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Book links roundup: Lost Katherine Mansfield story found, Kate Beaton’s world view, and more

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Canadian literary event roundup: June 8-14

  • Patrick deWitt signing for Ablutions, Indigo Eaton Centre, Toronto (June 8, 12 p.m., free)
  • “The Adventure of the Process”: The Writer’s Guild of Alberta Conference and Alberta Book Awards Gala, Hotel Arts, Calgary (June 8–10, 5 p.m., from $80)
  • Insomniac Press Night featuring Liz Bugg, Jamie Popowich, and Natalie Zina Walschots, 7750 Mullhern St., Niagara Falls (June 8, 7:30 p.m., free)
  • Readings by Betty Jane Hegerat, Suzette Mayr, and Cathy Ostlere, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 8, 7:30 p.m., free)
  • “An Editor and an Agent Tell All” workshop, Four Corners Library, Brampton, ON (June 9, 10:30 a.m., $48, $44 advance)
  • “Stream of Conciousness” writing workshop with Bruce Kauffman, The Artel, Kingston (June 9, 7 p.m., $10)
  • Reading and discussion of Cathy Ostlere’s Lost: A Memoir, Shelf Life Books, Calgary (June 10, 2 p.m., free)
  • Niagara Literary Arts Festival presents a YA reading featuring Hermine Steinberg and Allison Bryson, Fine Grind Café, St. Catharines, ON (June 10, 2 p.m., free)
  • “Storytelling for Social Change” panel discussion as part of the Vancouver International Storytelling Festival, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (June 10, 2:30 p.m., free)
  • Gloria Vanderbilt reads from The Things We Fear Most, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (June 10, 7:30 p.m., $10, free for students)
  • Carol MacDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones launch Play Book, Keshen Goodman Library, Halifax (June 11, 10:30 a.m., free)
  • Jaime Forsythe reads from Sympathy Loophole, Alice Burdick launches Holler, and John Wall Barger launches Hummingbird, Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, Halifax (June 11, 7 p.m., free)
  • Vertigo Reading Series featuring Shelley Leedahl, Winter Fedyk, Adam Pottle, and Murray Arthur Logan, Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar, Regina (June 11, 7:30 p.m., free)
  • Reading and signing by Brian Henderson for Sharawadji, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 12, 7 p.m., free)
  • Irvine Welsh discusses his new novel, Skagboys, with Eleanor Wachtel, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto (June 12, 9 p.m. $20)
  • An evening with poet Don Kerr, Regina Public Library (June 13, 7 p.m., free)
  • Reading and signing by Leslie Vryenhoek, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 13, 8 p.m., free)
  • In celebration of Bloomsday Montreal, Dr. Dana Hearne discusses the importance of Nora Barnacle in James Joyce’s life and writing, and Dr. Gus O’Gorman reads from Ulysses, Atwater Library, Westmount, QC (June 14, 12:30 p.m., free)
  • Nicole Markotić launches her poetry collection Bent at the Spine, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 14, 7:30 p.m., free)
  • Atlantic Author Day, featuring signings by 48 authors at 34 locations across the East Coast (June 16, 10 a.m.)

Quillblog is looking for photos from literary events across Canada. Send your photos to

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Book links roundup: Mad Men’s literary leanings, Pottermore opens its ebook shop, and more

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Book links roundup: World Book Day, Apple launches comics iBookstore section, and more

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BookNet bestsellers: romance

Revving up for Valentine’s Day? One of these best-selling romance titles may be just what Cupid ordered. For the two weeks ending Feb. 5:

1. The Next Always, Nora Roberts
(Penguin, $18.50 pa, 9780425243213)

2. A Lady Never Surrenders, Sabrina Jeffries
(Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, $9.99 mm, 9781451642452)

3. Bennett and Camilla, Nora Roberts
(Silhouette/Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780373281558)

4. The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae, Stephanie Laurens
(Avon/HarperCollins, $9.50 mm, 9780062068620)

