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PAPERCHASE: Pussy Riot biography in the works

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The Russian feminist activist and punk rock group Pussy Riot will be the subject of a book to be published by the U.K.'s Granta Books next spring.

Masha Gessen, a Russian journalist who last year published a harshly critical biography of Vladimir Putin entitled The Man Without a Face, will tell the story of the punk activists, two of whose members are still in prison following a conviction for "undermining the moral foundations of the nation" as a result of an anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.

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Curious about how high school English has changed -- and how it hasn't -- in the last century?

American educational software company Renaissance Learning presents the most frequently assigned school English texts between 1907 and 2012 in a report available online (renlearn.com/whatkidsarereading). A scan of the lists from 1907 to 2012 reveals that authors come and go but Shakespeare is forever.

Macbeth and Julius Caesar were the two most frequently assigned books in the U.S. in 1907. In 1964 they were first and third. In 1989, the Bard pulled down all three top spots (Romeo and Juliet joined the two tales of assassination that year and remains a fixture on the lists).

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Voting has begun for Manitoba's 2013-14 On the Same Page book promotion at the Winnipeg Public Library.

The annual event, funded by the Winnipeg Foundation, encourages readers to select one book to recommend to all Manitobans. Book giveaways, author appearances and special events will be linked to the book that wins the online voting.

This year's shortlist of four features 7 Generations, a graphic novel about seven generations in a Cree family, by David Robertson and Scott Henderson, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year winning novel The House on Sugarbush Road, by M©ira Cook, The Lucky Ones, a collection of stories about African immigrants to Manitoba, and No One Must Know, a novel about the members of a Jewish family in 1957 who are hiding their identities, by Eva Wiseman.

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A national reading series dedicated to "genre" writing comes to Winnipeg July 17.

The Chiaroscura Reading Series started in Toronto in 2010 and has also spread to Vancouver and Ottawa, bringing together readers and established and emerging writers in the fields of horror, fantasy, science fiction and mystery.

The inaugural Winnipeg event features Andrew Davidson, author of bestseller The Gargoyle, plus horror and thriller writer David Annandale (Gethsemene Hall) and Sierra Dean (author of the Secret McQueen series of werewolf/vampire novels). The series is sponsored by ChiZine Publications.

The readings begin at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2013 A1

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