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April's Author of the Month: VIVEK SHRAYA

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020 at 6:45pm

Vivek Shraya is a Canadian musician, writer, and visual artist. She currently lives in Calgary where she is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary and a director on the board of The Tegan and Sara Foundation, which fights for the rights of LGBTQ women.

In 2010, Shraya published her first book, God Loves Hair, an illustrated collection of linked short stories about a brown, genderqueer child growing up in an immigrant family in Alberta. Her second book, She of the Mountains, a lyrical novel consisting of two intertwined love stories, was named one of The Globe and Mail's Best 100 Books of 2014.

Shraya released her debut poetry collection entitled even this page is white. It’s an incisive exploration of the effects of everyday racism and colonialism in Canada that won a 2017 Publishing Triangle award and was longlisted for CBC's Canada Reads. The Boy & The Bindi, a children's picture book about a young boy's fascination with the dot on his mother's forehead, was also published that year. Shraya's first non-fiction book, I’m Afraid of Men, was released in 2018.

Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. In The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya, when Neela Devaki’s song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But as Rukmini’s star rises and Neela’s stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the centre of an internet firestorm. (Softcover. $21.95. RRC Price $19.75. ECW Press. April)

In Winnipeg, join us for An Evening with Vivek Shraya on April 25 at 7:00 PM!

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

March's Author of the Month: REBECCA SOLNIT

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020 at 6:29pm

American writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books. Solnit has worked on environmental and human rights campaigns since the 1980s. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications in print and online, including The Guardian newspaper and Harper's Magazine.

In 2003, she wrote River of Shadows about motion picture pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award. In 2014, she published Men Explain Things to Me, a collection of short essays written about instances of "mansplaining." Solnit has been credited with paving the way for the coining of the term, though she didn’t actually use it in the original essay. Last year, Solnit rewrote a new version of Cinderella, called Cinderella Liberator. In this feminist revision, Solnit reclaims Ella from the cinders and gives both the prince and Ella new futures that involve thinking for themselves, acting out of free will, starting businesses, and becoming friends rather than dependent lovers.

In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher; of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself; of how punk rock gave form and voice to her own fury and explosive energy. (Hardcover. $35.00. RRC Price $31.50. Viking. March)

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

February's Author of the Month: CAROLINE MOOREHEAD

Friday, Jan 03, 2020 at 11:48am

Caroline Moorehead is the New York Times bestselling author of Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy FranceA Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France; and Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An acclaimed biographer, Moorehead has also written for the New York Review of Books, the Guardian, the Times, and the Independent. She lives in London and Italy.

A House in the Mountains, Moorehead's latest offering, is the extraordinary story of four courageous women who helped form the Italian Resistance against the Nazis and the Fascists during the Second World War.

In the late summer of 1943, when Italy changed sides in WWII and the Germans, now their enemies, occupied the north of the country, an Italian Resistance was born. Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca were four young Piedmontese women who joined the Resistance, living secretively in the mountains surrounding Turin. Between 1943 and 1945, as the Allies battled their way north, thousands of men and women throughout occupied Italy rose up and fought to liberate their country from the German invaders and their Fascist collaborators. What made the partisan war all the more extraordinary was the number of women in its ranks.

The bloody civil war that ensued across the country pitted neighbour against neighbour, and brought out the best and worst in Italian society. The courage shown by the partisans was exemplary, and eventually bound them together as a coherent fighting force. And the women’s contribution was invaluable. They would prove, to themselves and to the world, what resolve, tenacity and above all exceptional courage could achieve.

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

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

November's Author of the Month: ROBERT HARRIS

Friday, Nov 01, 2019 at 11:14am

Robert Harris is the author of twelve bestselling novels. He is a former journalist and BBC television reporter. Harris was a columnist for the Sunday Times, but gave it up in 1997. He returned to journalism in 2001, writing for the Daily Telegraph. He was named “Columnist of the Year” at the 2003 British Press Awards. Although he began his career in non-fiction, his fame rests upon his works of historical fiction. Several of his books have been adapted to film, including The Ghost Writer, which starred Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Ewan McGregor and Olivia Williams. Harris later shared a César Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Harris lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his wife, Gill Hornby, herself a writer and sister of best-selling novelist Nick Hornby. Harris contributed a short story, “PMQ”, to Hornby’s 2000 collection Speaking with the Angel.

In Harris’s new novel, The Second Sleep, it’s the year 1468. A young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in a remote English village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artefacts — coins, fragments of glass, human bones — which the old parson used to collect. Did his obsession with the past lead to his death? As Fairfax is drawn more deeply into the isolated community, everything he believes — about himself, his faith and the history of his world — is tested to destruction.

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