5. The Summer Garden, Sherryl Woods
(Mira/Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780778313090)

6. You … Again, Debbie Macomber
(Mira/Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780778312994)

7. Love in a Nutshell, Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly
(St. Martin’s Press/Raincoast, $29.99 cl, 9780312651312)

8. Once a Ferrara Wife …, Sarah Morgan
(Harlequin, $5.99 mm, 9780373130498)

9. The Lone Wolfe, Kate Hewitt
(Harlequin, $5.99 mm, 9780373130481)

10. Gabriella and Alexander, Nora Roberts
(Silhouette/Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780373281541)

11. Born in Ice, Nora Roberts
(Jove/Penguin, $8.99 mm, 9780515116755)

12. Table for Five, Susan Wiggs
(Mira/Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780778313823)

13. Fiancée for One Night, Trish Morey
(Harlequin, $5.99 mm, 9780373130511)

14. Lucky Penny, Catherine Anderson
(Signet/Penguin, $8.99 mm, 9780451236036 )

15. Spirit Bound, Christine Feehan
(Penguin, $8.99 mm, 9780515149562)

16. Lothaire, Kresley Cole
(Pocket/S&S, $19.99 pa, 9781451664232)

17. Princess from the Past, Caitlin Crews
(Harlequin, $5.99 mm, 9780373130504)

18. Next of Kin, Sharon Sala
(Mira/Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780778313120)

19. Forever Buckhorn, Lori Foster
(Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780373776474)

20. Secrets of the Lost Summer, Carla Neggers
(Mira/Harlequin, $9.99 mm, 9780778313113)

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$10,000 Alberta prize now open to books published out of province

Organizers of the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award, now in its third year, have taken steps to quiet a muted strain of controversy that has attached itself to the prize since its inception.

The $10,000 award, organized by the Edmonton Public Library and voted on by Alberta readers, had until now been open to all books published in Alberta, regardless of the author’s origin or city of residence. But Alberta authors who happened to be published outside the province – someone like, say, Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee Lynn Coady, who lives in Edmonton but is published by Toronto-based House of Anansi Press – would be ineligible for the award.

That is all going to change this year, judging by new criteria posted to the EPL website:

This year, works of fiction and narrative non-fiction (i.e., first edition full-length novels, short story collections or books of poetry) will be accepted by any author who has been a resident of Alberta for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the publication of the submitted work, and who currently resides in Alberta, no matter where the book was published. The change makes this truly an Alberta award and recognizes the exceptional writing talent in our province while encouraging readers to support Alberta authors.

As it turns out, both of the prize’s prior winners – Helen Waldstein Wilkes’ memoir Letters from the Lost (AU Press) and Michael Davie’s novel Fishing for Bacon (NeWest Press) – are by authors currently residing in B.C.

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Novelist Gil Courtemanche succumbs to cancer

Gil Courtemanche, the journalist and novelist whose best-selling 2000 novel about the Rwandan genocide, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, was made into a movie in 2006, lost a two-year battle with cancer of the larynx last Friday. He was 68.

From the Montreal Gazette:

In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Courtemanche covered politics and international affairs for media outlets including Radio-Canada, La Presse, and Quebec City’s Le Soleil. For the past five years, he wrote a weekly column for Le Devoir, where his insights and incisive style won a devoted following, said publisher Bernard Descôteaux.

“It was his capacity for indignation toward injustice that marked the last part of his career,” Descôteaux said.

“He was a model for journalists. He was one of the great writers who have left their mark on journalism in Quebec in recent years.”

He was also an advocate for Quebec sovereignty, co-founding the paper Le Jour with Yves Michaud, Jacques Parizeau, and René Lévesque.

Quoted in the Gazette, Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois said, “Committed, with an incisive style and easy way with words, [Courtemanche] belonged to a form of journalism we see less and less: the kind that denounces (wrongdoing).”

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Book links round-up: the Nabokovia butterfly, literary bandits, and more

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2011 ReLit longlist revealed

The very long list of nominees for the 2011 ReLit Awards, which celebrates novels, poetry, and short fiction titles published by Canadian independent presses, has been announced. ECW Press leads this year’s longlist with nine nominees.


