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Prairie Writers

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

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Electric Castles

- by Cliff Burns

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Fifteen short stories set in real or imagined cities, original and diverse tales touching on a variety of genres, including crime fiction and dark fantasy.

The Ottawa Review of Books noted: "The writing here is clever, thought-provoking, and easily on par with anything else in the CanLit section of any major bookstore. Burns deserves to be more widely known, though it would be tough to find a Canadian author with a more dedicated fan base."

Hell's Flaw (Shame #5)

- by Lovern Kindzierski

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In book five of the acclaimed Shame series, Hope has to deal with the corruption of a trusted friend and ally, whilst also fighting her way through the horrific monsters that bar her way back to Cradle. Her innocence and resolve is put to the test as she faces the fury of Shame's evil acolytes. 'Hope, my oh so naive daughter, will soon find out what it is like when friends become enemies. With her confidence then shattered, she will have to face my loyal acolytes who lie in wait for her, fortified deep in Cradle.' -Shame Hell's Flaw is the fifth book in the successful and acclaimed Shame series following the ultimate story of mother-daughter conflict.

So Many Windings

- by Catherine Macdonald

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Reluctant amateur detective, Reverend Charles Lauchlan, departs the prairie city of Winnipeg and travels abroad to Scotland with his fiancé Maggie on a bicycle tour of the highlands. Two near fatal accidents put members of the tour on edge and, to make matters worse, a shadowy figure seems to be observing their every move. Stuck in the remote highland countryside, the group is thrown back on their own resources. While Charles and Maggie are trying to decipher what these strange events mean, they make another grisly discovery. It's murder most foul and we're not just talking about Scottish weather. So Many Windings is the second in a three book series that began with Put on an Armour of Light (winner of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction). Deftly wrought, meticulously researched, and scintillating with charm and period prose, Macdonald weaves a winding, cross-country tale that will require all of the detective's ingenuity and test the measure of his resolve.

Signal Decay

- by Keith Cadieux

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Tim has recently passed away and left Lori with piles of expensive recording equipment and mountains of debt. Tim's family wants to move on from the loss but Lori can't let go, not while she can still hear Tim's laugh as though he's still there beside her. That is, until she begins to hear his laugh in odd places, like old recordings Tim never worked on.Can love transcend to keep us connected through death? Or do we just create our own reality when we're not ready to let go?

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).

FINALIST 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards
FINALIST 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Volume Two to arrive in Fall 2021

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.

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