Thorn­ton to walk three-day novel road

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - LIFE - By Bob Arm­strong

NOT many of the lo­gophiles, caf­feine ad­dicts and masochists who are spend­ing this week­end com­pet­ing in the an­nual Three Day Novel con­test have four pre­vi­ously pub­lished nov­els to their name.

Win­nipeg­ger Dun­can Thorn­ton, author of the crit­i­cally ac­claimed young-adult fan­tasy tril­ogy of Kal­i­fax, Cap­tain Jenny and the Sea of Won­ders and The Star Glass (pub­lished by Regina’s Coteau Press), says he de­cided to en­ter the Labour Day marathon af­ter spend­ing too long try­ing to fin­ish an­other pro­ject. In 2008, he pub­lished the first vol­ume, Shadow-Town, of a planned four-part se­ries.

Thorn­ton, who suf­fers from mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, adds that be­fore he un­der­went the con­tro­ver­sial lib­er­a­tion ther­apy treat­ment he would have been in­ca­pable of stay­ing up late and writ­ing for three days.

Self-pub­lish­ing has re­ceived an­other boost in cred­i­bil­ity as a re­sult of the $25,000 PEN/ Robert W. Bing­ham Award for the best Amer­i­can first book go­ing to a writer who chose that path.

New York lawyer Ser­gio de la Pava was un­able to find a pub­lisher for his 678-page Pyn­chonesque philo­soph­i­cal le­gal drama, A Naked Sin­gu­lar­ity, so he pub­lished it him­self through the site Xlib­ris in 2008.

Re­sponses were suf­fi­ciently en­thu­si­as­tic, notes The Guardian, that the book was re­pub­lished last year by Chicago Univer­sity Press.

A play de­vel­oped in co-op­er­a­tion with the El­iz­a­beth Fry So­ci­ety in or­der to ex­plore is­sues around women and prison will be launched in book form Sept. 3 by Win­nipeg’s J. Gor­don Shilling­ford Pub­lish­ing.

Jail Baby, by Hope McIn­tyre and Cairn Moore, was pre­sented this spring by Saras­vati Pro­duc­tions af­ter a process of re­search and work­shop­ping to gather sto­ries from women who have had ex­pe­ri­ences deal­ing with the jus­tice sys­tem. The play tells the story of a child born in prison to an ad­dicted mother, who then lives through a se­ries of foster homes be­fore end­ing up in prison her­self.

Vot­ing in this year’s On the Same Page Man­i­toba pro­mo­tion at the Win­nipeg Pub­lic Li­brary wraps up Sept. 13, but read­ers have one more chance to sam­ple the four nom­i­nated books this year.

The an­nual event in­vites read­ers to vote for one Man­i­toba-writ­ten book to pro­mote through author ap­pear­ances and other events. This year, the four nom­i­nees are: 7 Gen­er­a­tions, by David Robert­son and Scott B. Hen­der­son; The Lucky Ones, by Anne Ma­hon; The House on Su­gar­bush Road, by Méira Cook; and No One Must Know, by Eva Wise­man.

Ex­cerpts from the four nom­i­nated books will be read at McNally Robin­son Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.

In 2010, Man­i­toba-born Van­cou­ver Is­land poet Harvey Jenk­ins and his wife, Shar­ron, spent 39 days walk­ing the 800 kilo­me­tre Way of St. James, or El Camino de San­ti­ago, from the French Pyre­nees to the Span­ish city of San­ti­ago de Com­postela.

The trip in­spired Jenk­ins to write a travel mem­oir in prose, pic­tures and haiku ex­plor­ing life on the an­cient pil­grim­age route.

Jenk­ins, who plans to move back to the Prairies in 2014, will launch his self-pub­lished book Haiku Mo­ments on the Camino: France to Fin­is­terre at McNally Robin­son Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.

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