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Hadfield landing for launch in Winnipeg

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Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has any number of impressive achievements in his resume -- director of NASA operations in Star City, Russia; chief of robotics at the Johnson Space Center in Houston; chief of international space station operations; commander of the ISS for a record-breaking scientific mission.

But he may well be best known for performing rock star David Bowie's hit Space Oddity in zero gravity. Canada's true spaceship superstar will meet fans at the Winnipeg launch of his first book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson.

But will he bring his guitar?

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A Montreal-based anarchist cabaret performer, poet, touring campus sex educator and genre-hopping violinist will headline the sixth annual Winnipeg Anarchist Book Fair and DIY Fest Nov. 8-10.

Norman Nawrocki, best known for his performances on sex and sexism that have toured campuses across Canada, will read from his first novel, a historical-political romance called Cazzarola!, which tells the story of several generations of a family of Italian anarchists.

The Nawrocki event is Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. The festival also includes a Friday night cabaret and discussions and a book fair Saturday and Sunday at the A Zone building at 91 Albert St.

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Manitoba novelist and short-fiction author Dora Dueck has won a border-straddling honour for her first short story collection, What You Get at Home (Turnstone Press).

Dueck won the award in the short-story category of this year's High Plains Book Awards, which recognize work that explores life in seven northwestern states and the three Prairie provinces. Other Western Canadian books honoured at the Oct. 26 ceremony were Sarah Kathryn York's The Anatomy of Eduard Beaupré (Coteau Books), in the first book category, and Dee Hobsbawm-Smith's Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet (TouchWood Editions), in the culinary category.

This year's awards attracted a record number of entries from 13 states and provinces.

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Self-published books will soon account for half of all new titles, according to a report by R.R. Bowker LLC, a firm that provides information management for libraries and publishers.

The company analyzed data from ISBNs to determine that 391,000 books were self-published in 2012. That amounted to 40 per cent of all books published in 2012. In 2007, self-published books added up to only 11 per cent of the total.

As well, the report, summarized on the website GalleyCat, indicates that most of the self-published books in 2012 were produced through the use of a self-publishing platform such as Smashwords.

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Former Oasis guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher has entered into the realm of literary criticism with all the nuance and sensitivity he brings to fraternal get-togethers with former bandmate and sparring partner Liam.

Profiled as a fashion icon by the U.K. edition of GQ magazine, Gallagher pronounced: "Novels and the people who write them, as I say, are putting themselves a few rungs above the rest of us. They're purporting to be intellectuals. And for you to write a book is for you to say 'I'm better than you.' My 68 million records beat your one book."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2013 A1

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