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Prairie Writers

A selection of recent books by writers from the Canadian Prairies.

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Glass Bricks

- by Louella Lester

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What does it mean to work for a living? Told in short prose, Glass Bricks tells the story of Lester's experience working both traditional and non-traditional jobs. Sometimes raw and often humourous, Lester shares stories about learning to work, working, and moving on. Glass Bricks explores the significance of our basic human right to work in an era where the struggle to find meaningful, full-time employment is all too real.

Status Update

- by George Toles

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A collection of mini-narratives that have been posted on Facebook every day since 2009. This book will collect posts from the entire collection in one cohesive volume of work. Award-winning artist Cliff Eyland and famed writer George Toles combine their unique talents in a book like no other, tackling apropos issues related to climate change, politics, relationships, death, and sex with wry humour and deft tone.

Permanent Carnival Time

- by Colin Smith

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I'd rather have a transorbital lobotomy / Than a transnational economy. In his new book of poetry, Colin Smith's droll humour and meticulous control of language are metered out to explore the stakes of pain and the pain of folly. Language plays throughout the text, bringing a blithe tone to dark matters, and evoking fruitful tensions for the reader. Scattered topics of climate change, labour disputes, war, and massive inequities within cities are encountered by a voice that seems to scorn humanity as much as it delights in human language. Permanent Carnival Time is laugh-out-loud language poetry.

Ex Nihilo

- by J. R. Leveille

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A bilingual collection of renga poetry by two of Canada's most celebrated poets in English and in French, each writing in his respective language in response to the other. A project of discourse itself, shared in dialogue between two poets, as they explore Novalis' definition of poetry as "the truly absolute real." The poetic act is world-changing, the agglomeration of atoms as they fall through space - a sort of "elective affinity", or state of grace - to constitute Being. If Lao Tzu reminds us that the Dao that can be named is not the eternal Dao, this renga, suffused with elements of the natural world, also recognizes that, in the words of Angelus Silesius, ''the unnameable, which we usually call God, is expressed and revealed through the Word.'' Léveillé and Bloggett share an unprecedented dialogue that possesses both paradox and complete clarity of word in Canada's two official languages.

Moldovan Hotel

- by Leah Horlick

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Moldovan Hotel explores the intergenerational trauma of the Holocaust in Romania through a queer Jewish voice in the Diaspora. In 2017, Leah Horlick travelled to Romania to revisit the region her Jewish ancestors fled. What she unearthed there is an elaborate web connecting conscious worlds to subconscious ones, fascism to neofascisms, Europe to the Americas to the Middle East, typhus to HIV/AIDS, genocide in Romania to land grabs in Palestine, women's lives in farming villages to queer lives in the city, language to its trap doors, and love to its hidden, ancestral obligations. With force, clarity and searing craft, Horlick's poems are equal to the urgency of our political moment. "No one ever thinks they might be the dragon," Horlick writes, and yet history repeats its cruelties. This work takes things apart to put them profoundly back together. "If Leah Horlick's second book invited us to witness, this time she draws from her Jewish heritage and takes us back to show us how to read the landscape and mind-scape and tell us what the texts left out. This is an accounting, a calling, an invocation, a return, a skilful mediation on how to remember when the 'names of the oppressors are blotted out'." -- Juliane Okot Bitek, author of 100 Days "Every poem in Moldovan Hotel is a room thick with ghosts. Here, Horlick takes the language of the past--used to dehumanize and unmoor--and crystalizes it around revelation after revelation. A graceful, striking collection." -- Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House

Treasures of Winnipeg's Historic Exchange

- by George J. Mitchell

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A breathtaking full-colour photography book celebrating the architectural splendour and cultural heritage of Winnipeg's famed Exchange District, a National Historic Site and one of the city's most vibrant artistic, commercial, and tourist hubs. The Exchange District is the architectural jewel of Winnipeg's downtown core, a thirty-block area featuring 150 remarkably preserved heritage buildings dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These iconic buildings are among the best examples in North America of several turn-of-the-century architectural styles, including Romanesque, Italianate, Beaux-Arts, and Chicago School. From its origins in the 1880s as a commercial and industrial gateway to the Canadian West to its current revitalization, the Exchange exemplifies the spirit of a modern city embracing its past while creating a bright and dynamic future.

Treasures of Winnipeg's Historical Exchange is a sumptuous visual feast for residents and visitors. With stunning photography highlighting the impressive scale and intricate detail of the Exchange's imposing banks, sprawling warehouses, and commercial towers, this book will amaze and delight anyone interested in Winnipeg's history and architecture. In addition, the book captures the renewed energy, creativity, hospitality, and entrepreneurial spirit that have invigorated the Exchange in recent years, making it one of Canada's most vibrant up-and-coming neighbourhoods.

One Loaf at a Time One Bowl at a Time

- by Cj Katz

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A unique COVID-19 cookbook that is a time capsule of a year we won’t soon forget. Woven among the family recipes that brought us together while we remained apart during the first lockdown, are heartwarming stories of perseverance, anecdotes, and photos telling the story of what was happening in our lives during those early days of the pandemic. This two-volume flipbook includes nearly 100 tried-and-true recipes by award-winning cookbook author and TV Chef CJ Katz together with 60+ other seasoned home cooks from Saskatchewan and across Canada. It includes Volume 1: ‘One Loaf at a Time’ (baking) and Volume 2: ‘One Bowl at a Time’ (soups, stews, pasta, salads).

