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Fall preview 2012: Canadian non-fiction, part II

The season of high-profile literary awards and author festivals is on its way, and there’s no shortage of new releases from marquee names. In the July/August issue, Q&Q looks ahead at some of the fall’s biggest books.


In 2009, police discovered a car in the Rideau Canal just outside of Kingston, Ontario. The car contained the bodies of three sisters – Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti Shafia – and 50-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad. Authorities later arrested the girls’ father, brother, and mother, all of whom were convicted of first-degree murder for their roles in the honour killings. Paul Schliesmann’s Honour on Trial (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $19.95 pa., Oct.) examines the facts behind the case that horrified Canadians.


He’s been a dragon in his den and gone to prison for his reality-television show, Redemption Inc. Now, Kevin O’Leary, businessman, pundit, and author of the hybrid memoir/business guide Cold Hard Truth, returns with The Cold Hard Truth about Men, Women and Money (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., Dec.), a guide to avoiding common financial mistakes. • O’Leary’s left-leaning opponent on CBC’s The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, Amanda Lang, has a leadership book out this season. The Power of Why: Simple Questions that Lead to Success (HarperCollins Canada, $33.99 cl., Oct.) postulates that asking the right questions leads to increased productivity.


From the internal combustion engine and cold fusion to the Internet and the artificial heart, all scientific discoveries and technological advancements are the product of human ingenuity. In the 2012 CBC Massey Lectures, Neil Turok argues that science represents humanity’s best hope for progress and peace. The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos (House of Anansi Press, $19.95 pa.) appears in September. • Terence Dickinson is editor of the Canadian astronomy magazine Sky News and author of the bestseller NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. His new book, Hubble’s Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Images (Firefly Books, $49.95 cl., Sept.), is a visually sumptuous compendium of images from the Hubble Space Telescope.


Novelist and short-story writer Thomas King, who was also the first native person to deliver the prestigious CBC Massey Lectures, has long been a committed advocate for native rights. In The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Doubleday Canada, $34.95 cl., Nov.), King examines the way European settlers and natives have viewed each other via pop culture, treaties, and legislation. • Poet and critic Kathleen McConnell explores the portrayal of women in pop culture through the ages in Pain, Porn and Complicity: Women Heroes from Pygmalion to Twilight (Wolsak & Wynn, $19 pa., Nov.).

In A Civil Tongue, philosophy professor and public intellectual Mark Kingwell predicted the devolution of political discourse into a schoolyard-like shouting match. His new collection, Unruly Voices: Essays on Democracy, Civility, and the Human Imagination (Biblioasis, $21.95 pa., Sept.), is about how incivility and bad behaviour prevent us from achieving the kind of society we desire.

Poet, publisher, and critic Carmine Starnino turns his incisive and cutting attention to CanLit in his new collection of essays, Lazy Bastardism (Gaspereau Press,  Sept.). • James Pollock believes that Canadian poetry lacks an authentic relationship with poetry from the rest of the world. His new book, You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada (The Porcupine’s Quill, $22.95 pa., Nov.), attempts to situate Canadian poetry in a global context, through examinations of the work of writers such as Anne Carson, Eric Ormsby, and Karen Solie.

A new anthology from Women’s Press brings together essays addressing specific concerns of LGBT communities and individuals across the country. Edited by Maureen FitzGerald and Scott Rayter, Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies ($64.95 pa., Sept.) takes up issues of education, law, and religion, among others. • For a brief moment in the 1960s, Montreal became a hotbed of Civil Rights activism, radically challenging traditional conceptions of racial hierarchies. The 1968 Congress of Black Writers included activists and spokespeople such as Stokely Carmichael, C.L.R. James, and Harry Edwards. David Austin chronicles this important gathering in Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex, and Security in Sixties Montreal (Between the Lines, $24.95 pa., Nov.).

