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The Winnipeg Public Library has named poet and novelist M©ira Cook to be its 2013-14 writer-in-residence.

Cook, whose 2012 novel The House on Sugarbush Road won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, will be available at the Millennium Library starting in October to read and discuss short manuscripts submitted by local writers.

Cook

checks in

to library

in October

The South Africa-born Cook began writing poetry and fiction when she moved to Canada, after working as a journalist in her native country. In addition to her novel, she has published four books of poetry, a novella and a book of essays. Details on submitting manuscripts are available from the library's website.

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After relocating to her native England, novelist Rosie Chard returns to the province where she wrote her first novel, Seal Intestine Raincoat (NeWest Press) to launch a novel described as a grown-up take on The Secret Garden.

Chard, currently working as a freelance editor in Brighton, England, will launch The Insistent Garden at McNally Robinson Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Her new novel, also released by Alberta-based NeWest, tells the story of girl in the West Midlands of England who cultivates a garden in the year as an escape from her stifling and obsessive father.

-- -- --

After spending four years on research, and turning to a crowd-funding site to raise money for printing, Interlake author Doreen Pendgracs has launched the first volume of a planned self-published series of books on chocolate.

Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate discusses chocolate-growing regions, the health benefits of the delicious nut, and the top chocolate makers from Europe. A second volume, looking at chocolate produced in the Americas and Caribbean, is planned for 2015.

To promote the series, Pendgracs is taking part in events focusing on cooking with chocolate or pairing chocolate with wine, including a chocolate dinner Nov. 2 at the Prairie Ink restaurant.

-- -- --

A British writer working in the British Library recently found that the greatest British play was off limits.

BBC News reports that Mark Forsyth was writing in the library when he wanted to check a line from Hamlet. Unfortunately, the library's Internet filter blocked the famous tragedy on the grounds that it is too violent. (Spoiler alert: everyone dies.)

The case drew particular attention because it occurred while the U.K. government was considering a proposal for the country's Internet providers to block pornography from user accounts.

Given some of the Bard's ribald word play ("Do you think I meant country matters?"), good luck reading Shakespeare online on the Sceptred Isle.

-- -- --

This ought to settle the question about torture at Guantanamo Bay.

A prisoner at the secretive American military prison that houses al-Qaida suspects has claimed that his guards brought him a copy of EL James's erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey to taunt him. The allegation, according to USA Today, follows a report by a U.S. Congressman who claimed the novel was widely read at the prison.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 7, 2013 A1

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