December 14, 2019

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Two books on strike marching to shelves

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/4/2019 (231 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

With the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike coming up May 15, two new books on the influential event will be launched early next month.

Winnipeg activist and author Dennis Lewycky looks at the social, economic and political conditions leading up to the strike and its long-term effects on workers, unions and governments in Magnificent Fight: The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike (Fernwood Publications).

He launches the book Thursday at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers’ Grant Park location.

On Sunday, May 5, a middle-years historical novel set during the Winnipeg General Strike reaches readers this spring, nearly 40 years after it was written.

The late journalist/author Melinda McCracken, who wrote for the Winnipeg Free Press and numerous other newspapers and magazines, wrote the original draft of her novel Papergirl in 1980-81. It’s the story of a 10-year-old girl who delivers the newspaper produced by the strike committee.

Years after McCracken’s death in 2002, publisher Fernwood brought in Halifax editor/writer Penelope Jackson to expand the story, adding historical strike leader Helen Armstrong as a character.

The launch takes place May 5 at 2 p.m. at McNally Robinson Bookseller’s Grant Park location.

University of Manitoba history professor Henry Heller launches a short, scholarly book on the history and possible future of capitalism this week.

In A Marxist History of Capitalism (Routledge), Heller argues that capitalism has "outgrown its institutional and political limits." He launches the book Monday at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson’s Grant Park location.

When it comes to National Poetry Month, Prairie Fire magazine doesn’t horse around.

The literary journal closes out the month-long celebration of verse with the Writing Animals! event, which will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Forth (171 McDermot Ave.).

The event will feature readings by George Amabile, Di Brandt, Lauren Carter, Joanne Epp, Grant Guy, Tabitha Martens and Jacqui Smyth, and is free to attend.

University of Manitoba community health sciences professor Evelyn Forget is among the contenders for the $50,000 Donner Prize for books on public policy.

Forget’s book Basic Income for Canadians: The Key to a Healthier, Happier and More Secure Life for All (Lorimer) examines the benefits of establishing a basic income and looks at trials of the concept, including the experiment in Dauphin known as Mincome and a more recent one offered by Ontario’s former government under Kathleen Wynne.

The other books on the shortlist are Indigenous Nationals, Canadian Citizens: From First Contact to Canada 150 and Beyond by Thomas J. Courchene; Population Bombed! Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change by Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak; University Commons Divided: Exploring Debate & Dissent on Campus by Peter MacKinnon; and Excessive Force: Toronto’s Fight to Reform City Policing, by Alok Mukherjee with Tim Harper.

The winning title will be announced on Wednesday.

The Friends of the Public Library will be holding their annual Books and Brunch fundraiser on Sunday, May 5, at The Gates on Roblin (6945 Roblin Blvd.).

This year’s special guests to discuss "Books I Have Known and Loved" with host Charlene Diehl are authors John Einarson and Kathy Knowles.

The brunch kicks off at 10 a.m. Tickets are $75, and include a partial tax receipt; they can be purchased via the Friends’ website (, by calling (204) 488-3217 or in person at the Best of Friends Gift Shop in the Millennium Library. For more information, email

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