  • Sandra Beck, John Lavery (House of Anansi Press)
  • Étienne’s Alphabet, James King (Cormorant Books)
  • Isobel & Emile, Alan Reed (Coach House Books)
  • The Cube People, Christian McPherson (Nightwood Editions)
  • Glenn Piano by Gladys Priddis, Jason Dickson (BookThug)
  • The Obituary, Gail Scott (Coach House)
  • How Should a Person Be? Sheila Heti (Anansi)
  • A Thoroughly Wicked Woman, Betty Keller (Caitlin Press)
  • When Fenelon Falls, Dorothy Ellen Palmer (Coach House)
  • Lethal Rage, Brent Pilkey (ECW Press)
  • Hope Burned, Brent LaPorte (ECW)
  • The Matter of Sylvie, Lee Kvern (Brindle & Glass)
  • A Likely Story, Eric Wright (Cormorant)
  • Follow Me Down, Marc Strange (ECW)
  • New Under the Sun, Kevin Major (Cormorant)
  • The Bourgeois Empire, Evie Christie (ECW)
  • One Bloody Thing After Another, Joey Comeau (ECW)
  • Far to Go, Alison Pick (Anansi)
  • Annabel, Kathleen Winter (Anansi)
  • Baldur’s Song, David Arnason (Turnstone Press)
  • In Plain Sight, Mike Knowles (ECW)
  • Flight, Darren Hynes (Killick Press)
  • Cupids, Paul Butler (Flanker Press)
  • Book, Ken Sparling (Pedlar Press)
  • Flyways, Devin Krukoff (Thistledown Press)
  • Spaz, Bonnie Bowman (Anvil Press)
  • Of Water and Rock, Thomas Armstrong (DC Books)
  • Something Remains, Hassan Ghedi Santur (Dundurn Press)
  • The Evolution of Inanimate Objects, Harry Karlinsky (Insomniac Press)
  • Solitaria, Genni Gunn (Signature Editions)
  • Waiting for Ricky Tantrum, Jules Lewis (Dundurn)
  • Letters to Omar, Rachel Wyatt (Coteau Books)
  • The Goon, Jerrod Edson (Oberon Press)
  • Raising Orion, Lesley Choyce (Thistledown)
  • The Master of Happy Endings, Jack Hodgins (Thomas Allen Publishers)
  • In the Fabled East, Adam Lewis Schroeder (D&M Publishers)
  • Blood Relatives, Craig Francis Power (Pedlar)
  • The Glass Harmonica, Russell Wangersky (Thomas Allen)
  • This Book Will Not Save Your Life, Michelle Berry (Enfield & Wizenty)
  • Anderson, Michael Boyce (Pedlar)
  • Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed, Jacob Wren (Pedlar)
  • Drive-by Saviours, Chris Benjamin (Roseway Publishing)
  • Gaze, Keith Cadieux (Quattro Books)
  • Sheilagh’s Brush, Maura Hanrahan (Inanna Publications)
  • Combat Camera, A.J. Somerset (Biblioasis)
  • Victim Rights, Norah McClintock (Red Deer)
  • Good Evening, Central Laundromat, Jason Heroux (Quattro)
  • Black Alley, Dawn M. Cornelio (Biblioasis)
  • Krakow Melt, Daniel Allen Cox (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • The Hungry Mirror, Lisa de Nikolits (Inanna)
  • Firmament, Bruce Johnson (Gaspereau Press)
  • Pitouie, Derek Winkler (The Workhorsery)
  • The Lucky Child, Marianne Apostolides (Mansfield Press)
  • The Case of Owen Williams, Allan Donaldson (Vagrant Press)
  • L (And Things Come Apart), Ian Orti (Invisible Publishing)
  • Retina Green, Reinhard Filter (Quattro)
  • Sweet England, Steve Weiner (New Star Books)
  • Real Gone, Jim Christy (Quattro)
  • The Find, Kathy Page (McArthur & Company)
  • Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar, Myna Wallin (Tightrope Books)
  • Tobacco Wars, Paul Seesequasis (Quattro)


