Village unveiling Shields plaque
THEY will be words for the ages. A plaque bearing a passage from the late Carol Shields’ 1992 novel, The Republic of Love, will be unveiled at a ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Osborne Village. The event is the brainchild of the nationally run Project Bookmark, which puts text from stories and poems in the exact physical locations where literary scenes take place. “Many readers across Canada have been introduced to [Winnipeg] through the writing of Carol Shields,” Amanda Hill, Project Bookmark’s Hamiltonbased executive director, said in a news release. “In The Republic of Love, Winnipeg is not just a setting, it’s a character.” Hill, by the way, is married to novelist Lawrence Hill, who worked as a reporter at the Free Press in the early 1980s.
Winnipeg young adult writer Anita Daher launches Itty Bitty Bits, her first children’s picture book — illustrated by Wendy Bailey — with a musical celebration Monday at McNally Robinson. Francis Leonard, from the family entertainment group the Secondhandpants, will perform a song he’s written for the book, published locally by Peanut Butter Press, and 20 per cent of launch-night sales will be donated to the Literacy Partners of Manitoba. The event starts at 7 p.m.
For American literary bad-boy Bret Easton Ellis, Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize for Literature was an opportunity to remind the world that he still exists, while exercising his Wildean wit through tweets such as “the Nobel is a joke” and “Alice Munro is so completely overrated.” For good measure, the Less Than Zero author remarked that Alfonso Cuaron’s much-praised film Gravity is “totally boring.” Munro and Cuaron aren’t alone in winning Ellis’s disapproval. Last year, he described the late David Foster Wallace as “the most tedious, overrated, tortured, pretentious writer of my generation.”
A Canadian publishing executive will be honoured at this year’s International Festival of Authors in Toronto for her work bringing Canadian literature to the world and world literature to Canada.
Fall has been a season of celebration for Winnipeg’s Great Plains Publications. In September, Anne Mahon’s The Lucky Ones, a collection of profiles of African refugees in Manitoba, was selected the winner of the On the Same Page program of the Winnipeg Public Library, which solicits votes from the public on one book to recommend to everybody in Winnipeg. This month, two young adult books published by Great Plains earned honours. The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley, by Ontario’s Jan Andrews, was named a gold medal winner in the annual Moonbeam Awards, which honour books for kids and teens published by Canadian and American independent publishers. Andrews’ book is the story of a boy being brought up in the foster system who goes silent while he works through his feelings about his life. Winnipegger Colleen Nelson’s teen novel The Fall, which tells of the death of a teenager in a night-time accident and its consequences on the survivors, has been selected as a finalist in the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading program. Nominated authors are invited to Toronto in November for a day of readings and workshops with thousands of school children.