Belles Lettres (McArthur & Company, $29.95 pa., Nov.) is a collection of postcards from authors such as Baudelaire, Flaubert, Proust, and Charlotte Brontë, collated and annotated by Greg Gatenby, the founding artistic director of Toronto’s International

Festival of Authors. • In The Other Side of Midnight: Taxi Cab Stories (Creative Book Publishing, $19.95 pa., Oct.), writer and anthologist Mike Heffernan chronicles the experiences of St. John’s cab drivers and their clients.


In the years following Liz Worth’s Treat Me Like Dirt, the market for books about the Canadian punk music scene has been as frenzied as the audience at a Fucked Up concert. In Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk, (ECW, $22.95 pa., Oct.), Sam Sutherland looks at the historical context for Canadian punk progenitors such as D.O.A., the Viletones, and Teenage Head. • One early Canadian punk band – Victoria’s NoMeans­No – is the subject of the latest book in the Bibliophonic series from Invisible Publishing. NoMeansNo: Going Nowhere ($12.95 pa.), by Halifax author Mark Black, is due out in October.

Marc Strange, who died in May, was known for mystery novels such as Body Blows and Follow Me Down. He was also the co-creator (with L.S. Strange) of the seminal Canadian television series The Beachcombers. Bruno and the Beach: The Beachcombers at 40 (Harbour Publishing, $26.95 pa., Sept.), co-written with Jackson Davies, the actor who played Constable John Constable in the series, chronicles the iconic show and its equally iconic lead actor.

Since its release in 1971, Ken Russell’s notoriously blasphemous film, The Devils, has been the subject of heavy censorship in both the U.S. and the U.K. Canadian film scholar Richard Crouse examines the history of this cult classic in Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils (ECW, $19.95 pa., Oct.), which includes an interview with the film’s director, who died in 2011.


Former model and current stay-at-home mom Kelly Oxford has found her largest measure of fame as a result of her sarcastic Twitter feed (@kellyoxford), which features such Oscar Wildean witticisms as “IDEA: ‘Bless This Mess’ novelty period panties” and “Some parents in China get their kids to work in factories and I can’t get my kid to pass me some Twizzlers.” The essays in Everything’s Perfect When You’re a Liar (HarperCollins Canada, $24.99 cl., Sept.) promise more of the same. • If you prefer your humour with a larger dollop of political satire, you’ll be pleased to know that Rick Mercer has a collection of brand new rants on the way. A Nation Worth Ranting About (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., Oct.) includes the author’s description of bungee jumping with Rick Hansen, and a more serious piece about Jamie Hubley, a gay teen who committed suicide after being bullied.

If you want to know whether you might be a redneck, ask Jeff Foxworthy. If you want to know whether you might be a native of Saskatchewan, check your birth certificate or consult the new book from author Carson Demmans and illustrator Jason Sylvestre. You Might Be from Saskatchewan If … (MacIntyre Purcell/Canadian Manda Group, $12.95 pa.) appears in September.


Rob Feenie is the latest Food Network Canada celebrity chef with a new cookbook. The host of New Classics with Chef Rob Feenie, who famously defeated Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America, offers innovative approaches to classic, family-friendly fare in Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics: Everyday Recipes for Family and Friends (D&M, $29.95 pa., Sept.). The recipes have undergone stringent quality control, each one having been approved by Feenie’s children, aged 3, 6, and 7.

Camilla V. Saulsbury’s 500 Best Quinoa Recipes: Using Nature’s Superfood for Gluten-free Breakfasts, Mains, Desserts and More (Robert Rose, $27.95 pa., Oct.) provides more healthy recipes based on the reigning superstar ingredient. • Aaron Ash, founder of Gorilla Food, a Vancouver restaurant that features vegan, organic, and raw cuisine, has achieved popularity among celebrity fans including Woody Harrelson and Katie Holmes. His new book, Gorilla Food: Living and Eating Organic, Vegan, and Raw (Arsenal Pulp, $24.95 pa., Oct.), collects 150 recipes, all of which are made without a heat source.


