Re­search area of­fers writerly res­i­dence

Winnipeg Free Press - - BOOKS - BOB ARM­STRONG

WRIT­ERS look­ing for a bit of in­spi­ra­tion will have a new op­por­tu­nity avail­able next year, when the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment (IISD) be­gins a new artist-in-res­i­dence pro­gram at the Ex­per­i­men­tal Lakes Area east of Kenora, Ont.

The IISD is of­fer­ing artists — in­clud­ing writ­ers — the op­por­tu­nity to spend at least one week at the renowned re­search area, where sci­en­tists study the ef­fects of pol­lu­tion and cli­mate change on 59 lakes sur­rounded by bo­real for­est.

Food, ac­com­mo­da­tion and travel to and from the site are in­cluded in the deal. For de­tails, see the IISD’s blog at wfp.to/bfy.

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Amer­i­can book­store chain Barnes and No­ble sig­nalled an­other sign of life in the book busi­ness last month, an­nounc­ing plans to open 10 to 15 new stores across the U.S. next year.

Pub­lish­ers Weekly re­ports the chain has also re­cently opened four new “con­cept” stores fea­tur­ing dif­fer­ent floor plans and prod­uct mixes.

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An in­de­pen­dent book­store in South­port, Eng­land, at­tracted world­wide at­ten­tion re­cently by sell­ing a sin­gle book.

Staff at Broad­hurst’s of South­port — near Liver­pool — an­nounced they had sold a chil­dren’s book about Wil­liam the Con­queror that had sat on the shelves since 1991. Typ­i­cally, the Guardian re­ports, books that don’t sell are re­turned to the pub­lisher af­ter nine months or a year, but the store’s staff had faith in the lit­tle book that could.

The an­nounce­ment of the sale on Twit­ter was retweeted 150,000 times, with many other book­stores adding their own sto­ries of long-de­layed sales.

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Pub­li­ca­tion of a graphic novel by a win­ner of the New­bery Award for chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture has been can­celled fol­low­ing an open let­ter and so­cial me­dia cam­paign.

Jack Gan­tos’s graphic novel A Sui­cide Bomber Sits in the Li­brary had been slated for pub­li­ca­tion next year by Abrams Pub­lish­ing. The book, in­tended to fo­cus on the power of lit­er­a­ture, de­picted a young would-be sui­cide bomber who has sec­ond thoughts about his mis­sion while in a li­brary.

Op­po­si­tion to the book, in­clud­ing an open let­ter from the Asian Au­thor Al­liance, led the pub­lisher to apol­o­gize and with­draw the book, ac­cord­ing to Pub­lish­ers Weekly.

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Af­ter the Booker, the Na­tional Book Award and, in Canada, the Giller, the Writ­ers’ Trust and the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s awards, we have fi­nally reached the pin­na­cle of book awards sea­son.

This year’s Di­a­gram Prize for the odd­est book ti­tle of the year went to an English-ti­tled, Ger­man-lan­guage sortof cook­book en­ti­tled The Joy of Water­boil­ing. The win­ning book, about ways to pre­pare meals us­ing only a ket­tle, beat some other un­usual sound­ing works, in­clud­ing

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