Luba Goy, a former member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce, is a co-winner of this year's Kobzar Literary Award for writing on the Ukrainian-Canadian experience.
Goy's play, Luba, Simply Luba, co-written with former Kids in the Hall writer Diane Flacks and Toronto director Andrey Tarasiuk, tells the story of Goy's life and career and her interest in politics, leading up to her meeting with former Ukrainian president Victor Yushchenko.
The play was published last year by Winnipeg's J. Gordon Shillingford Publications. The $25,000 Kobzar Prize is awarded every second year by the Shevchenko Foundation.
A Nigerian-born, American-based novelist was the big winner in this year's National Book Critics Circle Awards. Chimamanda Nogize Adichie won the fiction prize for her novel Americanah, about two young lovers whose lives span three continents. The non-fiction prize went to Sheri Fink for Five Days at Memorial, her investigation into patient deaths at a hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Adichie's win follows an even bigger boost in the winter, when pop singer Beyoncé released a song that used a sample of a TED talk on feminism by the novelist, prompting Americanah to shoot up the book sales rankings.
British comedian and actor Russell Brand is continuing his transformation to political messiah with a newly announced book that promised to inspire readers to cast off their apathy and take on the status quo.
Brand, whose televised denunciation of politicians went viral on Facebook last year, plans to discuss the environment, inequality, rioting, the financial meltdown and public distrust of politicians in the new, still-untitled book, to be published by British firm Century.
As quoted in the Guardian, the hirsute writer/performer/ex-junkie promises that "having accrued the greatest wisdom known to man, I am now able to put in a simple, accessible book the solution to internal and external turmoil."
A national reading series focused on horror, fantasy and other genre fiction brings three Winnipeg novelists to the stage starting at 7 p.m. April 9 at McNally Robinson Booksellers.
The Chiaroscuro Reading Series, sponsored by Toronto's ChiZine Publications, is hosted by Winnipeg newcomer Samantha Beiko (The Lake and the Library). The next instalment features Keith Cadieux (Gaze), Karen Dudley (Food of the Gods) and Ronald Hore (The Housetrap Chronicles). The series, which started in Toronto in 2010, also runs in Vancouver and Ottawa.
Two books with Manitoba connections are in the running in this year's Saskatchewan Book Awards.
Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishinabe Understanding of Treaty One, by Winnipeg lawyer Aimee Craft, is nominated in two categories: for educational publishing and for aboriginal peoples publishing.
A book published by University of Manitoba Press is also up for two awards. Growing Resistance: Canadian Farmers and the Politics of Genetically Modified Wheat, by University of Regina prof Emily Eaton, is nominated in the non-fiction and first-book categories.
The awards ceremony is April 26, in Regina, with the U of M's Warren Cariou as guest speaker.