Rocker Dave Bidini returns to his other passion – hockey – in A Wild Stab for It: This Is Game Eight from Russia (ECW, $22.95 cl., Sept.), in which the author talks to various Canadians about the influence of the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series. The release of the book is timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the iconic series. • The man who made that series so memorable also has a book out this fall. Co-written with sports commentator Roger Lajoie, The Goal of My Life (Fenn/M&S, $32.99 cl., Sept.) traces Paul Henderson’s route through the OHL and the NHL, on his way to scoring “the goal of the century.”

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup, ex–CFL quarterback and coach Frank Cosentino has penned the appropriately titled The Grey Cup 100th Anniversary (McArthur & Company, $29.95 pa., Oct.). • Crime fiction writer Michael Januska offers his own take on 100 years of Canadian football history in Grey Cup Century (Dundurn, $14.99 pa., Sept.).

Q&Q’s fall preview covers books published between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2012. • All information (titles, prices, publication dates, etc.) was supplied by publishers and may have been tentative at Q&Q’s press time. • Titles that have been listed in previous previews do not appear here.

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BookNet bestsellers: Canadian fiction

Tanis Rideout makes her debut on this week’s list with her first novel, Above All Things.

For the two weeks ending June 24, 2012:

1. The Cat’s Table, Michael Ondaatje
(Vintage Canada, $22 pa, 9780307401427)

2. Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9780062203960)

3. A Good Man, Guy Vanderhaeghe
(McClelland & Stewart, $22 pa, 9780771086083)

4. The Witch of Babylon, D.J. McIntosh
(Penguin Canada, $13.50 mm, 9780143175735)

5. The Headmaster’s Wager, Vincent Lam
(Doubleday Canada, $32.95 cl, 9780385661454)

6. The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt
(House of Anansi Press, $22.95 pa, 9781770890329)

7. Room, Emma Donoghue
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781443413695)

8. Room, Emma Donoghue
(HarperCollins Canada, $19.99 pa, 9781554688326)

9. Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
(William Morrow/Harper, $19.99 pa, 9780061974304)

10. Why Men Lie, Linden MacIntyre
(Random House Canada, $32 cl, 9780307360861)

11. Alone in the Classroom, Elizabeth Hay
(M&S, $22 pa, 9780771037979)

12. The Last Crossing, Guy Vanderhaeghe
(M&S, $22 pa, 9780771087844)

13. Never Knowing, Chevy Stevens
(St. Martin’s Press/Raincoast, $16.99 pa, 9781250009319)

14. The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781443408981)

15. The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $17.99 pa, 9781443409094)

16. The Winter Palace, Eva Stachniak
(Doubleday Canada, $24.95 pa, 9780385666565)

17. Half-Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan
(Thomas Allen Publishers, $24.95 pa, 9780887627415)

18. Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
(Seal Books/Doubleday Canada, $5.99 mm, 9780770422059)

19. Spell Bound, Kelley Armstrong
(Vintage Canada, $17.95 pa, 9780307359032)

20. Above All Things, Tanis Rideout
(M&S, $29.99 cl, 9780771076350)

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BookNet bestsellers: Canadian fiction

Perennial favourites mix with new titles in this week’s bestsellers list, covering Canadian fiction. For the two weeks ending March 18, 2012:

1. Flash and Bones, Kathy Reichs
(Pocket/Simon & Schuster, $17 pa, 9781451675290)

2. The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt
(House of Anansi Press, $22.95 pa, 9781770890329)

3. The Winter Palace, Eva Stachniak
(Doubleday Canada, $24.95 pa, 9780385666565)

4. Half-Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan
(Thomas Allen Publishers, $24.95 pa, 9780887627415)

5. Now You See Her, Joy Fielding
(Anchor Canada, $19.95 pa, 9780385676762)

6. Web of Angels, Lilian Nattel
(Knopf Canada, $22 pa, 9780307402097)

7. Still Life, Louise Penny
(Little, Brown and Company/Hachette, $10.99 mm, 9780351322303)

8. Room, Emma Donoghue
(HarperCollins Canada, $19.99 pa, 9781554688326)

9. Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
(HarperCollins Canada, $19.99 pa, 9780061974304)

