It's Northern Manitoba Week for the province's literary community.
Next Friday at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers, the literary community will pay tribute to the late Flin Flon-born poet and novelist Birk Sproxton, when the journal Prairie Fire launches a special edition at a celebration featuring family members Lorraine and Mark Sproxton and readings by contributors Kimmy Beach, Alison Calder and Dennis Cooley.
Sproxton, who taught at Alberta's Red Deer College, wrote the novel The Red Headed Woman with the Black Black Heart, as well as writing books on Manitoba literature, editing collections of western Canadian fiction, and teaching creative writing for three decades. He died in 2006 at age 63.
At the same time that evening, three books by Flin Flon-based Goldrock Press will be launched in a different part of the bookstore.
Author and company owner Dorene Meyer launches Where Was God?, the story of a young woman's escape from the sex trade. As well, Goldrock will debut an illustrated version (with art by Steve Meyer) of Dorene Meyer's young adult novel Get Lost!, about a newcomer to a northern town who gets lost in the woods in winter.
David Yerex Williamson launches an illustrated children's book on coming to terms with loss, entitled Lion in Lost. Williamson's book tells the story of a girl who loses both her favourite stuffed toy and her grandmother.
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Also with the northern Manitoba theme, a recent import from Ontario to The Pas will find out this week if her novel will make the Top 10 in this season's Canada Reads competition on CBC Radio One.
When the top 40 contenders in the annual book debate, which is focusing on "the one novel that could change Canada," were announced recently, Lauren Carter's "post-peak oil" story of scarcity and environmental crisis, Swarm, was the only Manitoba book on the list. Carter, who moved to The Pas last winter, joins such CanLit mainstays as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Robertson Davies and Jane Urquhart in the running to be part of the live discussion early in 2014.
The Top 10 books will be announced Nov. 12 on the Radio One show Q. The 10 will be whittled down to the final five on Nov. 27.
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A Winnipeg-based educational publisher launches a rhyming children's book that uses imagery from powwows to introduce children to counting and the Cree language.
Powwow Counting in Cree features text by Penny Thomas, a Fisher River Cree Nation-born master's student in family therapy, and illustrations by Toronto artist Melinda Josie.
Portage and Main Press launches the book Monday at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson.
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The annual Tarbut Festival of Jewish Culture is bringing two novelists to the Rady Jewish Community Centre this month.
Martin Fletcher, who spent three decades as the NBC News Middle East correspondent and Tel Aviv bureau chief, will discuss his new novel, Jacob's Oath, as well as his previous works of fiction and non-fiction Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
On Nov. 21 at 7:30, Nancy Richler, whose Giller-shortlisted novel The Imposter Bride won the 2013 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will read from her work and be interviewed on stage by Charlene Diehl of the Winnipeg International Writers' Festival.
Tickets ($15 for non-members, $10 for members) are available from the Rady Centre.