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PAPER CHASE: Manitoba butterflies guide lands at right time perfect time

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Now that summer's finally here, St. Boniface-born author-illustrator Simone Allard has an illustrated field guide that will help you to recognize the prettiest guests at your backyard barbecue.

Manitoba Butterflies: A Field Guide (Turnstone Press) features 1,100 colour photos, showing the full life-cycle from egg through caterpillar to mature butterfly of Manitoba's 101 species of butterflies. It also describes what to plant in your garden to attract and nurture butterflies.

Paperchase

The book, Allard's sixth and her first book in English, will be launched Wednesday at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

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Canada's publishing industry has taken yet another hit, with Toronto's McArthur and Company announcing its closing less than a year after the demise of Vancouver-based Douglas & McIntyre. The Toronto Star reports that founder Kim McArthur is leaving to set up a literary and creative agency.

Writers' organizations are concerned about the increasingly limited options for Canadian writers looking to get published

"It's alarming that yet another independent, Canadian-owned publisher is being shuttered," novelist Dorris Heffron was quoted as saying in a Writers' Union of Canada news release. "The number of options for writers in Canada continues to shrink, especially if one wants to place one's book on a Canadian list."

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Attention, Blue Bomber fans: we've got your riposte here for use after the next Banjo Bowl shellacking: "Well, at least Winnipeg has a literary prize."

A recent round of cuts in funding for literary ventures in Regina has endangered the City of Regina Writing Prize, as well as several reading and mentorship programs offered by the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild.

The Regina Leader Post reports that the city has eliminated its $24,000 grant to the writers' guild, as well as a $16,000 grant to not-for-profit publishing house Coteau Books.

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Nobody does literary takedowns quite like the Brits. In the London Review of Books, editor Christian Lorentzen offers a 3,000-word reappraisal of the beloved, heretofore universally praised Canadian short story writer Alice Munro.

Lorentzen, whose review is prompted by the launch of Dear Life, Munro's 14th collection, presents his thoughts after reading 10 of Munro's books. Among his against-the-grain conclusions: the popularity of the "perfectly humourless" Munro and her stories of infidelity, cancer, dementia and cramped small-town lives may be a symptom of a "yearning to be repressed." Oh, and the people who praise Munro have no sense of perspective.

As if to prove Lorentzen's point, American short story writer Kyle Minor promptly wrote a 4,500-word defence of Munro for Salon.com.

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Luthier-poet John Weier launches his latest book of poetry, Where Calling Birds Gather, Monday at 8 p.m. at McNally Robinson. An incorrect date appeared here on June 1.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 15, 2013 A1

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