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January's Author of the Month: ISABEL ALLENDE

Friday, Jan 03, 2020 at 11:34am

Isabel Allende — novelist, feminist and philanthropist — is one of the most widely-read authors in the world, having sold more than 74 million books. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Allende won worldwide acclaim in 1982 with the publication of her first novel, The House of the Spirits, which began as a letter to her dying grandfather. Since then, she has authored more than twenty-three bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including Of Love and ShadowsEva LunaDaughter of FortuneIsland Beneath the Sea, Paula, The Japanese Lover and In the Midst of Winter. Translated into more than forty-two languages, Allende’s works entertain and educate readers by interweaving imaginative stories with significant historical events. She now lives in California.

A Long Petal of the Sea, Allende's newest novel, is set in the late 1930s when civil war gripped Spain. Hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life irreversibly intertwined with that of Victor, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them wants, and together are sponsored by poet Pablo Neruda to embark on the SS Winnipeg to Chile, along with 2,200 other refugees in search of a new life.

Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning. Through it all, it is the hope of being reunited with their home that keeps them going. And in the end, they will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.

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

Our 20th Century Begins and Ends with Poetry

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019 at 2:30pm

Perhaps you've often wanted to read more poetry, but haven't been sure where to start. Or maybe you've always loved poetry and are looking to discover (or rediscover) some lesser known works. Or you might be somewhere in between. Whatever the case, what better way to start 2020—a new year and a new decade—than by reflecting on twenty important works of poetry that span the 20th century?

Bibliophile Lara Rae has put together a collection of significant poems, starting after the First World War, by writers from T.S. Eliot to Carol Ann Duffy, and will be examining them in her upcoming class, The 20th Century in 20 Poems, starting Wednesday, January 8th. Since the century began, poetry has been describing our world and our times in thrilling and frightening ways, and today it has never been more important. Its history and context may even be able to give us clues about where the ancient art form will take us next.

Categories: Poetry, Winnipeg, Community Classroom

Mmmm ... Chocolate Tasting

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019 at 9:18am

What's better than chocolate around the holidays? How about tasting chocolate from around the world? On Friday, December 6th, Doreen Pendgracs, author of the award-winning Chocolatour book and blog, will be hosting a curated chocolate tasting in the Community Classroom

Doreen has been researching and writing about chocolate for the past 10 years, visiting 20 countries in the process. In addition to providing a sampling of world chocolate for participants to try, Doreen will also teach you how to taste chocolate in a mindful manner that will help you identify flavour notes and understand the importance of sustainability in the world of chocolate.

Join us next Friday at 7:00 p.m. to Celebrate the Joy of Chocolate!

As an early holiday treat, please use discount code CACAO to receive $10 off the price of this class. 

Categories: Winnipeg, Community Classroom

Ian Williams wins 2019 Giller Prize

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019 at 11:29am

The winner of this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize, the richest Canadian literary award that comes with a $100,000 prize, is Ian Williams.

Williams won for his debut novel Reproduction, the charming and surprising tale of Felicia and Edgar and the bizarre ways people become bonded, a story that insists family isn't a matter of blood.

Congratulations, Mr. Williams! A prestigious award to set off his career in fiction, one we shall watch with great interest.

Find out more about the Scotiabank Giller Prize on their website.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg

It's November - What's a Winnipeg Gardener To Do?

Monday, Nov 18, 2019 at 10:27am

Start planning for next season, of course! The ground outside may be frozen and covered with snow as we head into the winter months, but it's the perfect time to start planning for the spring. What annuals and perennials did well last year? Which varieties might do better in your garden's microclimate? Do you want to build new beds? What's the best way to start off next year's garden?

All of these questions will be looked at in detail in the Community Classroom's upcoming Winter Garden Design Workshop, next Tuesday, November 26 with Zach Loeks, a seasoned organic farmer and landscape designer. Zach's background in permaculture and soil science along with his recent focus on hardy northern garden solutions make him uniquely qualified to help you get the most out of Winnipeg's short growing season. 

Categories: Winnipeg, Community Classroom
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