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Scholarship to honour Francis coming

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A scholarship in the name of the late Winnipeg poet, playwright and visual artist Marvin Francis will be announced at a book launch at McNally Robinson Booksellers Aug. 7.

Francis, a founding member of the Manitoba Aboriginal Writers' Collective, died in 2005, three years after his influential poetry book City Treaty was published.

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The scholarship will be announced at the launch of Indigenous Poetics in Canada, edited by Saskatchewan Cree poet Neal McLeod. The event starts at 7 p.m.

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Think you know Canadian Literature? The website The Toast has compiled a guide to "Every Canadian Novel Ever" that hilariously skewers our tendencies for gloomy rural reflections and grievance-mongering.

A parlour game for Canadian readers might be to identify writers and books being mocked under The Toast's one-sentence summations, such as: "In Which Blondes from Westmount Fail to Sleep With You" or "The Next Three Chapters are Set in the 1830s Bush For Some Reason But Then We'll Be Back to This 1970s University Women's Studies Department."

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With the centennial of the First World War just a few days away, a Canadian film and television writer-director-turned-novelist is making two Manitoba stops on a tour to promote his novel set amid the horrors of the Western Front.

Paul Almond will read from The Gunner, the latest in a multi-volume family saga, Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum in Shilo and Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Almond's Alford family saga, published by Alberta's Red Deer Press, follows several generations in the family of a Royal Navy sailor who deserted in 1800. The latest instalment tells the story of a young man who serves as an artillery gunner in several of the key battles of the First World War and encounters many of the war's horrors.

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When the long list for this year's Man Booker Prize was announced in July, Canadian literati noted the absence of Canadian titles.

Now the much-longer long list for the Guardian's alternative prize, the Not the Booker Prize, has improved things for Canadian writers, but only just.

The 99-book list, which, like the Man Booker itself, includes American titles for the first time, was announced last week and includes Joseph Boyden's The Orenda and Lisa Moore's Caught.

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San Diego's Comic-Con International continues to pull in all global media like a spandex-clad black hole.

The world's publishers had a major presence this year at the one-time comic book festival, which is now a key part of marketing for film, television and gaming, all of which, by global decree, must now feature super heroes, magic or apocalyptic scenarios.

Publishers Weekly notes that Penguin Random House, HarperCollins and Simon and Shuster were among the publishers offering advance reader copies of forthcoming books, giving away special Comic-Con swag, and convening panels of authors.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 2, 2014 G7

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Updated on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 8:15 AM CDT: Formatting.

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