Three lo­cal book­stores longlisted for award

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

THREE Win­nipeg book­sellers are longlisted as part of this year’s Lib­ris Awards, which rec­og­nize con­tri­bu­tions in all as­pects of the book busi­ness. McNally Robin­son, nom­i­nated in the gen­eral book­seller cat­e­gory, is joined by the Univer­sity of Man­i­toba Book­store in the cam­pus book­store cat­e­gory and Who­dunit? in the spe­cial­ity book­seller cat­e­gory. In the writ­ing cat­e­gories, short­listed au­thors in­clude as­tro­naut Chris Had­field ( An As­tro­naut’s Guide to Life on Earth) and his­to­rian Mar­garet MacMil­lan ( The War That Ended Peace) for non-fic­tion, and mul­ti­ple awardwin­ners Joseph Boy­den ( The Orenda) and Lynn Coady ( Hell­go­ing) for fic­tion. The awards also hon­our chil­dren’s writ­ers, pub­lish­ers, ed­i­tors and sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives, The awards will be pre­sented June 2 at the Re­tail Con­fer­ence of Canada Con­fer­ence. An early story by Sa­muel Beck­ett will see the light of day this month, 80 years af­ter it was re­jected as a “nightmare.” Echo’s Bones, a story Beck­ett wrote as part of his 1934 collection More Pricks Than Kicks, will be pub­lished April 17 by Faber and Faber, the Guardian re­ports. Af­ter ask­ing the fu­ture No­bel Prize win­ner for one more story to round out his collection, Beck­ett’s edi­tor wrote to ex­plain why he was with­hold­ing the story: “It is a nightmare... it gave me the jim-jams.” Bella Bella, B.C., is now home to a re­mark­able collection of books signed by writ­ers from around the world, thanks to an ap­peal that went out last year af­ter a for­est fire ripped through town. Mod­u­lar home com­pany Britco do­nated a new struc­ture for the newly chris­tened Thista­lalh Me­mo­rial Li­brary, and books have poured in. Among the au­thors who have sent in signed works — many with per­sonal greet­ings to li­brar­ian Jessie Housty — are Sal­man Rushdie, Mar­garet At­wood, Michael On­daatje, Miriam Toews, Ian McEwan, Roddy Doyle, Ann-Marie MacDon­ald and Kazuo Ishig­uro. The new collection rests on lo­cally har­vested and milled cedar shelves, made by com­mu­nity mem­bers with wood from the coastal rain­for­est. A St. John’s-based writer whose first book was a sur­prise longlist en­try for the Sco­tia­bank Giller Prize has fol­lowed up that suc­cess with a big pay­day. World pub­lish­ing rights to Elis­a­beth de Mari­affi’s sec­ond book — and first novel — have been sold to Amer­i­can pub­lisher Touch­stone in what her agent calls “a six-fig­ure deal.” The novel, called The Devil You Know, is de­scribed as a lit­er­ary thriller about a re­porter who is prompted by a mur­derer’s ar­rest to re­live old mem­o­ries of the mur­der of her child­hood friend. Cana­dian rights for the novel have been sold to Patrick Crean Edi­tions, an im­print of HarperCollins Canada. De Mari­affi’s first book was a short story collection called How to Get Along With Women, pub­lished by In­vis­i­ble Pub­lish­ing. If you’ve ever won­dered what writ­ers-in-res­i­dence do with their time, this year’s wrap-up for Win­nipeg Pub­lic Li­brary WIR Méira Cook should clear things up. Cook will read from her own work in progress and in­tro­duce a num­ber of the emerg­ing writ­ers she has been men­tor­ing and ad­vis­ing since she took up the post last fall. A poet, nov­el­ist and for­mer jour­nal­ist, Cook won the 2013 McNally Robin­son Book of the Year Award for her novel The House on Su­gar­bush Road. The event takes place Thurs­day at 7 p.m. in the reader ser­vices area of the Mil­len­nium Li­brary.

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