Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Levant's Shakedown voted top Canadian political book
Canadian right-wing commentator Ezra Levant's 2009 book Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights is the winner by popular vote of the Best Canadian Political Book of the Last 25 Years, a contest spearheaded by Samara and the Writers' Trust of Canada.
After the vote was tallied this past month, Shakedown beat out journalist Stevie Cameron's 1994 On the Take and Globe and Mail political columnist Lawrence Martin's 2010 Harperland, among other titles on the list of 12 finalists.
Shakedown is a highly critical examination of Canada's human rights commissions. This past fall Levant, a blogger, columnist and host of The Source on the Sun News Network, was found guilty of libelling a Canadian Human Rights Commission lawyer and ordered to pay $25,000 in damages.
He was ordered to pay further costs in January, the judge citing his "malicious intent" in "his campaign to denormalize" the HRC.
Samara is a charitable organization founded in 2008 "to study citizen engagement with Canadian democracy." Founded in 1976, the WTC is an NGO that facilitates financial support of Canadian writers.
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For the first time in its history, the Scotiabank Giller Prize is soliciting public votes in determining its annual long list, which will this year be released Sept. 6.
According to the CBC's website -- the Giller's official broadcast partner for 2011 -- the book with the most votes will be added to the long list. Readers can vote at cbc.ca/books; a list of the eligible books is available on the Scotiabank Giller Prize website. The voting deadline is Aug. 28.
At the website of Quill & Quire, Canada's publishing trade magazine, Steven W. Beattie pointed out that there's no sign of who gets credited if the public votes for a book the jury already opted for. "In addition, not all of the eligible books will be available by Aug. 28, so the public is, in effect, being asked to vote on books they may not have read."
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A panel for culinary industry alliance Cuisine Canada has released the short list for this year's Canadian Culinary Book Awards.
Of special interest for prairie dwellers is Saskatchewan-based Amy Jo Ehman's nomination in the English special interest category, for A Writer's Journey Home for Dinner (Coteau Books).
The awards are sponsored by Cuisine Canada and the University of Guelph, which offers programs in agriculture, food science, hospitality and tourism management.
Selected by a panel of 19 judges including 2009 CCBA winner Naomi Duguid (Beyond the Great Wall), the winners will be announced Nov. 7 in Toronto.
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Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer Richard Ford has turned his gaze northward: his new novel, Canada, will be published by HarperCollins Canada next May.
"Seeing this book published in Canada will be an honour for me and a bit of a cherished dream, since Canada's played a significant part in my life for a long time," Ford said of the novel -- set largely in Saskatchewan -- in a press release.
Ford is best known for his Bascombe Trilogy, which includes The Sportswriter and its sequels Independence Day -- the only novel ever to win the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/Faulkner Award -- and The Lay of the Land.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 6, 2011 J8
(1 of 23 articles for this week)