Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Thornton to walk three-day novel road

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Not many of the logophiles, caffeine addicts and masochists who are spending this weekend competing in the annual Three Day Novel contest have four previously published novels to their name.

Winnipegger Duncan Thornton, author of the critically acclaimed young-adult fantasy trilogy of Kalifax, Captain Jenny and the Sea of Wonders and The Star Glass (published by Regina's Coteau Press), says he decided to enter the Labour Day marathon after spending too long trying to finish another project. In 2008, he published the first volume, Shadow-Town, of a planned four-part series.

Thornton, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, adds that before he underwent the controversial liberation therapy treatment he would have been incapable of staying up late and writing for three days.

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Self-publishing has received another boost in credibility as a result of the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award for the best American first book going to a writer who chose that path.

New York lawyer Sergio de la Pava was unable to find a publisher for his 678-page Pynchonesque philosophical legal drama, A Naked Singularity, so he published it himself through the site Xlibris in 2008.

Responses were sufficiently enthusiastic, notes The Guardian, that the book was republished last year by Chicago University Press.

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A play developed in co-operation with the Elizabeth Fry Society in order to explore issues around women and prison will be launched in book form Sept. 3 by Winnipeg's J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing.

Jail Baby, by Hope McIntyre and Cairn Moore, was presented this spring by Sarasvati Productions after a process of research and workshopping to gather stories from women who have had experiences dealing with the justice system. The play tells the story of a child born in prison to an addicted mother, who then lives through a series of foster homes before ending up in prison herself.

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Voting in this year's On the Same Page Manitoba promotion at the Winnipeg Public Library wraps up Sept. 13, but readers have one more chance to sample the four nominated books this year.

The annual event invites readers to vote for one Manitoba-written book to promote through author appearances and other events. This year, the four nominees are: 7 Generations, by David Robertson and Scott B. Henderson; The Lucky Ones, by Anne Mahon; The House on Sugarbush Road, by M©ira Cook; and No One Must Know, by Eva Wiseman.

Excerpts from the four nominated books will be read at McNally Robinson Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.

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In 2010, Manitoba-born Vancouver Island poet Harvey Jenkins and his wife, Sharron, spent 39 days walking the 800 kilometre Way of St. James, or El Camino de Santiago, from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela.

The trip inspired Jenkins to write a travel memoir in prose, pictures and haiku exploring life on the ancient pilgrimage route.

Jenkins, who plans to move back to the Prairies in 2014, will launch his self-published book Haiku Moments on the Camino: France to Finisterre at McNally Robinson Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 31, 2013 A1

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