Spooky books ap­pear just in time

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

TWO Win­nipeg pub­lish­ers are get­ting read­ers in the mood for Hal­loween. Haunted Win­nipeg (Great Plains Pub­li­ca­tions) is a com­pen­dium of Win­nipeg’s favourite ghost sto­ries, writ­ten by Matthew Ko­mus, op­er­a­tor of Win­nipeg Ghost Walks and a de­vel­oper of pro­grams and ex­hibits at his­toric sites and mu­se­ums. Ko­mus delves into ghostly leg­ends at Seven Oaks House, the Fort Garry Ho­tel, the Pan­tages Play­house The­atre and other his­toric lo­ca­tions. Haunted Win­nipeg launches Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son. Guardian, another Great Plains ti­tle this fall, is a young adult novel by Ed­mon­ton’s Natasha Deen, about a teenage girl who must help a dead bully to make the tran­si­tion to the after­life, or face oth­er­worldly con­se­quences. For read­ers who like their frights on film, Win­nipeg film­maker Caelum Vatns­dal is launch­ing a re­vised and up­dated ver­sion of They Came From Within: a His­tory of Cana­dian Hor­ror Cin­ema, orig­i­nally pub­lished a decade ago by lo­cal house ARP. The launch is at McNally Robin­son at 7 p.m. on Oct. 30. The leg­endary sto­ries of multi-sport cham­pion Jim Thorpe and the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers’ Jack Ja­cobs are com­bined with those of other abo­rig­i­nal ath­letes from hockey, foot­ball and even pro wrestling and golf in a new book by Man­i­toba jour­nal­ist and film­maker Don Marks. Marks launches Play­ing the White Man’s Game (J. Gor­don Shillingford Pub­lish­ing) Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. at McNally Robin­son. Marks also wrote They Call Me Chief: War­riors on Ice, about the strug­gles and suc­cesses of abo­rig­i­nal hockey play­ers. When the Cana­dian-born Booker win­ner Eleanor Cat­ton ( The Lu­mi­nar­ies) won her most re­cent lit­er­ary prize, she an­nounced a plan to give the cash away to writ­ers who need time to catch up on their read­ing. Now she’s on the seven-per­son short­list for the In­ter­na­tional Dy­lan Thomas Prize, worth about $53,000, which goes to an English-lan­guage au­thor aged 39 or younger (Thomas died at 39). Oth­ers on the short list in­clude Ir­ish first nov­el­ist and win­ner of this year’s Bai­ley’s Prize Eimer McBride ( A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing) and Amer­i­can Joshua Fer­ris ( To Rise Again at a De­cent Hour). The win­ner will be an­nounced in Novem­ber. In­ter­lake poet and can­cer sur­vivor Bill Martin of­fers a frank dis­cus­sion of his ex­pe­ri­ence with prostate can­cer in his book Ripped Out: One Man’s Jour­ney Sur­viv­ing Prostate Can­cer. He launches the book, which comes with an en­dorse­ment by Dr. Anne Katz, a clin­i­cal nurse spe­cial­ist with CancerCare Man­i­toba, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son. A prom­i­nent B.C. lit­er­ary cou­ple hit town Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. for a joint book launch at McNally Robin­son. Ann Eriks­son will read from her third novel, High Clear Bell of Morn­ing (Dou­glas and McIn­tyre), about a fam­ily strug­gling with schizophre­nia, while Gary Geddes will read from What Does a House Want, the lat­est in a string of more than 40 books of po­etry that he has writ­ten or edited. Thou­sands of bud­ding nov­el­ists will be­gin 30 days of cre­ativ­ity, masochism and back pain next week­end as part of Na­tional Novel Writ­ing Month. The Man­i­toba Writ­ers’ Guild and Writ­ers’ Col­lec­tive team up Nov. 1 for a NaNoWriMo kick­off event fea­tur­ing words to en­cour­age and in­spire, a space to write and lots of cof­fee. Win­nipeg writ­ers Chris Rutkowski, Sa­man­tha Beiko and Chad­wick Ginther will cheer par­tic­i­pants on be­tween 6 and 10 p.m. at the MWG of­fices on the sec­ond floor of the Artspace Build­ing.

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