  • Floating Bodies, Julie Roorda (Guernica Editions)
  • Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon, Ray Hsu (Nightwood)
  • Children of Ararat, Keith Garebian (Frontenac House)
  • Indexical Elegies, Jon Paul Fiorentino (Coach House)
  • Falling Blues, Jannie Edwards (Frontenac)
  • Marimba Forever, Jim Christy (Guernica)
  • The Porcupinity of the Stars, Gary Barwin (Coach House)
  • Patient Frame, Steven Heighton (Anansi)
  • Seeing Lessons, Catherine Owen (Wolsak and Wynn)
  • Against the Hard Angle, Matt Robinson (ECW)
  • You Know Who You Are, Ian Williams (Wolsak and Wynn)
  • Fieldnotes, Kate Eichhorn (BookThug)
  • Watermelon Kindness, David Donnell (ECW)
  • The Inquisition Years, Jen Currin (Coach House)
  • O Resplandor, Erin Mouré (Anansi)
  • Light and Time, Michael Mirolla (Guernica)
  • Bloom, Michael Lista (Anansi)
  • Nature, Mark Truscott (BookThug)
  • Casanova in Venice, Kildare Dobbs (The Porcupine’s Quill)
  • Update, Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler (Snare Books)
  • Living Under Plastic, Evelyn Lau (Oolichan Books)
  • The Little Seamstress, Phil Hall (Pedlar)
  • Winterkill, Catherine Graham (Insomniac)
  • Tiny, Frantic, Stronger, Jeff Latosik (Insomniac)
  • The Walnut-Cracking Machine, Julie Berry (BuschekBooks)
  • Ghost Music, Mark D. Dunn (BuschekBooks)
  • Return from Erebus, Julia McCarthy (Brick Books)
  • The Scare in the Crow, Tammy Armstrong (Goose Lane Editions)
  • The Emperor’s Sofa, Greg Santos (DC Books)
  • Why Are You So Long and Sweet? David W. McFadden (Insomniac)
  • Mammoth, Larissa Andrusyshyn (DC Books)
  • A Pirouette and Gone, E.D. Blodgett (BuschekBooks)
  • Swimming Ginger, Gary Geddes (Goose Lane)
  • Sweet, Dani Couture (Pedlar)
  • Here Is Where We Disembark, Clea Roberts (Freehand Books)
  • Every Day in the Morning (Slow), Adam Seelig (New Star)
  • Hump, Ariel Gordon (Palimpsest Press)
  • The Unsettled, Mona Fertig (Kalamalka Press)
  • Soul on Standby, Antony Di Nardo (Exile Press)
  • Hold the Note, Domenico Capilongo (Quattro)
  • Traumatology, Priscila Uppal (Exile)
  • Sew Him Up, Beatriz Hausner (Quattro)
  • Hard Feelings, Sheryda Warrener (Snare)
  • A Good Time Had By All, Meaghan Strimas (Exile)
  • The Lateral, Jake Kennedy (Snare)
  • The Sylvia Hotel Poems, George Fetherling (Quattro)
  • The Good News About Armageddon, Steve McOrmond (Brick)
  • Psychic Geographies and Other Topics, Gregory Betts (Quattro)
  • Alien, Correspondent, Antony Di Nardo (Brick)
  • The Stream Exposed with All its Stones, D.G. Jones (Signal Editions)
  • An Open Door in the Landscape, Elisabeth Harvor (Palimpsest)
  • The Philosophy of as if, Fraser Sutherland (Bookland Press)
  • Circus, Michael Harris (Signal)
  • Syrinx and Systole, Matthew Remski (Quattro)
  • The Day Is a Cold Grey Stone, Allan Safarik (Hagios Press)
  • The Crow’s Vow, Susan Briscoe (Signal)
  • The Mourner’s Book of Albums, Daniel Scott Tysdal (Tightrope)
  • The Nights Also, Anna Swanson (Tightrope)
  • Don’t Get Lonely Don’t Get Lost, Elisabeth Belliveau (Conundrum Press)
  • Fallout, Sandra Ridley (Hagios)
  • Stray Dog Embassy, Natasha Nuhanovic (Mansfield Press)
  • At the Gates of the Theme Park, Peter Norman (Mansfield)
  • Cathedral, Pamela Porter (Ronsdale Press)
  • Goodbye, Ukulele, Leigh Nash (Mansfield)
  • Come Closer, Leanne Averbach (Tightrope)
  • The Stonehaven Poems, R.D. Patrick (Your Scrivener Press)
  • I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being, Johanna Skibsrud (Gaspereau)
  • Welling, Margaret Christakos (Your Scrivener)
  • The Annotated Bee & Me, Tim Bowling (Gaspereau)
  • The Art of Breathing Underwater, Cathy Ford (Mother Tongue Publishing)


