Winnipeg authors net Jewish book awards
TWO Winnipeg authors were among the honourees in this year’s Canadian Jewish Book Awards. Carol Matas was honoured in the Youth category for Dear Canada: Pieces of the Past, a coming-of-age story about a young Holocaust survivor set in post-Second World War Winnipeg, part of the Scholastic series of Dear Canada books of historical novels. Albert Kaganovitch, a research associate of the institute for the humanities at the University of Manitoba, won in the Scholarship category for his historical study of a Jewish community in present-day Belarus, The Long Life and Swift Death of Jewish Rechista. Among other books to win awards were Branded by the Pink Triangle, by Ken Setterington, a study of the Nazi persecution of gay men, Correspondences, by the much-honoured poetnovelist Anne Michaels and illustrator Bernice Eisenstein, and South AfricanKenneth Bonert’sCanadian debut novel The Lion Seeker. Awards will be presented May 27 in Toronto. Winnipeg’s J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing launches the third of Carolyn Gray’s Winnipeg-set plays May 26 through its Scirocco Drama imprint. Gray’s screwball comedy, The Miser of Middlegate, was an adaptation of The Miser, by French master Molière, moved to the posh Assiniboine River enclave. It premièred last fall at Theatre Projects Manitoba, the local company that earlier produced Gray’s North End Gothic and The Elmwood Visitation, which were also published by Scirocco. When not writing plays, Gray is the executive director of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. The book launch is at McNally Robinson Booksellers at 7 p.m. Blue-state parents from San Francisco to New York are reeling in light of Rush Limbaugh being named America’s most popular children’s author. The abrasive radio shouter recently beat four bestselling authors — the creators of the Divergent, Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson and Dork Diaries franchises — to win the Children’s Choice Book Award for his flag-waving Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, part of a series in which a schoolteacher named Rush Revere takes kids back in time to prove that Barack Obama is a communist Muslim, or something. The L.A. Times notes that Limbaugh had called on listeners to his radio show to log onto the Children’s Choice Book Awards website and vote for him. Former Winnipegger Gillian Sze returns to launch her third poetry collection May 27. In Peeling Rambutan, the Montreal resident presents poems that draw from her experiences in her childhood home in Winnipeg and from her travels in Asia, to the village of her parents’ origin, working with themes of identity, place and history. Sze launches the book at McNally Robinson Tuesday at 7 p.m., with guest poet Chimwemwe Undi. Human rights and civil liberties are on the agenda in a pair of book launches Thursday and Friday at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Montreal lawyer Pearl Eliadis will launch her book Speaking Out on Human Rights: Debating Canada’s Human Rights System, in a presentation co-sponsored by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. In her presentation, starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, she’ll take on “myths” spread by critics of Canada’s humanrights commissions and tribunals, which came under fire when a pair of high-profile cases were launched against Maclean’s magazine in 2007. On Friday at 7 p.m., Alan Borovoy, former general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, will launch At the Barricades, his memoir of a career speaking out against abuses of power over the decades.