Thursday 29 November 2007

Maybe once in ten generations

"Maybe once in ten generations, you get a figure who is in the right place at the right time, who also has the necessary qualities to create something as profoundly important as Bob has done." -Janice Kulyk Keefer

Keefer is referring to Robert Weaver, who over half a century, as radio producer at the CBC and anthologist, nurtured and sustained three generations of Canadian writers. Among those he gave their earliest breaks to were Alice Laidlaw (who became Alice Munro), Mordecai Richler, Timothy Findlay, and Leonard Cohen.

On November 27 Robert Weaver: Godfather of Canadian Literature by Elaine Kalman Naves was launched at Montreal's Nicholas Hoare bookstore. In early February there will be a book launching and a tribute to Weaver in Toronto. Also in February, the CBC will be broadcasting two one-hour shows on Robert Weaver created by Elaine Kalman Naves.

Photo caption: Elaine Kalman Naves with retired CBC producer Ramona Randall who worked with Weaver. Behind Ramona is Word Bookstore co-owner Adrian King-Edwards and Bill Weintraub (sitting in the shadows). Photo by Jane Lewis.

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Filmmaker options Green City

Véhicule Press is pleased to announce that documentary filmmaker Tina Hahn of Toronto’s Symmetree Media has optioned Mary Soderstrom’s Green City: People, Nature & Urban Places. Green City looks at eleven cities around the world to see how people and nature have interacted over the course of history.

“So many people love gardens and greenery, but when each of us tries to claim a little bit for our very own, we end up paving over nature.”

Mary Soderstrom is the author of Recreating Eden: A Natural History of Botanical Gardens.

Friday 23 November 2007

The further adventures of Jaspreet Singh

Jaspreet Singh, author of the award-winning Seventeen Tomatoes: Tales from Kashmir, has wrapped up his year as the 2006-07 Markin-Flanagan Writer-in Residence at the University of Calgary. Jaspreet Singh (right) can be seen here meeting poet Derek Walcott (left) during Walcott’s visit to the university.

So what’s next?

Singh will be returning to Montreal for a public reading of his play Elephants, presented by Infinitheatre as part of their Pipeline play reading series. Elephants will be read at Bain St-Michel (5300 St-Dominique) on Friday, November 30, at 8pm. Cost is pay-what-you-can.

Véhicule Press is also pleased to announce Singh’s anticipated first novel, Chef, to be published as part of the Esplanade Fiction imprint of Véhicule Press.

We look forward to Chef, and we look forward to seeing Jaspreet when he visits Montreal!

Thursday 22 November 2007

Solway wins A.M. Klein Award

Our congratulations go out to David Solway, whose latest book of poetry, Reaching for Clear: The Poetry of Rhys Savarin, won this year's A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. The award was presented last night, Wednesday, November 21, at the Quebec Writers' Federation's annual awards gala at the spectacular Lion d'or in Montreal.

Solway was up against two other worthy Montreal poets, David McGimpsey (for Sitcom, Coach House Books) and Erín Moure (for O Cadoiro, Anansi).

Saturday 10 November 2007

Mourning Norman

Woke up this morning to the news that Norman Mailer died this day, at 84. In 1959 I read Advertisements for Myself, one of a dozen books that opened up literary and world vistas for a small city boy in Eastern Ontario. (Couldn't find my abused copy this morning. I think one of my daughters has it, and that's a good thing.) Sure, Mailer was aggresive, sexist and a literary bully, but he also wrote a natural prose (read Armies of the Night), reported on the anti-war march on Washington and the 1968 political conventions, and had views on everything. Larger than life--the cliché is apt--I mourn his passing. [Simon Dardick, publisher]

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Port O' Call

"Well, Montreal's a port town, right? So there's this feeling of everyone here being on some weird, extended shore leave; everyone seems to be just passing through."

So says Andrew Hood, author of Pardon Our Monsters, in a recent interview for the Danforth Review. Read the entire interview here.

If Montreal is where Hood has decided to spend his extended shore leave, then it is Guelph, Ontario, that is his real home. The Royal City is also the inspiration for Pardon Our Monsters, a collection of short stories about a fictional suburban Ontario town. Hood will be returning to Guelph on November 18 for a reading at The Bookshelf (41 Quebec Street), along with another Guelph native, Mark Sampson, who will be co-launching his book Off Book (Norwood Publishing).