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Vermette shares bill with rising novelist

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Winnipeggers looking to cheer local Métis poet Katherena Vermette for her recent Governor General's Award can also help to launch a novel by a rising Métis and Ojibway writer from Ontario.

Vermette, honoured this week for her poetry debut, North End Love Songs, shares the bill with novelist Cherie Dimaline, who launches The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Neechi Commons at 865 Main St.

Dimaline's novel, published by B.C.-based Theytus Books, tells the story of "the smartest, most resilient and most beautiful character ever created in Indian Country," according to poet, novelist and academic Lee Maracle, who's hosting the celebration.

In addition to being one of Canada's leading aboriginal writers, Maracle is also the mother of Winnipeg theatre artist Columpa Bobb.

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While it's a fact of economic life that every poet needs a day job, Thomas Lynch stands apart from his peers.

The American Book Award winner has written 10 books of poetry, essays and short fiction while working as the local funeral director in Milford, Mich. Lynch's most recent book is The Good Funeral: Death, Grief and the Community of Care.

He will speak about poetry and ceremonies around grief and death Monday at 7 p.m. at St. Michael's Anglican Church, at Westminster and Ethelbert in Wolseley, when he gives this year's Slater Maguire Lecture.

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A Winnipeg teacher-librarian and one of her former students have teamed up to create an illustrated children's book inspired by the love of dogs.

Daisy's Biggest Success tells the story of an enthusiastic puppy who loves to jump up on the couch, to her owners' consternation. It grew out of illustrations by Winnipeg artist and dog lover Sarah Neville. Her former teacher, Harriet Zaidman, who also reviews books for the Free Press, provided the text to create a story.

The self-published book will be launched Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. at McNally Robinson.

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Winnipeg Folk Festival fans may recall Vancouver-based accordionist Geoff Berner improvising an attack on festival sponsor Volkswagen during his mainstage performance in 2008.

Now they'll want to know if the controversy has made it into Berner's satirical novel Festival Man (Dundurn Press), described by Maclean's as a story of "grifters and drifters, poets and performance artists" inspired by the singer's own career on the Canadian folk fest circuit.

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Britain's most successful football manager is dominating on another pitch: the nation's bookstores.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired last year after leading Manchester United to yet another Premier League title, now owns the record for the fastest-selling non-fiction book in Britain. His book, My Autobiography, sold more than 115,000 copies in the first week of release, easily beating previous top-selling memoirs by one-time protégé David Beckham and former prime minister Tony Blair.

Ferguson's eclipsing of Beckham's sales total adds injury to insult. Within his memoir, the ex-manager muses that the one-time wunderkind of British football began to lose his touch after marrying the former Posh Spice, Victoria Adams.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 16, 2013 A1

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