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PAPER CHASE: Don't dog-ear these books

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Whatever you do, don't dog-ear these library books.

That's because these "books" are actually Manitobans with stories to tell about their lives.

Thirty Manitobans will act as living books at an event at the Millennium Library this Thursday to Saturday dubbed the Human Library. Library patrons can check these books out for a half-hour conversation. The library did this first in 2011.

Human books in the event, co-sponsored by the Library, the CBC and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, include actress/politician Tina Keeper, aboriginal youth activist Michael Champagne, city councillor Ross Eadie, and participants with first-hand experience of disability, poverty, street life and fleeing oppression.

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Contributors to this year's winning entry in On the Same Page -- a competition to select one book to recommend to all Manitobans -- will take part in a series of readings around town this winter.

Warren Cariou and Niigaanwewidan James Sinclair, editors of Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writing from the Land of Water, will join Duncan Mercredi and other contributors to the anthology at the Millennium Library on Tuesday.

Later readings feature Wab Kinew and others on Jan. 29 at McNally Robinson Booksellers and Kate Vermette and others at the William Stephenson Library on Feb. 12. All the readings begin at 7 p.m.

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Prairie Fire Literary magazine is launching its 13th Winter Word Fest with Saskatchewan novelist/memoirist Sharon Butala and a pair of workshops on writing memoirs and editing fiction.

Butala, best known for her non-fiction book on her life in southwestern Saskatchewan, The Perfection of the Morning, will make a series of appearances at Red River College and University of Winnipeg and public reading at McNally Robinson Thursday at 7 p.m.

In addition to other readings by Manitoban and visiting poets and prose writers, the event includes a workshop led by Butala on memoir writing and a workshop by fiction editor Geoff Hancock on editing short fiction. For details, see

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One of the most popular novelists of the 1970s and '80s will look back on his life and career in a memoir to be published by HarperCollins in 2014.

According to the website Galleycat, Tom Robbins's memoir will journey from Appalachia to psychedelic America, Asia and Africa. Robbins's novels Another Roadside Attraction, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Still Life with Woodpecker were almost required reading for college students in the 1970s and early '80s.

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The acclaimed American author of the novels Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge, adapted together into the Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward movie Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, died this month in his home in Santa Fe, N.M.

Evan S. Connell had a wide-ranging literary interest that also included works of history and historical novels on the Crusades (Deus Lo Volt) and George A. Custer (Son of the Morning Star), as well as a biography of the painter Francisco Goya. Connell was 88.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 19, 2013 J8

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