10. The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781443408981)

11. The Midwife of Venice, Roberta Rich
(Anchor Canada, $22.95 pa, 9780385668279)

12. Bury Your Dead, Louise Penny
(Little, Brown/Hachette, $10.99 mm, 9780751547504)

13. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
(HarperCollins Canada, $16.50 pa, 9780006391555)

14. Tiger Hills, Sarita Mandanna
(Penguin Canada, $18 pa, 9780143174714)

15. The Bishop’s Man, Linden MacIntyre
(Random House Canada, $22 pa, 9780307357076)

16. The Cat’s Table, Michael Ondaatje
(McClelland & Stewart, $32 cl, 9780771068645)

17. Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
(Doubleday Canada, $5.99 mm, 9780770422059)

18. Ru, Kim Thúy; Sheila Fischman, trans.
(Random House Canada, $25 cl, 9780307359704)

19. The Virgin Cure, Ami McKay
(Knopf Canada, $32 cl, 9780676979565)

20. Bride of New France, Suzanne Desrochers
(Penguin Canada, $16 pa, 9780143173397)

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Alice Munro leads literary programming at this year’s Luminato

Luminato, one of Toronto’s biggest annual cultural festivals, has announced a rare appearance by Alice Munro, who will be interviewed onstage June 10 by Deborah Treisman, fiction editor for The New Yorker.

Running from June 8 to 17, this year’s festival will explore the historical and contemporary relationship between Canada and the U.S., with a timely focus on the War of 1812.

In a press release, Devyani Saltzman, Luminato’s literary programming curator, says, “I’m very excited to explore what it means to write about revolution and transformation – whether political, personal, social, or artistic. Do borders simply exist to transcend, or do they enhance collaboration? We’re thrilled to host wonderful authors engaged in rich conversation about these ideas and more.”

Other writers appearing at the festival include Richard Ford, Vincent Lam, Chris Cleave, Irvine Welsh, Peter Carey, Nicole Krauss, Adam Gopnik, Ayad Akhtar, Jim Lynch, Hari Kunzru, Linden MacIntyre, Michael Ondaatje, and Kyo Maclear.

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BookNet bestsellers list: Canadian non-fiction

Janet and Greta Podleski hold on to the top spot with The Looneyspoons Collection, just ahead of their self-publishing mentor David Chilton and his popular financial guide, The Wealthy Barber Returns. For the two weeks ending Feb. 19:

1. The Looneyspoons Collection, Janet and Greta Podleski
(Granet Publishing, $34.95 pa, 9780968063156)

2. The Wealthy Barber Returns, David Chilton
(Financial Awareness Corporation, $19.95 pa, 9780968394748)

3. Meals that Heal Inflammation, Julie Daniluk
(Random House Canada, $29.95 pa, 9780307359988)

4. Something Fierce, Carmen Aguirre
(Douglas & MacIntyre, $21 pa, 9781771000369)

5. Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
(Whitecap, $29.95 pa, 9781552859940)

