Win­nipeg­ger writes mother of a mem­oir

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

WIN­NIPEG spir­i­tual direc­tor, re­treat guide and mother Ka­lyn Falk launches a mem­oir this week about the hopes, joys, strug­gles and dis­ap­point­ments of moth­er­hood, in­spired by her ex­pe­ri­ences with her autis­tic son. The idea to write Mother of the Year and Other Elu­sive Awards grew af­ter her son had to be res­cued af­ter jump­ing into the river, an event that came just weeks af­ter the fam­ily home burned down. She writes on her blog that as a TV re­porter asked her about the near-drown­ing, “I could see my Mother of the Year award slip­ping out of my grasp.” She launches the book Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son Book­sell­ers. With the 100th an­niver­sary of the be­gin­ning of the First World War just months away, France in­ducted Danielle Steele, au­thor of a thou­sand shiny-cov­ered sex-and-shop­ping epics, into its Le­gion of Hon­our this month, ac­cord­ing to the book-news web­site Gal­l­ey­cat. In re­sponse, writ­ers across the English-speak­ing world be­lat­edly lob­bied for an al­liance with Ger­many and the Aus­tro-Hun­gar­ian Em­pire. A great scab of Cana­dian cul­tural anx­i­ety was freshly picked this month by the Toronto Star, when the news­pa­per fo­cused on a few throw­away lines at the bot­tom of a lengthy cul­ture-blog in­ter­view with Amer­i­can nov­el­ists Gary Shteyn­gart ( Lit­tle Fail­ure) and Chang-rae Lee ( On Such a Full Sea) that ques­tioned the value of lit­er­ary fund­ing. Shteyn­gart, who sat on the 2012 Giller Prize jury, re­marked on Vulture. com that Cana­dian writ­ers “just don’t take the same damn risks. Maybe they want to please the On­tario Arts Coun­cil, or what­ever it is.” Quotes from the piece — along with re­sponses from the Writ­ers’ Union of Canada and 2013 Giller win­ner Lynn Coady — re­bounded through the Canlit world and made their way to the Guardian. Nov­el­ist and NBC News Mid­dle East cor­re­spon­dent Martin Fletcher will meet read­ers via Skype Jan. 28 at the Rady Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. Fletcher will meet elec­tron­i­cally with the JCC’s Peo­ple of the Book Jewish Book Club to dis­cuss his new novel Ja­cob’s Oath, a po­lit­i­cal thriller set in the af­ter­math of the Holo­caust and the Soviet Red Army’s dev­as­tat­ing con­quest of East Ger­many. The dis­cus­sion be­gins at 7:30 p.m. For de­tails contact the JCC at 4777533. To para­phrase Thumper: “If you can’t say some­thing nice, you might have a shot at the Hatchet Job of the Year Award.” British lit­er­ary magazine the Om­ni­vore has an­nounced the eight con­tenders for its an­nual award for the best lit­er­ary take­down, and the con­tenders in­clude re­views of some widely praised books from 2013, in­clud­ing Eleanor Cat­ton’s Booker Prize win­ner The Lu­mi­nar­ies and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, as well as the less-sur­pris­ing in­clu­sion of the au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of the brow-beat­ing ve­gan and pop singer Mor­ris­sey. Canada is rep­re­sented on the list with the born-in-On­tario, raised-in­New Zealand Cat­ton and a re­view of Worst. Per­son. Ever, the 2013 novel by West Coast zeit­geist reader Dou­glas Cou­p­land. Lit­er­ary geeks the world over are hop­ing for a book tour by soon-to-be science-fic­tion nov­el­ist and long­time dream fix­ture Gil­lian An­der­son, for­mer star of The X-Files. Ac­cord­ing to the Hollywood Re­porter, An­der­son has signed with Si­mon and Schus­ter to co-write A Vi­sion of Fire, the first vol­ume of the EarthEnd Saga. The book, co-writ­ten with a Tom Clancy ghost writer named Jeff Rovin, will launch a new dig­i­tal im­print called Si­mon451.

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