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This article was published 6/6/2020 (595 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Books by a recent Nobel prize winner, a dissident Soviet author who died in 1964 and a writer best known for her depiction in her ex-husband’s autobiography are among the contenders for this year’s Best Translated Book Award, presented by the online literary magazine The Millions.
Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk, who won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature, is nominated for her novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, a philosophical murder mystery. Vassily Grossman, who served as a Red Army war correspondent in the Second World War from the initial German invasion in 1941 through to the fall of Berlin, is nominated for his novel Stalingrad. Grossman, who died in 1964, was initially published outside the Soviet Union after his works were smuggled out of the country. Linda Bostrom Knausgard, whose life was laid bare internationally by her then-husband Karl in his six-part My Struggle, is nominated for Welcome to America.
In all, 35 books are nominated for the translated fiction and poetry awards. For the full lists, see wfp.to/translatedbooks.
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Winners of the annual Forest of Reading awards will be announced June 16, despite a disruption in the usual way the annual competition for books for children is decided.
The awards include 10 categories for English and French fiction and non-fiction, as well as picture books, for readers from kindergarten to high school. Usually, hundreds of thousands of school children take part in voting for the winning books through their schools — as well as at libraries and literacy centres — and the winners are announced in-person at a festival in Toronto. This year the announcement will be made online.
Two books by Manitoba writers, as well as a few others with Manitoba connections, are in the running.
Surviving the City (HighWater Books), a graphic novel written by Tasha Spillet and illustrated by Natasha Donovan, is nominated in the English language middle school category. Go Show the World (Tundra Books), written by Wab Kinew and illustrated by Joe Morse, is nominated in a category of fiction and non-fiction for readers in grades 3 and 4.
Winnie’s Great War (HarperCollins), by Linday Mattick and Josh Greenhunt and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, is nominated in the category of fiction for grades 3 to 6. It’s based on the story of Winnipeg’s favourite ursine symbol.
Though not a Manitoban, Frankie MacDonald is familiar to many of us for his passionate online storm reports every time a blizzard comes our way. He’s co-author, along with Sarah Sawler, of Be Prepared: Frankie MacDonald’s Guide to Life, the Weather and Everything (Nimbus Publishing), which is nominated for the award for non-fiction for grades 4-8.
Details on the other nominees can be found at wfp.to/forestofreading.
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Cats have ruled the internet for years, so it only makes sense that a book called Swashbuckling Cats: Nine Lives on the Seven Seas would have an online launch party.
The collection of 13 fantasy stories featuring cats as pirates — including one by Winnipeg’s Chadwick Ginther, entitled All Cats Go to Valhalla — was launched last week with a series of readings by contributors and pirate trivia contests.
Details on the book can be found at wfp.to/swashbuckling.
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Prolific American novelist Joyce Carol Oates has won France’s 200,000 euro Cino del Duca literary prize for lifetime achievement in writing more than 60 books.
Oates has won the American National Book Award and five times been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for works such as her 2001 novel Blonde, focusing on Marilyn Monroe, and her 2015 short story collection Lovely, Dark, Deep.
The Cino del Duca award is often seen as a step towards the Nobel Prize for Literature. Past winners Andrei Sakharov, Mario Vargas Llosa and Patrick Modiano have gone on to win the big prize.