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January's Author of the Month: ALI SMITH

Tuesday, Jan 02, 2018 at 11:28am

Born in Inverness, Scotland, Ali Smith is one of the most distinctive and innovative voices on the literary scene today. Her novels and short story collections have placed her at the forefront of contemporary British fiction. She has won the Whitbread Award and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction as well as being shortlisted multiple times for the Man Booker Prize. Ambiguity is a theme that runs throughout all of Smith’s fiction and is arguably the characteristic that best defines her treatment of character and self.

In Winter, the second novel in Smith’s Seasonal Quartet, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. Her shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens of art and love.

In a novel of ferocity, tenderness, anger and generosity of spirit, Sophia Cleves is a Scrooge for our time, a retired businesswoman whose work always took precedence over family. Now holed up in her 15-bedroom house in Cornwall, she is, as her estranged sister, Iris, observes, “an old miserly grump who had nothing in the house for your son and his girlfriend for Christmas except a bag of walnuts and half a jar of glace cherries”.

Although there’s no traditional Christmas miracle in Winter, the entire book is in it own way testament to the miraculous powers of the creative arts: “That’s one of the things stories and books can do, they can make more than one time possible at once,” one of the characters explains.

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

November's Author of the Month: RACHEL JOYCE

Wednesday, Nov 01, 2017 at 3:52pm

Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, and Perfect. She is also the award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4.

Her latest novel, The Music Shop, is set in the late 1980s in a small record shop, jam-packed with records. Located down a dead-end street, it attracts the lonely and the sleepless, and one Ilse Brauchmann, whose reasons for visiting the shop are not what they seem.

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

April's Author of the Month: SHARON BUTALA

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 9:10pm

Born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Sharon Butala is a bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. A personal and spiritual exploration of the roots of creativity, her classic book The Perfection of the Morning (1994) was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her latest novel, Wild Rose, was published in 2015 and has been shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. Butala is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and the 2012 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence.

In the tradition of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Butala's new book, Where I Live Now, is profound in its understanding of the many homes women must build for themselves in a lifetime. When her husband, Peter, died unexpectedly, she found herself with no place to call home. Torn by grief and loss, she fled the ranchlands of southwest Saskatchewan and moved to the city. A lifetime of possessions was reduced to a few boxes of books, clothes, and keepsakes. Reinventing herself in an urban landscape was painful, and facing her new life as a widow tested her very being. Yet out of this hard-won new existence comes an astonishingly frank, compassionate and moving memoir that offers not only solace and hope but inspiration to those who endure profound loss. (Hardcover. $26.99. Simon & Schuster. April)

Winnipeg EVENT APRIL 11

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

March's Author of the Month: TIM COOK

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 8:55pm

Tim Cook is a historian at the Canadian War Museum (CWM), an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University, and a former director for Canada’s History Society. He is the author of several authoritative yet accessible award-winning books on Canadian military history in which he illuminates the inner lives of military men and women on the front lines. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian history, and in 2013 he received the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Burton Award.

In his new book, Vimy, Cook returns to the First World War, the subject upon which he built his name, with books such as At the Sharp End and Shock Troops, winner of the RBC Taylor Prize. The Vimy battle that began April 9, 1917, was unlike any other battle in Canadian history. It was the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together. 10,600 men were killed or injured over four days. It has been described as the “birth of the nation.” But the meaning of that phrase has never been explored, nor has any writer — until now —explained why the battle continues to resonate with Canadians 150 years later. (Hardcover. $38.00. Allen Lane. March)

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

Celebrating the Prairies: Saskatchewan Book Awards 2017 Shortlist Announced

Saturday, Feb 11, 2017 at 2:04pm

The shortlist for the 2017 Saskatchewan Book Awards has been announced. This is the 24th anniversary of the awards, which strive to promote the work of the province's talented writers and publishers. It is the only Saskatchewan-focused awards ceremony of its kind, providing invaluable support and publicity for the literary community.

The offical awards ceremony will take place on April 29 at the Conexus Arts Center in Regina. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please click on this link.

This year's shortlist is comprised of the following works:

Categories: Awards, Site News, Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Book Lists, Prairie Writing, Regional Interest

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