Literary subtletly lost in translation
IF the German-language edition of Patti Grayson’s novel Autumn, One Spring were any more Canadian, her publisher would be paying her in beaver pelts. The German edition of the novel — the story of a woman returning to her northern Ontario hometown for the wedding of her estranged sister — bears the title Hochzeit mit Elch (Wedding with Moose), and features a cover image of a moose standing in a teacup emblazoned with maple leaves. Grayson says she was skeptical the German version of her novel would come to fruition, even after she signed the contract for a translation, but was “over the moon” when she saw the cover on the publisher’s website. A local publishing company is launching an anthology of writing about or by women that will raise money for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Woman: An Anthology — funded this summer via a Kickstarter campaign — includes material by Alice Munro, Lynn Coady and Stephen King, as well as a number of lesser-known authors. The Winnipeg launch of the book, published by At Bay Press, will feature contributors Van Kunder, MC Joudrey and Anders Homenick. The launch is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at McNally Robinson. Winnipeg’s Margaret Sweatman is helping one of Canada’s leading publishing houses celebrate 60 years in operation this fall. Goose Lane Editions, based in Fredericton, N.B., has emerged from years of change in the book business as arguably the most important and longestlasting publisher in the country. The firm celebrated the milestone anniversary this week with parties in Fredericton and Toronto featuring several of the nationally prominent writers it publishes, including Sweatman ( Mr. Jones), Douglas Glover ( Savage Love), Governor-General’s Awardwinning poet Don McKay ( Angular Unconformity) and Beth Powning ( The Sea Captain’s Wife). Young adult novels, fantasy epics and book from high school and college reading lists are the dominant titles in the “10 books that have stayed with you” meme that’s been sweeping through Facebook for the last few months. Facebook staff have analyzed a sample of 130,000 status updates (mostly American and female, with an average age of 37) to reveal that the most common title is something from the Harry Potter series. Rounding out the top 10, in order: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Pride and Prejudice, The Bible, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Hunger Games series, The Catcher in the Rye and The Chronicles of Narnia. Just missing the top 10 are The Great Gatsby and Nineteen Eighty Four. Margaret Atwood is the top Canadian on the list, with The Handmaid’s Tale in 18th position, appearing on 4.27 per cent of the status updates. Novelist, poet and literary scholar Sue Sorensen examines the various versions — “heroic, comic, shrewd and dastardly” — of clergy in a new literary study being launched tomorrow at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Sorensen, who teaches at Canadian Mennonite University and is married to a pastor, will launch The Collar: Reading Christian Ministry in Fiction, Television and Film at 2 p.m. Kids today — always tweeting and texting and gaming. Why can’t they just read a book like in the old days? Turns out, they do. According to a Pew Research study of 6,000 Americans aged 16 and over, people under the age of 30 are more likely to read books than those over 30. The study found that 88 per cent of under-30s read at least one book last year, compared to 79 per cent of the over-30 group. Daily reading was reported by 43 per cent of the younger group, compared to 40 per cent of the older.