of books. During the Blues' game versus the Dauphin Kings on February 28th, the winner was selected: Joseph Teres School! Congratulations to them - they will receive over $750 worth of books for their classrooms and library!

Thanks to the Winnipeg Blues for running such an incredible program. McNally Robinson was very proud to support them all the way.

Categories: Store News, Winnipeg

March's Author of the Month: KAZUO ISHIGURO

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Feb 28, 2015 at 6:05pm

Ishiguro’s novels — A Pale View of Hills (1982), An Artist of the Floating World (1986), The Remains of the Day (1989), The Unconsoled (1995), When We Were Orphans (2000), Never Let Me Go (2005) — are preoccupied by memories, their potential to digress and distort, to forget and to silence, and above all to haunt. The protagonists of his fiction seek to overcome loss (the personal loss of family members and lovers; losses resulting from war) by making sense of the past through acts of remembrance. In 1983, he was included in the seminal Granta best of young British writers list, alongside Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes, Graham Swift, Rose Tremain and Pat Barker. He went on to win the Whitbread Award and Man Booker Prize, and garner a dedicated readership around the world.

His new novel, The Buried Giant, begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards, some strange and other-worldly, but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them the dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage and always intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

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

Difference: Gander and Gerard

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015 at 11:50am

"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking."
-- Haruki Murakami


 

Forrest Gander’s latest novel, The Trace, is a haunting look at loss and loneliness and a meditation on the intersection (and collision) of different worlds. Dale and Hoa, a couple recovering from a traumatic incident involving their son, decide to travel into Mexico to investigate the three possible fates Ambrose Bierce might have faced when he disappeared in 1913 while covering the Mexican Revolution. The trip is an excuse to escape from the despair that dwells with them at home and an attempt to bridge the distance that has arisen between them. Their journey is threatened by a break down in the middle of the desert and the presence of a ruthless group of drug smuggling narcos. A spare, elegantly written novel interspersed with Gander’s award-winning poetry, the humanity in The Trace is raw and real.

Forrest Gander was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his 2011 poetry collection Core Samples for the World. Trained in both English literature and geology and born in the Mojave Desert, his sense of both the landscape of the desert and the interior landscapes of his characters is masterful.

In the word of Publishers Weekly: “As in his previous works, Gander shows he is keenly aware of the loneliness that imbues human suffering and sets grief alight using beautiful, tense, haunting prose.”

This piece written by our very own bookseller John Toews.


 

A binary star is a system containing two stars that orbit their common center of mass. Binary stars are gravitationally bound.

An unnamed narrator and her long-distance boyfriend embark on an aimless road trip across America in Sarah Gerard’s debut novel Binary Star. Both vow to leave their vices behind, her eating disorder and penchant for pills and his alcoholism, but those promises cannot be kept. In Portland they happen upon a book on vegananarchism and in it find their cause. She fixates on the stars, both celestial and celebrity, and as such astronomy provides the baseline allegory in this short novel; the couple as binary stars, the anorexic as a shrinking white dwarf burning unreplenished fuel. Binary Star is a portrait of lovers who cannot live together or apart.

This is a work that defies the boundaries between poetry and prose, between fiction and non- (the novel began life as a memoir). In a lyrical style that is both hypnotic and arresting, Gerard crafts a haunting story of consumption beyond control.

This novel burns bright. A truly stunning debut.

This piece written by our very own bookseller Devon Arthur.


This article originally appeared on page 10 of the January/February 2015 edition of our news magazine, The Bookseller. You can pick up a free copy of the magazine in our bookstores, or read it online here.

Categories: Staff Pick, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Something Different

Louis Riel Day & Family Day

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015 at 3:02pm

Coming up on Monday, February 16th, is Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and Family Day in Saskatchewan. In observation of these holidays, please note the following:

In Winnipeg, our bookstore will be open from noon until 5 pm. Prairie Ink will be open the same hours with counter-service only.

Our Saskatoon store and restaurant will be closed all day.

Categories: Store News, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Holidays
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