Flin Flon’s Sprox­ton to be feted at McNally

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

IT’S North­ern Man­i­toba Week for the prov­ince’s lit­er­ary com­mu­nity. Next Fri­day at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son Book­sell­ers, the lit­er­ary com­mu­nity will pay tribute to the late Flin Flon-born poet and nov­el­ist Birk Sprox­ton, when the jour­nal Prairie Fire launches a spe­cial edi­tion at a cel­e­bra­tion fea­tur­ing fam­ily mem­bers Lor­raine and Mark Sprox­ton and read­ings by con­trib­u­tors Kimmy Beach, Ali­son Calder and Den­nis Coo­ley. Sprox­ton, who taught at Al­berta’s Red Deer Col­lege, wrote the novel The Red Headed Woman with the Black Black Heart, as well as writ­ing books on Man­i­toba lit­er­a­ture, edit­ing col­lec­tions of western Cana­dian fic­tion, and teach­ing cre­ative writ­ing for three decades. He died in 2006 at age 63. At the same time that evening, three books by Flin Flon-based Gol­drock Press will be launched in a dif­fer­ent part of the book­store. Au­thor and com­pany owner Dorene Meyer launches Where Was God?, the story of a young woman’s es­cape from the sex trade. As well, Gol­drock will de­but an il­lus­trated ver­sion (with art by Steve Meyer) of Dorene Meyer’s young adult novel Get Lost!, about a new­comer to a north­ern town who gets lost in the woods in win­ter. David Yerex Wil­liamson launches an il­lus­trated chil­dren’s book on com­ing to terms with loss, en­ti­tled Lion in Lost. Wil­liamson’s book tells the story of a girl who loses both her favourite stuffed toy and her grand­mother. Also with the north­ern Man­i­toba theme, a re­cent im­port from On­tario to The Pas will find out this week if her novel will make the Top 10 in this sea­son’s Canada Reads com­pe­ti­tion on CBC Ra­dio One. When the top 40 con­tenders in the an­nual book de­bate, which is fo­cus­ing on “the one novel that could change Canada,” were an­nounced re­cently, Lau­ren Carter’s “post-peak oil” story of scarcity and en­vi­ron­men­tal cri­sis, Swarm, was the only Man­i­toba book on the list. Carter, who moved to The Pas last win­ter, joins such CanLit main­stays as Mar­garet At­wood, Michael On­daatje, Robert­son Davies and Jane Urquhart in the run­ning to be part of the live dis­cus­sion early in 2014. The Top 10 books will be an­nounced Nov. 12 on the Ra­dio One show Q. The 10 will be whit­tled down to the fi­nal five on Nov. 27. The an­nual Tar­but Fes­ti­val of Jewish Cul­ture is bring­ing two nov­el­ists to the Rady Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­tre this month. Martin Fletcher, who spent three decades as the NBC News Mid­dle East cor­re­spon­dent and Tel Aviv bu­reau chief, will dis­cuss his new novel, Ja­cob’s Oath, as well as his pre­vi­ous works of fic­tion and non-fic­tion Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. On Nov. 21 at 7:30, Nancy Richler, whose Giller-short­listed novel The Im­poster Bride won the 2013 Cana­dian Jewish Book Award for Fic­tion, will read from her work and be in­ter­viewed on stage by Char­lene Diehl of the Win­nipeg In­ter­na­tional Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val. Tick­ets ($15 for non-mem­bers, $10 for mem­bers) are avail­able from the Rady Cen­tre. A Win­nipeg-based ed­u­ca­tional pub­lisher launches a rhyming chil­dren’s book that uses im­agery from pow­wows to in­tro­duce chil­dren to count­ing and the Cree lan­guage. Pow­wow Count­ing in Cree fea­tures text by Penny Thomas, a Fisher River Cree Na­tion-born master’s stu­dent in fam­ily ther­apy, and il­lus­tra­tions by Toronto artist Melinda Josie. Portage and Main Press launches the book Mon­day at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son. Free Press re­porter Bruce Owen is a life-long stu­dent of his­tory.

He re­ported ex­ten­sively on Dieppe’s 70th an­niver­sary.

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