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A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between

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The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Don Gillmor

The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Don Gillmor

By Trevor Corkum

The winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction is Don Gillmor for his memoir To The River: Losing My B …

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Book Cover Little Fortress

Journeys to Exile

By Laisha Rosnau

In Little Fortress, Rosnau bases her fiction on real-life figures, Italian nobility escaping fascism in the 1930s and fi …

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The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Gwen Benaway

The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Gwen Benaway

By Trevor Corkum

Next up in our special 2019 Governor General’s Award edition of The Chat is our conversation with Gwen Benaway. Her co …

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Book Cover for Home and Empire

Books for Remembrance Day

By Kerry Clare

On the occasion of Remembrance Day, we're sharing these 14 recent books approaching war and remembrance from a variety o …

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The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Linda Gaboriau

The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Linda Gaboriau

By Trevor Corkum

Over the next month, we’ll be interviewing all seven English-language winners of this year’s Governor General’s Li …

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The Power of One Story: Using Picture Books to Teach the Lessons of the Holocaust

The Power of One Story: Using Picture Books to Teach the Lessons of the Holocaust

By Jennifer Byrne

Six million is a number most adults cannot comprehend. Yet, when we reduce that number to one, to one single story, we m …

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Book Cover Claremont

From the Page to the Screen

By Wiebke von Carolsfeld

A recommended reading list by award-winning filmmaker and author of the novel Claremont

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Book Cover The Clean Body

History of the Everyday

By Peter Ward

A recommended books like by the author of new book, The Clean Body: A Modern History. 

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Image Butterscotch Squash Coffee Cake from the Long Table Cookbook

Butterscotch Squash Coffee Cake

By Amy Symington

"There are many reasons to hop on the orange vegetable cake bandwagon, including the high fibre and antioxidant content, …

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Giller Prize Special: The Chat with David Bezmozgis

Giller Prize Special: The Chat with David Bezmozgis

By Trevor Corkum

Our final conversation in our special Giller Prize edition of The Chat is with finalist David Bezmozgis, author of the s …

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The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Don Gillmor

gillmor_don © Ryan Szulc

The winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction is Don Gillmor for his memoir To The River: Losing My Brother.

The jury says, “In clear, crisp prose, Gillmor has written a book that is searingly honest and heartbreakingly sad. From the story of his brother’s life and death to a larger exploration of white, middle-aged masculinity, Gillmor impresses us with his quiet insights. At one point, he asks, 'What are we anchored by?' His hard-earned wisdom holds us, here and beyond.”

Don Gillmor is one of Canada's most accomplished writers. He is the author of the bestselling, award-winning, two-volume Canada: A People’s History, and his journalism on suicide has earned him both a National Newspaper Award and a National Magazine Award. Gillmor’s other books include the novels Kanata, Mount Pleasant, and Long Change, all of which were published to critical acclaim, and nine children’s books, two of which were finalists for a Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and two children.

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THE CHAT WITH DON GILLMOR

totheriver
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Journeys to Exile

Little Fortress is Laisha Rosnau's long-awaited second novel, following on acclaimed and award-winning poetry collections. In Little Fortress, Rosnau bases her fiction on real-life figures, Italian nobility escaping fascism in the 1930s and finding exile in Vernon, BC. With this recommended reading list, she suggests books that have informed and/or are akin to her own work. 

*****

Book Cover Caetani

Recapitulation: A Journey, by Sveva Caetani, edited by Heidi Thompson, Angela Gibbs Peart, and Dennis Butler

This is a beautiful, hardcover coffee table-sized book with gorgeous full-colour reproductions of Sveva Caetani’s 56 large, luminous watercolour paintings—“Recapitulation”—the series in which she portrayed her own life’s geographical, artistic, and spiritual journey. Based loosely on Dante’s Divine Comedy, the paintings are completely unique and utterly arresting. As well as reproductions of the paintings, the book contains original poetry of Caetani’s, notes and translations, and a short biography. Recapitulation is the way I was introduced to the strange, …

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The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Gwen Benaway

Gwen Benaway_Author Photo_Credit

Next up in our special 2019 Governor General’s Award edition of The Chat is our conversation with Gwen Benaway. Her collection Holy Wild won this year’s Governor General’s Award for Poetry.

According to the jury, "These confessional yet sometimes difficult poems about the Indigenous trans body are lyrical, rhythmic and fierce. It was an extraordinary experience reading this burning, honest manifesto. In her poem 'A Love Letter for Trans Girls,' Benaway says, ‘welcome to the first day of forever… you are enough.'"

Gwen Benaway is a trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She is the author of previous poetry collections Ceremonies for the Dead and Passage. Holy Wild was also named a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry, and the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature, and longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Benaway is also the editor of an anthology of fantasy short stories titled Maiden Mother and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. She has been a finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ writers from the Writers' Trust of Canada, and her personal essay, "A Body Like A Home," was the Gold Prize Winner for the National Magazine Awards in Personal Journali …

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Books for Remembrance Day

New stories of war and military history are still being told. On the occasion of Remembrance Day, we're sharing these 14 recent books approaching war and remembrance from a variety of perspectives. 

*****

A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812: John Norton - Teyoninhokarawen, edited by Carl Benn

A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812 presents the story of John Norton, or Teyoninhokarawen, an important war chief and political figure among the Grand River Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) in Upper Canada. Norton saw more action during the conflict than almost anyone else, being present at the fall of Detroit, the capture of Fort Niagara, the battles of Queenston Heights, Fort George, Stoney Creek, Chippawa, and Lundy’s Lane, the blockades of Fort George and Fort Erie, as well as a large number of skirmishes and front-line patrols. His memoir describes the fighting, the stresses suffered by indigenous peoples, and the complex relationships between the Haudenosaunee and both their British allies and other First Nations communities.

Norton’s words, written in 1815 and 1816, provide nearly one-third of the book’s content, with the remainder consisting of Carl Benn’s introductions and annotations, which enable readers to understand Norton’s fascinating autobiography within it …

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The Chat with Governor General's Literary Award Winner Linda Gaboriau

Linda Gaboriau

Over the next month, we’ll be interviewing all seven English-language winners of this year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards. We begin our coverage in conversation with renowned translator Linda Gaboriau, winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Translation. She won this year’s award for Birds of a Kind, her translation of Wajdi Mouawad’s play Tous des oiseaux (originally published in French by Leméac/Actes Sud-Papiers).

Praising her work, the jury says, "This translation artfully captures the constantly shifting identities and tones that form the core of this controversial play. With pitch perfect, evocative precision, Gaboriau once again shows her faultless grasp of the emotional and intellectual complexities and nuances of translating for the stage and, in particular, Mouawad’s brilliant, challenging work."

Linda Gaboriau is a literary translator and dramaturg. She has translated more than 125 plays, including those of some of Quebec’s foremost playwrights, which have been published and produced on both Canadian and international stages. She has received many awards for her work, namely two previous Governor General’s Literary Awards for Translation (Stone and Ashes, 1996, and Forests, 2010). Linda was the founding director of the Banf …

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