Three local bookstores longlisted for award
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.