6. The Game, Ken Dryden
(Wiley Canada, $24.95 pa, 9780470835845)

7. Damned Nations, Samantha Nutt
(McClelland & Stewart, $29.99 cl, 9780771051456)

8. The Book of Awesome, Neil Pasricha
(Berkley/Penguin $17.50 pa, 9780425238905)

9. The Tiger, John Vaillant
(Vintage Canada, $22 pa, 9780307397157)

10. Lynn Crawford’s Pitchin’ In, Lynn Crawford
(Viking Canada, $37 cl, 9780670065936)

11. Prisoner of Tehran, Marina Nemat
(Penguin Canada, $18 pa, 9780143052173)

12. Retirement’s Harsh New Realities, Gordon Pape
(Penguin Canada, $24 pa, 9780143179221)

13. Debt-Free Forever, Gail Vaz-Oxlade
(HarperCollins Canada, $21.99 pa, 9781554685912)

14. It’s Your Money, Gail Vaz-Oxlade
(HarperCollins Canada, $21.99 pa, 9781554688678)

15. Maya, Justin Jennings
(Royal Ontario Museum Press, $5 pa, 9780888544872)

16. Spilling the Beans, Julie Van Rosendaal
(Whitecap, $29.95 pa, 9781770500419)

17. Canadian Living: The One-Dish Collection
(Transcontinental Books, $26.95 pa, 9780981393896)

18. Cold Hard Truth, Kevin O’Leary
(Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl, 9780385671743)

19. Falling Backwards, Jann Arden
(Knopf Canada, $32 cl, 9780307399847)

20. Never Too Late, Gail Vaz-Oxlade
(HarperCollins Canada, $21.99 pa, 9781554688685)

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Random House Canada acquires new Linden MacIntyre novel

Random House Canada has acquired a new novel by Scotiabank Giller Prize–winner Linden MacIntyre.

Why Men Lie is the third book in MacIntyre’s Cape Breton trilogy, following the lives of the Gillis clan. Its main character, Effie Gillis, first appeared in his 1999 novel, The Long Stretch (HarperCollins Canada). She is also the middle-aged sister of the troubled priest at the centre of The Bishop’s Man, which won the 2009 Giller Prize. After winning the Giller, MacIntyre told reporters that he was already plotting Effie’s story: “I’m interested in the woman’s point of view as she watches the men around her getting older and stupider,” he said.

Knopf Random Publishing Group publisher Anne Collins — MacIntyre’s editor for The Bishop’s Man — will work with the author again on Why Men Lie. In a press release she says, “I was a goner from the title page, really. I know how wonderfully Linden can parse the contours of troubled conscience from working with him on The Bishop’s Man, but I was completely unprepared for the way he captures Effie, a woman in mid-life who knows what she’s worth yet still can’t help but feel the diminishment of age.”

Why Men Lie will be released in April 2012.

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Publishing: not always a downer

There’s some funny book stuff floating around the internets today. Lest the trolls be confused or angered by humour, this is indeed an attempt to offer some Friday afternoon levity:

Eye Weekly columnist Sarah Nicole Prickett defends Chapters as her favourite bland non-space to rest without people judging her:

They don’t complain about how many magazines I’ve read for free and possibly ripped things from. They don’t look askance at my taste. Their eyebrows don’t say, “Oh, you’re just getting into Murakami now?” They make no suggestions, having nothing to prove; they work at Chapters. “Are you sure you want The Paris Review?” says absolutely nobody to me. “What about The Believer?” I never feel like I have to buy anything, the way I do everywhere else books are sold, as though upon walking in I’ve been handed a bucket, and now I must scoop out my share of the water to prevent us all from drowning. Not here. This ship will float on.

Those crazy kids at CBC Radio’s Day Six provide us with an audio track of Giller winners reading from Snooki’s debut novel, A Shore Thing:

Linden “Giller Gorilla” MacIntyre is a journalist with CBC’s The Fifth Estate, the winner of eight Gemini Awards, an International Emmy, and the 2009 Giller Prize for his novel, The Bishop’s Man.

Johanna “Skib-WOWW” Skibsrud is the 2010 Giller winner for The Sentimentalists, and the author of several collections of poetry.

The New York Times points to a project by a group of history teachers with an inventive and bizarre way to engage students. They produce music videos for altered versions of their favourite songs that replace the original lyrics with lyrics based on classic books and historical figures. Witness – for serious -  “Jenny From the Block” as Mary, Queen of Scots.

