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This article was published 13/5/2017 (1352 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Katherena Vermette’s The Break is one of two books with Manitoba connections nominated for this year’s Amazon.ca First Novel Prize.

Vermette, who won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year and two other awards at this year’s Manitoba Book Awards, goes up against Accordéon, an experimental and political novel about Quebec by Kaie Kellough, published by Winnipeg’s ARP Books.

The other three books on the shortlist are White Elephant by Catherine Cooper, So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum and Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains by Yasuko Thanh. This year’s winner receives $40,000; each finalist receives $6,000. The prize will be announced May 25.

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Two books with Manitoba links are shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Awards of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Winnipegger Eva Wiseman is nominated for best young adult book for Another Me, her historical novel set in medieval France at the time of the plague and rising anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Joe Friesen, a Globe and Mail reporter formerly based in Winnipeg, is nominated for the best true crime award for The Ballad of Danny Wolfe, his book on the founder of the Indian Posse gang.

The full short list is at wfp.to/EG7; winners will be announced May 25.

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The 50th anniversary of Canada’s most documented UFO encounter will be celebrated May 19-21 with a weekend of activities including the launch of a book co-written by the son of the original witness (and Winnipeg UFO researcher) Chris Rutkowski.

Amateur prospector Stefan Michaluk was burned and suffered weight loss after a May 20, 1967 incident, after which he sketched a saucer-shaped craft. Military and government investigators later examined him and the site and found high levels of radiation.

The anniversary weekend will include the launch, May 20 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers, of When They Appeared, by Stan Michaluk (Stefan’s son) and Rutkowski. The co-authors will also join director Dave Cherniack for a screening of his film UFOs: The Secret History, at Cinematheque on Friday at 7 p.m.

Horseback rides to the site of the incident will also take place all weekend, with Michaluk and Rutkowski holding court during a fireside dinner on May 21. For details, see wfp.to/EGH.

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While the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) considers Norway to be the best country in the world to live in, fictional detective Harry Hole knows better.

Author Jo Nesbo has had Hole walk the mean Scandinavian streets for 11 novels, tracking down the Nordic nation’s killers. Nesbo visits McNally Robinson Thursday to talk about his latest book, The Thirst, in which a serial killer targets Oslo’s Tinder users.

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The Alexander Ovechkin of Canadian literature launches her new novel Wednesday at McNally Robinson.

Barbara Gowdy (The White Bone, Helpless) has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Giller and the Rogers Writers’ Trust prizes, and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. But like the Washington Capitals’ flashy goal scorer, she’s yet to hoist the big hardware.

Her first new novel in 10 years, Little Sister, is the story of a woman who discovers she can inhabit the body of another woman she’s never met. Gowdy launches the novel at 7 p.m.

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Winnipeg publisher Enfield & Wizenty is celebrating the nomination of one of its authors for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, honouring the best debut short-story collection of the year.

Lyse Champagne’s The Light That Remains is a collection of stories about refugees, beginning with a pair of sisters fleeing the Armenian genocide of the First World War. With stops along the way for the Holodomor, Holocaust and Rwandan genocide, the stories continue through to the 21st century,

The winner will be announced by the Writers’ Union of Canada at its annual conference June 3.

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