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Who will Amis offend at Banff festival?

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Martin Amis once suggested he'd have to be brain-injured to write young adult books.

He has offended Muslims with his literary response to 9/11, the elderly with his thoughts on euthanasia, women with his parade of femmes fatales and the honour of British dentistry with his shiny, white, American-made choppers.

So when Amis speaks in Banff, Oct. 13, as the star of the Banff-Calgary WordFest literary festival, one can only speculate on what controversy he'll court.

Perhaps he'll read from his novel in progress: Skiing is for Tossers and Yes, That Fleece Hiking Jacket Does Make You Look Fat.

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Horror fans will want to circle Sept. 24, 2013, on their calendars. That's the publishing date of the much-anticipated sequel to Stephen King's classic The Shining, as announced recently on King's website.

Doctor Sleep, to be published by Scribner and Hodder and Stoughton, will feature the adventures of a grown-up Danny Torrance, the little boy with "the shine," or precognition, in the original novel.

It's not the first time King has caught up with one of his child heroes as an adult.

In 2001, he and co-author Peter Straub published Black House, featuring a grown-up version of Jack Sawyer, the hero of their 1984 fantasy-horror hit The Talisman.

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The Manitoba Writers' Guild begins its 2012-13 In Dialogue reading and discussion series Oct. 22 with a fiction and poetry showcase featuring B.C. novelist Eden Robinson and Winnipeg poet Katherena Vermette.

The series pairs writers from a variety of genres, including poets, novelists, playwrights and non-fiction writers, and includes out-of-towners such as Robinson, Governor-General's Award winner Dianne Warren, rock musician/hockey fan Dave Bidini and B.C. poet bill bissett, as well as local authors.

The monthly events take place on Mondays starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Free Press News Café. For details and prices, check www.mbwriter.mb.ca.

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In a surprise encore during the Thin Air Writers' Festival, veteran Winnipeg novelist and reviewer Dave Williamson was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, Sept. 27, for his decades of service to the cultural community.

Williamson, a former president of the Manitoba Writers' Guild, chairman of the Writers' Union of Canada, and the founder of Red River College's creative communications program, had just finished reading a comic bedroom scene from his novel Dating when he was called up by MP Joyce Bateman to receive the medal.

Dating isn't Williamson's only new book. The former dean of applied arts and business at RRC launched an official history of his former employer in September, entitled Changing People's Lives: An Illustrated History of Red River College.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 6, 2012 J8

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