Cook checks in to li­brary in Oc­to­ber

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

THE Win­nipeg Pub­lic Li­brary has named poet and nov­el­ist Méira Cook to be its 2013-14 writer-in­res­i­dence.

Cook, whose 2012 novel The House on Su­gar­bush Road won the McNally Robin­son Book of the Year Award, will be avail­able at the Mil­len­nium Li­brary start­ing in Oc­to­ber to read and dis­cuss short manuscripts sub­mit­ted by lo­cal writ­ers.

The South Africa-born Cook be­gan writ­ing po­etry and fic­tion when she moved to Canada, af­ter work­ing as a jour­nal­ist in her na­tive coun­try. In ad­di­tion to her novel, she has pub­lished four books of po­etry, a novella and a book of es­says. De­tails on sub­mit­ting manuscripts are avail­able from the li­brary’s web­site.

Chard, cur­rently work­ing as a free­lance ed­i­tor in Brighton, Eng­land, will launch The In­sis­tent Gar­den at McNally Robin­son Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Her new novel, also re­leased by Al­bertabased NeW­est, tells the story of girl in the West Mid­lands of Eng­land who cul­ti­vates a gar­den in the year as an es­cape from her sti­fling and ob­ses­sive fa­ther.

A Bri­tish writer work­ing in the Bri­tish Li­brary re­cently found that the great­est Bri­tish play was off lim­its.

BBC News re­ports that Mark Forsyth was writ­ing in the li­brary when he wanted to check a line from Ham­let. Un­for­tu­nately, the li­brary’s In­ter­net fil­ter blocked the fa­mous tragedy on the grounds that it is too vi­o­lent. (Spoiler alert: ev­ery­one dies.)

The case drew par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion be­cause it oc­curred while the U.K. govern­ment was con­sid­er­ing a pro­posal for the coun­try’s In­ter­net providers to block pornog­ra­phy from user ac­counts.

Given some of the Bard’s rib­ald word play (“Do you think I meant coun­try mat­ters?”), good luck read­ing Shake­speare on­line on the Scep­tred Isle.

Af­ter re­lo­cat­ing to her na­tive Eng­land, nov­el­ist Rosie Chard re­turns to the prov­ince where she wrote her first novel, Seal In­tes­tine Rain­coat (NeW­est Press) to launch a novel de­scribed as a grown-up take on The Se­cret Gar­den.

Af­ter spend­ing four years on re­search, and turn­ing to a crowd-fund­ing site to raise money for print­ing, In­ter­lake au­thor Doreen Pend­gracs has launched the first vol­ume of a planned self-pub­lished se­ries of books on cho­co­late.

Cho­co­la­tour: A Quest for the World’s Best Cho­co­late dis­cusses choco­late­grow­ing re­gions, the health ben­e­fits of the de­li­cious nut, and the top cho­co­late mak­ers from Europe. A se­cond vol­ume, look­ing at cho­co­late pro­duced in the Amer­i­cas and Caribbean, is planned for 2015.

To pro­mote the se­ries, Pend­gracs is tak­ing part in events fo­cus­ing on cook­ing with cho­co­late or pair­ing cho­co­late with wine, in­clud­ing a cho­co­late din­ner Nov. 2 at the Prairie Ink restau­rant.

This ought to set­tle the ques­tion about tor­ture at Guan­tanamo Bay.

A pris­oner at the se­cre­tive Amer­i­can mil­i­tary prison that houses al-Qaida sus­pects has claimed that his guards brought him a copy of EL James’s erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey to taunt him. The al­le­ga­tion, ac­cord­ing to USA Today, fol­lows a re­port by a U.S. Con­gress­man who claimed the novel was widely read at the prison.

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