Format: Soft cover with flaps

Pages: 200 pages

Publication date: November 18, 2020

Bewildered by Loss

- by Anne Mcelroy

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Anne: "For so many years, I was unaware of the thoughtless and inexcusable brutality inflicted on animals by the practices of humans. Writings of animal welfare proponents such as Peter Singer, Philip Wollen, Mark Bekoff, Jane Goodall, and others have had a huge impact on me. I admire the lives they lead and the beliefs they hold. Bewildered by Loss is dedicated to Jo-Anne McArthur, photojournalist and founder of We Animals, whose images powerfully capture the atrocities to which she has born witness. She devotes her life to raising awareness to such sadness and the need for change."

The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford

- by C.c. Benison

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When a costumed, pike-spiked body turns up after a traditional historic reenactment of the 1645 Battle of Thornford, the Reverend Tom "Father" Christmas and the villagers of Thornford Regis find themselves in a battle of their own as they deal with events from the murky, more recent past. C.C. Benison's latest intriguing and delightful Father Christmas mystery will leave cozy mystery readers puzzling over the outcome and, like a refreshing English cream tea, wishing there were more.

The Truth About The Barn

- by David Elias

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The Truth About The Barn offers answers to important questions about how barns came into being, why they look the way they do, why they're worth reflecting on, and what possible future they may have. Chapters investigate the barn's place in culture and religion, art and literature. Psychological and philosophical implications are explored. Readers are treated to an occasional recollection of the author's own experiences with barns.


- by Amy Jo Ehman

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In photography, Thelma Pepper found a capacity to peer into other lives and to find in them a celebraiton of the human spirit. Thelma Stevens Pepper was born in 1920. A century later--from her adoptive home in Saskatoon--she reflects on a hundred years of life, love, and pictures. At 60, it was creativity and passion that rescued Thelma Pepper from the depths of depression. With her kids grown and gone, she was floundering, wondering who she was, and what she was meant to do. In photography, she found what her father and grandfather before her had found and that was a capacity to peer into other lives and to find in them a celebration of the human spirit. It was that commitment to capturing the human condition that led to her work not only being celebrated here in Canada but around the world. In these noble lives, she found herself.

Five Little Indians

- by Michelle Good

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Finalist Writers' Trust Fiction Prize

Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlist

National Bestseller

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year

A CBC Best Book of the Year

An Apple Best Book of the Year

A Kobo Best Book of the Year An Indigo Best Book of the Year Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn't want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission. Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can't stop running and moves restlessly from job to job--through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps--trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew. With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward. 

Tunnels of Time

- by Mary Harelki Bishop

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Illustrated Edition

Instead of having fun on a school field trip to the mountains, 13-year-old Andrea has to spend the weekend with her family at a boring wedding in boring Moose Jaw. She barely listens when the restaurant owner describes a time when gangsters and gamblers hid in secret tunnels below Moose Jaw streets. Then Andrea accidentally falls into one of those tunnels and finds herself back in time, being pulled along a tunnel path in the 1920s and forced to work for the gangsters in the city's dangerous underground. Can Andrea outsmart the gangsters and escape from them? Will she ever see her family again? This first book in the popular children's adventure series features language that has been updated since the book's initial release in 2000. The chapters have been shortened for easier reading and read alouds, especially for teachers and parents. Readers will also enjoy the addition of 12 black and white illustrations, Historical Notes, an Ask the Author section, and Discussion Questions.

Birds of Saskatchewan

- by Smith, Houston And Roy

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A full-colour, comprehensive look at all of the birds that call Saskatchewan home. 437 species of birds are documented in this 768 page compendium, a result of over ten years of work and several lifetimes of observation, research, and writing. This work celebrates Saskatchewan's rich natural heritage, and acknowledges the efforts made to study and sustain each bird's presence in the province. It is a record of change - of the birds who have come, those who remain, and those whose habitats are affected by changes in the environment. Birds of Saskatchewan is indebted to the long-time editors of the project. Lead author/co-editor Alan R. Smith is the scientist, the keeper of data, and provincial documenter. Here he joins his mentors C. Stuart Houston, bird bander, history lover, and prolific author, and Houston's long-time friend, collaborator, and editor J. Frank Roy, whose passion for birds, words, and images has helped to make this a publication that we hope readers will appreciate.

Details Are Unprintable

- by Allan Levine

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“Allan Levine’s extraordinary reconstruction of a high-society murder case that drove World War Two from the tabloid front pages in 1940s New York City offers a fascinating exploration of the New York social scene and the place of homosexuality, closeted or not, within it. It’s also a page-turning legal procedural that gracefully gives lay readers a vivid narrative of a hard-fought trial, as well as post-trial developments that unfolded during a revolution in the rights of criminal defendants.” - Daniel Richman, former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York The narrative of Details Are Unprintable primarily unfolds over a seven-month period from October 1943 to April 1944―from the moment the body of twenty-two-year old Patricia Burton Lonergan is discovered in the bedroom of her New York City Beekman Hill apartment, to the arrest of her husband of two years, Wayne Lonergan, for her murder, and his subsequent trial and conviction. But this story goes back in time to the 1920s, when Wayne Lonergan grew up in Toronto and then forward to his post-prison life following his deportation to Canada. It is the chronicle of Lonergan in denial as a bisexual or gay man living in an intolerant and morally superior heterosexual world; and of Patricia, rich and entitled, a seeker of attention, who loved a night out on the town―all set against the fast pace of New York’s ostentatious café society. Part True Crime and part a social history of New York City in the 1940s, this book transports readers to the New York World’s Fair of 1939 when Patricia’s father William Burton first encountered Lonergan; the Stork Club, 21 Club, and El Morocco to experience with Patricia a night of drinking champagne cocktails and dancing; and the muggy New York courtroom where Lonergan’s fate was decided. What truly happened on that tragic night in October 24, 1943? Should we accept Lonergan’s confession at face value as the jury did? Or was he indeed a victim of physical and mental abuse by the state prosecutors and the police, as he maintained for the rest of his life? This book considers these, and other, key questions.

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