  • Ravenna Gets, Tony Burgess (Anvil)
  • Ronald Reagan, My Father, Brian Joseph Davis (ECW)
  • This Ramshackle Tabernacle, Samuel Thomas Martin (Breakwater Books)
  • All Those Drawn to Me, Christian Peterson (Caitlin)
  • World News Story, Michael Woods (Book Thug)
  • Three Deaths, Josip Novakovich (Snare)
  • I Still Don’t Even Know You, Michelle Berry (Turnstone)
  • Recipes From the Red Planet, Meredith Quartermain (BookThug)
  • Punishing Ugly Children, Darryl Joel Berger (Killick)
  • Mystery Stories, David Helwig (Porcupine’s Quill)
  • The Mountie at Niagara Falls, Salvatore Difalco (Anvil)
  • I’m a Registered Nurse Not a Whore, Anne Perdue (Insomniac)
  • The Devil You Know, Jenn Farrell (Anvil)
  • Mennonites Don’t Dance, Darcie Friesen Hossack (Thistledown)
  • Sex in Russia, Kenneth Radu (DC)
  • The Young in their Country, Richard Cumyn (Enfield & Wizenty)
  • High Speed Crow, Sheila McClarty (Oberon)
  • Bird Eat Bird, Katrina Best (Insomniac)
  • The Doctrine of Affections, Paul Headrick (Freehand)
  • The Meaning of Children, Beverly Akerman (Exile)
  • Faded Love, Robert N. Friedland (Libros Libertad)
  • Bats or Swallows, Teri Vlassopoulos (Invisible)
  • There is No Other, Jonathan Papernick (Exile)
  • Missed Her, Ivan E. Coyote (Arsenal Pulp)
  • Light Lifting, Alexander MacLeod (Biblioasis)
  • Icebreaker/Auricle, Alisha Piercy (Conundrum)


Ezra Levant wins Best Political Book contest

The Writers’ Trust of Canada, in collaboration with Samara, has named Ezra Levant’s Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights (McClelland & Stewart, 2009) the Best Canadian Political Book of the Last 25 Years.

The WTOC and Samara, a non-profit organization for citizen engagement in Canada’s democratic system, announced the contest in June to recognize books “that have captured the Canadian political imagination and contributed in a compelling and unique way to how Canadians understand a political issue, event, or personality” as a means of teaching Canadian political history and sparking political debate. The public was asked to submit their top three recommendations for the longlist, revealed July 1st, and vote on the final 12.

Shakedown, the conservative commentator’s critique of government-appointed human rights commissions and their impact on civil liberties, edged out On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years by Stevie Cameron (Seal Books/Random House, 1995), Harperland: The Politics of Control by Lawrence Martin (Penguin, 2010), and Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leadership, and the Making of Canada by John Duffy (HarperCollins Canada, 2002) to win the popular vote.

The other eight finalists were:

The sponsoring organizations are planning an event with the contest finalists on the topic of political writing in Canada later this year.

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