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Grant Park celebrates its 20th anniversary

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 9:09am

Today, October 15th, 2016, marks the twentieth anniversary of our Grant Park bookstore.

On this day in '96, the Grant Park store was opened for a "preview" evening celebration, which included live music and a very special guest appearance by Margaret Atwood, who signed and read from her book Alias Grace, published just the month before.

The Grant Park store, which replaced two smaller McNally Robinson locations (one in the stripmall at Kenaston and Grant, and the other in Osborne Village), was originally 21,000 square feet, the largest independent bookstore in Canada at the time (the store has since expanded, and remains Canada's largest indie bookstore). Holly and Paul McNally made the decision to consolidate their two smaller stores into the Grant Park location as a means of standing against the massive chain bookstores that were, and unfortunately still are, swallowing up independent booksellers across North America. The McNallys wanted to focus their efforts and their talents in one location with more space for books and events, to better support the Canadian literary scene.

And after twenty years in business, having survived when other McNally Robinson bookstores were forced to close, it's safe to say the McNallys' efforts were successful. Our Grant Park bookstore continues to thrive today.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us reach the 20 year mark, and who has helped us out since the beginning. With your loyal support we not only remain Canada's largest independent bookstore, but we are also able to sponsor Winnipeg's literary community in many ways, to the extent that, we proudly note, some consider us the heart and soul of Winnipeg's cultural community. All of that is possible because of you, our devoted readers, so thank you.

Here's to another twenty.

Categories: Store News, Winnipeg

Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 goes to Bob Dylan

by Tyler Vitt - Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 1:56pm

In an announcement that surprised many, the Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 has been awarded to Bob Dylan.

This is the first time that the Nobel Prize in Literature has gone to a writer known primarily as a musician. The Swedish Academy, who manages the Nobel Prizes, said the award went to Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

The announcement was met with mixed responses, some parties upset that the Prize went to a sing-songwriter rather than a novelist or poet, though the majority seems to support Dylan's win.

Considering the lyrical form does qualify as literature — not to mention the stark beauty of Dylan's lyrics, as well as the handful of books under his belt we think it's a fine choice. Congratulations, Mr. Dylan!

You can read more about prize announcement here.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

Thanksgiving hours

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Oct 08, 2016 at 4:06pm

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

All of our bookstores and restaurants will be open regular hours this Saturday and Sunday. On Thanksgiving Monday (Oct. 10), our Saskatoon store will be closed and our Winnipeg store will be open with special holiday hours: 12 PM - 5 PM.

Prairie Ink Restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving Monday, but the Patisserie at our Winnipeg location will be open for counter service.

We hope you enjoy your holiday.

Categories: Store News, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

Governor General's Awards Shortlist Released

by Madison Taylor - Saturday, Oct 08, 2016 at 2:37pm

The Canada Council for the Arts recognizes its country's rich literary landscape with the annual Governor General's Literary Awards (GGs). The awards cover a generous number of genres, including fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction, youth literature, youth illustrated literature, and works in translation.

The winners in each category will be announced on October 25, 2016. Each individual winner will receive a $25,000 prize, and each runner-up will be awarded $1,000. The publishers that put forth the works will also be given $3,000 for promotional purposes.

Categories: Awards, Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Book Lists, Literature


October's Author of the Month: ANDRE ALEXIS

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Oct 01, 2016 at 11:32am

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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