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Liam Durcan & Kevin Patterson -- Afternoon Book Chat

Monday Sep 26 2016 2:30 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium

THIN AIR Afternoon Book Chat.

Two accomplished novelists—who also happen to be doctors—write of trauma and recovery from Quebec country roads to Afghanistan battlegrounds.

Pick up a tea or coffee from the café, then settle in at the tables in the Atrium. Books available—of course!

Liam Durcan is the author of the short story collection A Short Journey by Car, and the novel García’s Heart, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and recipient of the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel Award. Born in Winnipeg, he now lives in Montreal, Quebec, where he is a neurologist at McGill University. His latest novel, The Measure of Darkness (Bellevue Literary Press), a portrait of a hemispatial brain injury from a patient’s perspective, is a gripping journey into the depths of a fractured mind and an exploration into what causes us to make the life decisions we do.

Kevin Patterson grew up in Manitoba and put himself through medical school by joining the Canadian army. Now a specialist in internal medicine, he practices in the Arctic and on the coast of British Columbia. His first book, The Water in Between, was a New York Times Notable Book. Country of Cold, his debut short fiction collection, won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2003, as well as the inaugural City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. His latest novel, News from the Red Desert (Random House Canada), is an unsettling and suspenseful depiction of the Afghanistan war. He lives on Salt Spring Island, BC.

See:

The Measure of Darkness

- by Liam Durcan

Trade paperback $25.50 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.95

Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction Winner
National Reading Group Month "Great Group Reads" selection

"A deft exploration of the heart and mind that offers the pathos of a Sam Shepard play nested within the unreliable storytelling of Christopher Nolan'sMemento." --Kirkus Reviews

Martin, an acclaimed architect, emerges from a coma after a roadside accident to find his world transformed: not only has the commission of a lifetime been taken from him, but his injury has left him with neglect syndrome, a loss of spatial awareness that has rendered him unfit to practice and unable to recognize the extent of his illness. Despite support from his formerly estranged brother and two grown daughters, his paranoia builds, alienating those closest to him. His only solace is found in the parallels he draws between himself and gifted Soviet-era architect Konstantin Melnikov, who survived Stalin's disfavor by retreating into obscurity. As Martin retraces Melnikov's life and his own fateful decisions, he becomes increasingly unsettled, until the discovery of the harrowing truth about the night of his accident hurtles him toward a deadly confrontation.

A gripping journey into the depths of a fractured mind,The Measure of Darkness is ultimately a resonant tale of resilience and healing.

Liam Durcan is the author ofGarcía's Heart, winner of the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel Award. He lives in Montreal, Quebec, where he works as a neurologist at McGill University.

News From the Red Desert

- by Kevin Patterson

Hardcover $32.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $28.80

From the award-winning author of The Water in Between and Consumption, the definitive novel of the Afghanistan war.


News From the Red Desert
begins in late 2001, when everyone believes the war is already won and the Taliban defeated, then leaps late in the severely escalated conflict--into the mess, and death, and confusion. At its heart are the men and women who have come to Afghanistan to seek purpose, and adventure, and danger, by engaging in the most bewitching and treacherous of human pursuits: making war.
     It's the story of Deirdre O'Malley, an American journalist who had been covering municipal politics when the airplanes went into the towers. Now a war correspondent, she has come to love the soldiers she covers and to grieve so hard over their wounds and their deaths she considers herself a member of the mission too. Embedded with Canadian infantry, she can't ignore the situation on the ground. Her loyalty toward her ex-lover, the American general who has taken command of the theatre, wavers as the war wavers, and the use of torture and the slaughter of civilians is brought to light. Fuelling the tension is a melancholy American supply sergeant who accidentally releases a trove of war porn online that sparks a furious hunt for the person who leaked it. Fearing arrest at any moment, he has stayed on too long in Kandahar for reasons he doesn't understand himself. Caught up in these currents are the Pakistanis who operate the Green Beans café on the Kandahar Airfield, led by optimist Rami Issay, who wants to lighten his customers' hearts (and make a success of his business) by running film and chess clubs in the only zone of recreation on the base. But the war intrudes even into the lives of the well-intentioned. In a powerful climax that tests everyone's loyalty and faith, the essential chaos of violence asserts itself. Love and desire endure, but no-one escapes unscathed.