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Margaret Atwood among Edinburgh book fest headliners

Margaret Atwood is one of the big-name authors set to appear at this year’s revamped Edinburgh International Book Festival, which takes place Aug. 14–30. In a cross-festival program with the Edinburgh film festival, Atwood will engage architect Norman Foster in a conversation exploring the techniques used by filmmakers and writers for biographies, the Guardian reports. There’s a catch, however: in addition to the fact that Atwood and Foster are not, strictly speaking, biographers, the ever experimental Atwood will not appear in person, but via video hookup.

The popular fest, founded in 1983, is under the new direction of Nick Barley, who invited four guest “selectors” – Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, poet Don Paterson, literary editor Stuart Kelly, and Ruth Padel, the poet and great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin – to program this year’s event. From the Guardian:

Barley unveiled his first programme today, which features 750 authors. It includes a rare public appearance by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau in conversation with Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, three Nobel prize winners, including Joseph Stiglitz, the poet Seamus Heaney, the hairdresser Vidal Sassoon and an opening debate on Jesus between the atheist author Philip Pullman and former bishop of Oxford Richard Harries.

Other Canadians in attendance will include Emma Donoghue, Marina Endicott, Linden MacIntyre, Lisa Moore, Miguel Syjuco, Annabel Lyon, Doug Saunders, Jan Wong, Gwynne Dyer, and Leanne Shapton.

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MacIntyre two-time winner at Libris Awards

The Canadian Booksellers Association handed out its annual Libris Awards on Saturday as part of its three-day National Conference in Toronto. The winners were as follows:

Fiction Book of the Year:
The Bishop’s Man, by Linden MacIntyre (Random House Canada)

Non-fiction Book of the Year:
The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, by Wade Davis (House of Anansi Press)

Young Readers’ Book of the Year:
Vanishing Girl: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Third Case, by Shane Peacock (Tundra Books)

Children’s Picture Book of the Year:
When Stella Was Very, Very Small, by Marie-Louise Gay (Groundwood Books)

Author of the Year:
Linden MacIntyre

Editor of the Year:
Marc Côté, Cormorant Books

Publisher of the Year:
House of Anansi Press

Small Press Publisher of the Year:
Coach House Books

Bookseller of the Year:
Bookmark II

Specialty Bookseller of the Year:

Campus Bookseller of the Year:
The Bookstore at Western

Sales Representative of the Year:
Rorie Bruce, Kate Walker & Company

Distributor of the Year:
Raincoast Book Distribution

Chase Paymentech Young Bookseller of the Year:
Mandy Brouse, Words Worth Books

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This just in: people like being happy

As part of the festivities surrounding the U.K. and Ireland’s World Book Day, which took place this year on Thursday, March 2, results of a survey on the topic of happy endings was released. The questions were all quite predictable and concerned favourite happy endings (Pride and Prejudice was the most popular amongst respondents, followed by To Kill a Mockingbird and Jane Eyre), the effects of happy endings on readers (in giving one a sense of satisfaction, in putting one in a better mood for the rest of the day, etc.), and whether, in fact, readers actually prefer happy endings (apparently, they do, at a ratio of 50:1). One question even asked people to choose what sadly ending-book they would most like to change.

It is this question Ben MacIntyre responds to in a recent article published on the Times website. In it, he discusses the booming literary sequel/prequel industry, citing all the Austen copycats, the gravespin-inducing Gone with the Wind sequel, Scarlett, and, oddly, a sequel to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. MacIntyre, who feels that a book’s happy or sad ending has little to do with its literary merit or ability to be memorable, nonetheless decides to get into the act, suggesting alternate endings to some of the classics: “Macbeth is much too depressing. In my version the gentle, unassuming and monosyllabic thane settles down at Cawdor, where Lady Macbeth develops a profitable line in soap that leaves the hands spotless. Hamlet finds a shrink, marries Ophelia and goes into insurance…. Pride and Prejudice could be rendered less saccharine by introducing the scene where Darcy explains to Elizabeth that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune still in want of a wife is obviously gay, so he is moving to Tangiers to live with Wickham.”

Related links:
Click here for MacIntyre’s piece on the Times website

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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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