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Dorothy Friesen -- Night Table Recommendations

by Events Winnipeg - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2011 at 9:29pm

My goal this season is to sample the nominated books for this year's Manitoba Book Awards, such a rich array of writing. I just completed This Hidden Thing by Dora Dueck (CMU Press), a wonderful illustration of how a work of fiction can document the deeper life of a particular community in a particular historical time through the life of one woman, even as that woman conceals life and remains emotionally muffled.

I am also re-reading, or more accurately, re-experiencing, Seven Sacred Teachings, Niizhwaaswi gagiikwewin by David Bouchard and Dr. Joseph Martin, published in 2009. They have spent a lifetime imbibing the Grandfather Teachings of Humility, Honesty, Respect, Courage, Wisdom, Truth, Love, each Teaching rooted in a plant, a tree, an animal, a direction, a season, a time in life. No abstraction here.

The book is written in both English and Ojibwe. An accompanying DVD adds a choice of French, Bush Cree, Chipewyan or South Slavey as well as the haunting music of Swamp Fox who created seven flutes of seven different woods, each in a key consistent with the particular Teaching, and then dreamed seven songs to accompany the Teaching. As a reader I seem to have no choice but to slow down. Sometimes I listen to the cadence of one of the languages unfamiliar to me while breathing in the exquisitely colourful paintings by artist, Kristy Cameron.


Dorothy Friesen, formerly of Winnipeg, partnered with Marilen Abesamis, Philippines, to collect and edit the writings of Dorothy's husband Gene Stolzfus, the founding director of Christian Peacemaker Teams in the book Create Space for Peace. Also filled with the poignant reflections of others impacted by his life, the book was designed to aid those who wish to travel further on the road to global peace and was recently launched on March 23rd at our Grant Park store.

Join Dorothy on May 16th at 7:30 pm in the Art Alcove in our Saskatoon store where she will be speaking on Gene's work and his legacy. Click here for more information.

Categories: Reviews, Discussions, Saskatoon, Night Table Recommendations

2011 The Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlists

by D - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2011 at 11:27am

The Griffin Trust was founded in 2000 by Chairman Scott Griffin, along with Trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. The Griffin Poetry Prize awards a Canadian award and an international award. Each award winner receive $65,000 each, shortlisted poets receive $10,000.

The Griffin Poetry Prize Canadian Shortlist
Ossuaries by Dionne Brand
The Irrationalist by Suzanne Buffam.
Lookout by John Steffler

The Griffin Poetry Prize International Shortlist
Human Chain by Seamus Heaney
Adonis: Selected Poems, by Adonis, Translator: Khaled Mattawa
The Book of the Snow by François Jacqmin, Translator: Philip Mosley.
Heavenly Questions by Gjertrud Schnackenberg.

Categories: Awards

2010 Leacock Medal Shortlist

by D - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2011 at 10:40am

The Leacock Medal for Humour is the most prestigious Canadian award for humour. It was first awarded in 1947. Past Leacock winners include W.O. Mitchell, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Stuart Mclean, Mordecai Richler, Terry Fallis, Dan Needles and Robertson Davies. This year's winning author will be announced on Thursday April 28. The 2010 shortlist is;

Practical Jean by Trevor Cole
Toby: A Man by Todd Babiak
Half Empty by David Rakoff
How to do Everything by Red Green
The High Road by Terry Fallis

Categories: Awards


Our events this week in our Winnipeg store.

by D - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2011 at 10:19am

Dr. Heather Cardona, A Homeopathic Perspective on Spring Detox. Wednesday, April 6, 7:00 pm.
W. John Johnson launching Completing the Century. Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 pm.
Bob Watts Trio, Free Live Music in Prairie Ink Restaurant + Bakery, Friday, April 8, 8:00 pm.
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Pre-Concert Chat. Join host Vicki Young and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Guest Conductor Scott Yoo as they discuss Boreality. Saturday, April 9, 2:00 pm.
Jon Waldman launching Got 'Em, Got 'Em, Need 'Em: A Fan's Guide to Collecting the Top 100 Sports Cards of All Time. Sunday, April 10, 2:00 pm.

New Release: Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

by Alexandra Kroeger - Sunday, Apr 03, 2011 at 11:04am

In Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente retells the story of Koschei the Deathless and Marya Morvena in the context of Communist Russia.

Deathless... is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever child of the revolution, to Koschei's beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power. All told, Deathless is a collision of magical history and actual history, of revolution and mythology and of love and death. It brings Russian myth back to life in a stunning new incarnation.

I've always been a sucker for fairy tale retellings, and the prospect of reading one in Valente's lush prose makes me so excited. As a bonus, this is not a tale that is widely known in the West, much less retold. You can read the first three chapters for free here. It looks as though young adults would enjoy this as well, but from some reviews that I've seen, this might be more suitable for ages 15+.

Deathless should arrive at McNally Robinson any day now. Just remember: in Soviet Russia, the fairy tale reads YOU.

Categories: Reviews, New Releases
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