A letter from David Bergen

by Tyler Vitt - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 6:56pm

Last week we received the following letter from Winnipeg author and local favourite David Bergen, giving us some insight into his writing and about his new novel, Leaving Tomorrow.

" I don't set out to write 'prairie' novels, though my upbringing in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta has certainly influenced my sensibilities. Leaving Tomorrow started out with stories a friend told me of growing up in southern Alberta (stories of horses and bulls and brothers). Last spring I went up to High River and drove the back roads, looking at ranches and talking to folks, hearing the vernacular, taking notes in my head and scribbling down the words later. Little things I saw fell into my brain, like how cows bunch together in a storm and turn their rumps against the wind and rain.

I grew up reading Zane Grey, aware that I was reading pulp but loving it. I wanted to be a cowboy until a horse nearly bit my finger off when he mistook it for a carrot. And so I went back to books. With this novel I wanted to capture the longing a young boy has when he is stuck on the prairies and he knows that there is life elsewhere, a life of books and conversation and ideas, only he doesn't know how to get to that other life.

I have no interest in getting sentimental about the prairies and animals and the wide-open spaces. Though I cannot deny that the sparseness of my own writing comes from the sparseness of my place. No lush, bucolic language, but rather a hard sensuality that runs beneath things. There is an inevitability to my settings. I didn't choose to be raised here in Manitoba, but I did choose to stay. I like to see this as being faithful to the place I come from.

I am very pleased to be launching Leaving Tomorrow at McNally Robinson, not only a prairie bookstore, and one of the finest bookstores in Canada. See you at the end of September. "

As Mr. Bergen writes, he will indeed be launching Leaving Tomorrow in our Winnipeg Prairie Ink on Tuesday, September 30th, at 8:00 pm! The event is free and open to any one who would like to attend. We simply encourage you to contact the restaurant ahead of time to reserve a table.

Meanwhile, Leaving Tomorrow is available now in hardcover! Find it in our Prairie Writers section, or grab a copy at the launch on the 30th.

Categories: Authors, Winnipeg, New Releases

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize: 2014 shortlist

by Tyler Vitt - Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 at 4:11pm

The shortlist for this year's Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize, which honours literary excellence in the category of nonfiction and includes an award of $60,000 for the winner, was announced this morning. The finalists include:

   > Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them by Susan Delacourt
   > This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein
   > Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
   > Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies, and Predators Online by Paula Todd
   > Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage by Kathleen Winter

The winner will be announced on October 14, 2014.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

Giller Prize 2014: Longlist

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 5:51pm

The 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize, recognizing excellence in Canadian fiction, unveiled its longlist earlier today:

   > Waiting for the Man by Arjun Basu (ECW Press)
   > The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis (HarperCollins Canada)
   > American Innovations by Rivka Galchen (HarperCollins Canada)
   > Tell by Frances Itani (HarperCollins Canada)
   > Watch How We Walk by Jennifer LoveGrove (ECW Press)
   > Us Conductors by Sean Michaels (Random House Canada)
   > Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab by Shani Mootoo (Doubleday Canada)
   > The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O'Neill (HarperCollins Canada)
   > Paradise and Elsewhere by Kathy Page (John Metcalf Books/Biblioasis)
   > My October by Claire Holden Rothman (Penguin Canada)
   > All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (Knopf Canada)
   > The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan (Random House Canada)

The shortlist will be announced on October 6th, and the winner presented on November 10th.

Celebrate the Giller Prize and the winner with us inside of Prairie Ink! On November 10th we'll be hosting our annual Giller Light Bash, with a live feed of the awards showing inside the restaurant.

Tickets be will available for purchase at Prairie Ink Restaurant starting on September 17th. They are $40 each. Call (204-975-2659) or visit the restaurant to purchase. Proceeds from the dinner will go to support literacy programs at Frontier College.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Prairie Ink

Rest in peace, Wayne Tefs (1947 - 2014)

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 3:08pm

It was with great sadness we learned of the loss of a wonderful Winnipeg author.

Wayne Tefs, co-founder of Turnstone Press, whose novels Moon Lake and Be Wolf respectively received the inaugural Margaret Laurence Award for fiction and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award in 2007, passed away on Monday.

"A fine novelist, a wise editor, a great teacher," wrote Paul McNally.

Tefs' newest novel, Barker, is due to be released this month. A launch with us was scheduled for October 2nd, though we may instead host a posthumous celebration of Tefs' work. More details to come on this event.

Rest in peace, Mr. Tefs.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

Canadian Museum for Human Rights: Miracle at the Forks

by Tyler Vitt - Saturday, Sep 13, 2014 at 1:39pm

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first national museum to open outside of Ottawa. New Mexico architect Antoine Predock's design includes an illuminated alabaster ramp that takes visitors to the 11 themed galleries and a basalt rock Garden of Contemplation inspired by the Giant's Causeway in Ireland.

On July 18, 2000, Israel (Izzy) Asper, the renowned Canadian businessman and philanthropist, first discussed his idea of building a human rights centre in Winnipeg. He wanted to build a museum that would make a difference, that would help educate visitors to the museum about human rights, all with the aim of making the world a better, more humane place.

Miracle at the Forks by Peter C. Newman and Allan Levine recounts the financial and political challenges of building a world class museum in Winnipeg, an objective that was made all the more difficult by Asper's death not six months after the public unveiling of plans for a national museum at The Forks in 2003. It is a story of passion and sheer will, about the determination of Moe Levy, the Executive Director of the Asper Foundation, to see Asper's grand idea come true, of Gail Asper's fortitude and unflagging drive to make sure her father's most cherished project became real, and of the countless others who lobbied, donated money, volunteered time, and fought to make the museum happen.

Miracle at the Forks is available now in hardcover for $45.00. And be sure to join us for the launch of the book, happening on September 23rd in Prairie Ink Winnipeg!

Categories: Winnipeg, Event News, New Releases, Regional Interest
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