Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

PAPER CHASE: But will they break out into song?

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Well, at least it's not about dancing ...

Manitoba Mennonite literary magazine Rhubarb will launch its Mennonite Sex issue Tuesday at the Prairie Ink restaurant, with readings by several of the authors whose works on love and sex will be published in the issue.

The Mennonite Sex issue, edited by Di Brandt, Andreas Schroeder and Armin Wiebe, includes a timely piece, given the Bill 18 controversy, entitled Queer Sex at Bible College, by Jan Guenther Braun.

Also in the issue is an interview with Rhoda Janzen, the U.S. author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, and poetry by Katherena Vermette, Patrick Friesen and Julia Spicher Kasdorf.

The launch begins at 8 p.m.

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What do you do for an encore when you've won both Nebula award for science fiction and the Arthur Ellis award for crime writing?

Elementary, my dear android. You write a mystery novel set on Mars. Dean of Canadian SF writers Robert J. Sawyer will begin the book tour for his Martian murder mystery Red Planet Blues in Winnipeg Tuesday.

Sawyer describes his novel as an homage to the noir fiction of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler and also says its boomtown Mars setting is inspired in part by his time as writer-in-residence at Pierre Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon.

Sawyer will read from the book at McNally Robinson at 7 p.m.

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Eastern Manitoba libraries will celebrate local writing and music April 2-3 at a series of readings and performances.

Winnipeg novelist Sue Sorensen (A Large Harmonium) will join with local writers and musicians in three communities along the Winnipeg River. The readings and performance begin at 2 p.m. April 2 at the Pinawa Public Library, then move to the Lac Du Bonnet Public Library at 7 p.m. The Allard Regional Library in St. Georges hosts the final event April 3 at 7 p.m.

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The Scotiabank Giller Prize has rounded up an all-star jury for the 20th anniversary of Canada's glitziest literary award next fall.

Esi Edugyan, 2011 Giller winner for Half Blood Blues, will be joined by American bestseller and critical favourite Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude, Motherless Brooklyn) and Canada's long-reigning literary queen Margaret Atwood (who won the prize in 1996 for Alias Grace).

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Sheila Heti's confessional, self-autobiographical novel How Should a Person Be? is the lone Canadian book in the running for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the British-based international literary prize formerly known as the Orange Prize.

The Toronto hipster heroine is up against some bestsellers on the long list for the prize, which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility. The long list, which includes Hilary Mantel, Kate Atkinson, Zadie Smith, Gillian Flynn and Barbara Kingsolver, will be whittled down to a short list April 16.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 23, 2013 J8

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