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Our February Author of the Month: SALMAN RUSHDIE

Friday, Jan 27, 2023 at 5:12pm

Salman Rushdie is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), and Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and Quichotte, all of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize; a collection of stories, East, West; a memoir, Joseph Anton; a work of reportage, The Jaguar Smile; and three collections of essays, most recently Languages of Truth. His books have been translated into over forty languages. His many awards include the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel, which he won twice; the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award; the National Arts Award; the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger; and the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature.

His new novel Victory City is one of the most anticipated books of 2023. In the wake of an unimportant battle between two long-forgotten kingdoms in fourteenth-century southern India, a nine-year-old girl has a divine encounter that will change the course of history. After witnessing the death of her mother, the grief-stricken Pampa Kampana becomes a vessel for a goddess, who begins to speak out of the girl’s mouth. Granting her powers beyond Pampa Kampana’s comprehension, the goddess tells her that she will be instrumental in the rise of a great city called Bisnaga —“victory city”— the wonder of the world.Over the next 250 years, Pampa Kampana’s life becomes deeply interwoven with Bisnaga’s, from its literal sowing from a bag of magic seeds to its tragic ruination in the most human of ways: the hubris of those in power. Brilliantly styled as a translation of an ancient epic, Victory City is a saga of love, adventure, and myth that is in itself a testament to the power of storytelling.

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

Our January Author of the Month: JEN SOOKFONG LEE

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2023 at 12:13pm

Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast Can’t Lit.

Her new book — Superfan: How Pop Culture Broke My Heart — is a sharply observed andbeautifully intimate memoir-in-pieces that uses one woman’s life-long love affair with pop culture as a revelatory lens to explore family, identity, belonging, grief, and the power of female rage. For most of Jen Sookfong Lee’s life, pop culture was an escape from family tragedy and a means of fitting in with the larger culture around her. And yet as Jen grew up, she began to recognize the ways in which pop culture was not made for someone like her — the child of Chinese immigrant parents who looked for safety in the invisibility afforded by embracing model minority myths. Jen weaves together keymoments in pop culture with stories of her own failings, longings, and struggles as she navigates the minefields that come with carving her own path as an Asian woman, single mother, and writer. And with great wit, bracing honesty, and a deep appreciation for the ways culture shapes us, she drawsdirect lines between the spectacle of the popular, the intimacy of our personal bonds, and the social foundations of our collective obsessions.

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

Our November Author of the Month: PERCIVAL EVERETT

Wednesday, Oct 26, 2022 at 8:33pm

Percival Everett is the author of more than thirty novels and story collections, including The Trees, Telephone, So Much Blue, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, I Am Not Sidney Poitier and Erasure. He has won the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle, the Dos Passos Prize, the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, The 2010 Believer Book Award, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, a Creative Capital Award, the Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Everett is currently Distinguished Professor of English at University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles.

The protagonist of Percival Everett’s puckish new novel Dr. No is a brilliant professor of mathematics who goes by Wala Kitu. (Wala, he explains, means “nothing” in Tagalog, and Kitu is Swahili for “nothing.”) He is an expert on nothing. That is to say, he is an expert, and his area of study is nothing, and he does nothing about it. This makes him the perfect partner for the aspiring villain John Sill, who wants to break into Fort Knox to steal, well, not gold bars but a shoebox containing nothing. Once he controls nothing he’ll proceed with a dastardly plan to turn a Massachusetts town into nothing. Or so he thinks.In the process, Wala Kitu learns that Sill’s desire to become a literal Bond villain originated in some real all-American villainy related to the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. No is a caper with teeth, a wildly mischievous novel from one of our most inventive, provocative, and productive writers.

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

Our October Author of the Month: GEORGE SAUNDERS

Friday, Sep 30, 2022 at 11:17am

George Saunders is the author of nine books, including the novel Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Man Booker Prize, and the story collections Pastoralia and Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2006 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2013 he was awarded the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in ShortFiction and was included in Time’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

The “best short-story writer in English” (Time) is back with Liberation Day, a masterful collection that explores ideas of power, ethics, and justice and cuts to the very heart of what it means to live in community with our fellow humans. With his trademark prose — wickedly funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely tuned — Saunders continues to challenge and surprise: Here is a collection of prismatic, resonant stories that encompass joy and despair, oppression and revolution, bizarre fantasy and brutal reality. Together, these nine subversive, profound, and essential stories coalesce into a case for viewing the world with the same generosity and clear-eyed attention Saunders does, even in the most absurd of circumstances.

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

Our August Author of the Month: MOHSIN HAMID

Friday, Jul 29, 2022 at 12:11pm

Mohsin Hamid is the author of the international bestsellers Exit West and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, both finalists for the Booker Prize. His first novel, Moth Smoke, won the Betty Trask Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award. His essays, a number of them collected as Discontent and Its Civilizations, have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. He divides his time between Lahore, New York, and London.

In Mohsin Hamid’s new novel, The Last White Man, a man wakes up to find himself transformed. Overnight, Anders’s skin has turned dark, and the reflection in the mirror seems a stranger to him. At first he shares his secret only with Oona, an old friend turned new lover. Soon, reports of similar events begin to surface. Across the land, people are awakening in new incarnations, uncertain how their neighbors, friends, and family will greet them. Some see the transformations as the long-dreaded overturning of the established order that must be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss and unease wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance at a kind of rebirth — an opportunity to see ourselves, face to face, anew.

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