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All stories relating to Jack Layton

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Book links roundup: U.S. government speaks on Kindle deal, Macmillan to release erotic Jane Eyre, and more

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Random House of Canada to publish “e-book original” honouring Jack Layton

The death of former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton caught many Canadians off guard and provoked a wave of goodwill across the country. Random House of Canada announced today it’s planning to memorialize Layton’s passing with an “e-book original” that will collect “short, personal essays from a diverse line-up of contributors.”

Hope Is Better Than Fear: Playing Paying Jack Forward, due out at the end of September, will pay tribute to the man and the issues he championed throughout his career. Contributors already lined up for the project include Rex Murphy, Thomas King, David Miller, Steven Page, playwright Brad Fraser, and newly elected NDP MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault.

From the press release:

“The idea of the project is to ask people who are active in areas Jack was passionate about to help inspire us to keep pushing forward,” says Anne Collins, vice-president of Random House of Canada. “The challenge that we have set for the writers, thinkers and activists we’ve approached is to tap into Jack’s energy, optimism and drive, to reflect on where Jack made an impact and then set us all a challenge as to where we need to go next. In essence, if we were lucky enough to have Jack still with us, what would he be kicking our butts to do?”

The “instant” e-book is the first of its kind for the Canadian branch of Random House, the U.S. arm of which published another e-book original, Beyond Bin Laden, mere days after the capture and death of the al-Qaeda leader.

Proceeds from the sale of Hope Is Better Than Fear will go to aboriginal youth initiatives, as requested by Layton’s widow Olivia Chow.

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Jack Layton: the author

Condolences are pouring in for federal New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, who died this morning from cancer. Aside from being one of the country’s most passionate politicians, Layton should also be remembered as an accomplished author.

In 2000, during his time as a Toronto city councillor and affordable housing activist, Layton wrote Homelessness: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis (Penguin Canada). Layton’s vision for the country, Speaking Out: Ideas That Work for Canadians, which Q&Q called “brightly written,” “articulate,” and praised for its theme of “positive thinking,” was published by Key Porter Books in 2004, as was his 2006 memoir.

Layton’s eloquence is still apparent in his final letter addressed to Canadians.

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Tom King ain’t goin’ to Ottawa

Though the NDP made significant inroads in last night’s election, it wasn’t enough to propel Thomas King into a seat in Parliament. The renowned author and budding politico lost badly in his hometown riding of Guelph, coming in fourth with a mere 9,709 votes. (The winner was Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote, who received 18,977 votes.)

Here’s how the Guelph Mercury assessed King’s electoral performance today:

The quickest one out of the gates back in the summer was Tom King. With the full support of New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton, who visited this city at a regular clip right through the summer, King had plenty of momentum that made him a threat to take the byelection. But it seemed as soon as we switched to general-election mode, the wind left King’s campaign.

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A shout out to Mr. Olive

You’ve got to scroll down a ways, but political columnist David Olive makes a few pointed comments on the state of book reviewing in a posting on his Toronto Star election blog. Olive does a very funny mini-critique of Don Martin’s National Post review of Jack Layton’s new book, which, Olive implies, doesn’t have a lot to say about the actual book. We also couldn’t help but notice a slightly veiled compliment of Q&Q‘s own book coverage.

Related links:
David Olive’s Toronto Star election blog

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Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Lesley Strutt, Dean Steadman, Amanda Earl, Alastair Larwill and Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle, Dean Steadman, Lesley Strutt and Alastair Larwill

Amanda Earl

Jewel of the Thames launch

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