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PAPERCHASE: Patterson ready to read stories

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Got stories? Debbie Patterson is ready to read. The Winnipeg playwright has settled in as the University of Winnipeg's seventh Carol Shields writer-in-residence, and in a few days will give her first official reading -- possibly from one of her plays: Head, Candy from a Baby or Molotov Circus. She is also known for her adaptation of Robert Munsch stories, which have been produced in theatres across the country.

Writers have already begun trickling in to see her. This pleases Patterson. "I'm really enjoying meeting lots of new writers and talking about their work," she says.

Patterson will read from her work on Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., at The U of W's Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall. The event is free, and open to the public. Her residency continues until April 30.

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The main character in Winnipeg author Alexei Maxim Russell's debut novel for young readers, Trueman Bradley -- Aspie Detective, uses his skill in mathematics to create equations to fight crime. Russell hopes he will also create better awareness of Asperger's syndrome.

Russell was already an adult when his brother began school and was diagnosed with Asperger's. He says the lack of understanding his brother encountered from others was at times heart wrenching. "I wanted to do something to make this a safer world for him and all the other misunderstood Aspies out there."

Trueman Bradley is intended for readers aged 10 and older. It's published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in London, England.

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A book celebrating Winnipeg's Chinese community's historical roots and evolution over the years has been published. On Monday at 8 p.m. Dr. Patrick Choy will present Winnipeg Chinatown 1909-2009: Celebrating 100 Years -- A Remarkable Achievement at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

The Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre commissioned the book in 2009. Its first editor, Philip Chang, became ill before the book was complete. He died in May 2011. Choy, respected in the Chinese and academic community, and also Chang's friend, took on the role of associate editor and worked with Chang's widow to complete the book.

Tina Chen, also on the editorial committee, says the book is made up of interviews, memoirs and photographs reflecting Chinatown's historical roots and its evolution over the past 100 years. "It is an incredibly rich book."

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If the shoe fits, so to speak, lovers of fine literature can shoe... er, show their taste on their toes. Canadian designer John Fluevog runs his international shoe company out of Vancouver, and it appears he has a literary bent. He has named one of his designs after Pulitzer Prize and Governor General's Award-winning author Carol Shields.

Shields lived for 20 years in Winnipeg before retiring with her husband, Don, to Victoria. In 2003, she died of breast cancer.

Greg Fluevog, head of marketing and communications, said, "We were all certainly aware of Carol's presence when she relocated to Victoria, as it's a very small community." They released the "Write Shields" in the fall as a tribute to the author.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 14, 2012 J8

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