Annie Ernaux: from L’Autre Fille (The Other Daughter)   > read more...

Wednesday 14 December 2011

When French author Annie Ernaux was ten years old, she overheard her mother conversing with a customer outside the family-run small grocery. The mother confided that there was a daughter before Annie, a six-year old girl who contracted diphtheria and who “died like a little saint.” L’Autre fille (The Other Daughter) is Annie Ernaux’s letter to the departed.

      Annie Ernaux  [Photo: Catherine Hélie, Gallimard]

$50,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize update   >

Friday 9 December 2011

The winner of this extravagant prize will be announced on December 15th, 7 p.m. EST.

From Guy Tiphane: Letter from San Francisco   >

Thursday 8 December 2011

Can machines select the next book for you to read? In this view of the future, a book's DNA can be compared to your “reader DNA,” and the bookseller – no longer a human but a machine automatically channeling books to you – is guaranteed growing sales forever.

And now a message for all the writers who did not win awards this fall   > read more...

Thursday 1 December 2011

"If only I had won the Giller I would be irresistible.”

No. That’s where you’re wrong. You’ve got it backwards. You have to be irresistible in order to win the Giller.

2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Esi Egugyan www.

To Isaac Babel from his daughter   >

Wednesday 30 November 2011

"Well, here you are at last. We've been puzzled about you for so long; although you left behind much love and devotion, you bequeathed us very few facts." -- Nathalie Babel, 1964

From Yan Liang: Q & A with JJ Lee   > read more...

Monday 21 November 2011

JJ Lee is the author of GG-award nominated non-fiction book The Measure of a Man: A Father, A Son, and a Suit.

From Sophie Legrand : Q & A with Katherine Govier   > read more...

Tuesday 15 November 2011

I think landscape forms character. The people I write about are formed by a particular landscape. Maybe it’s harsh, maybe it’s dangerous, it affects what they are and who they are. I like to go and place myself in those landscapes.

            Katherine Govier in Matsumoto, Japan

From Judith Fitzgerald: Winning ReLits & Righteous Fitz Bitz   > read more...

Friday 11 November 2011

L-R:  Craig Francis Power, Tony Burgess, Dani Couture, and ReLit Founder Kenneth J. Harvery.

ReLit winners show off their rings: (L-R) Craig Francis Power, Tony Burgess, Dani Couture, and ReLit founder Kenneth J. Harvey. (Photograph of ReLit Award recipients © 2011 John W. MacDonald. Used by written permission. All rights reserved. Duplication, reproduction, storage, or transmission of this work in whole or in part in any medium without the express written permission of its copyright holder is strictly forbidden. Just so you know, y'know?)

The Quebec “Nobel” goes to novelist Victor-Lévy Beaulieu   > read more...

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Now 67, VLB is in the process of reissuing his complete works. His plan is to publish 666 copies of each work, seeing that as the number of real readers he can count on in Quebec.

From Helen Lyttelton: Film review – Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive   > read more...

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Ambiguous, evocative and sometimes terrifyingly violent, Drive is worth the watch.

From Ruth Gruenthal: Emma Bovary, Bourgeois Heroine   >

Wednesday 9 November 2011

It is one of my principles that one must not write about oneself. The artist should be like God in creation, invisible and all-powerful; so that one can feel him everywhere, but see him not at all.  -- Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

Of Shakespeare, Anonymous, and Muriel Spark   >

Friday 4 November 2011

Shakespeare is – let us put it this way – the least English of English writers.
The typical quality of the English is understatement, saying a little less than what you see. In contrast, Shakespeare tended toward the hyperbolic metaphor, and it would come to us as no surprise to learn that Shakespeare had been Italian, or Jewish, for instance.

                                                                                                       -- Jorge Luis Borges 1979

The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. National Portrait Gallery, London.



From Yoko Morgenstern: A Blue Fish   >

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Literary non-fiction from Yoko Morgenstern.

Photo: Danny Stoecker

Poet and psychiatrist Joël des Rosiers wins Quebec’s national literary prize   > read more...

Tuesday 1 November 2011

In addition to being a gifted poet and a practicing psychiatrist, Des Rosiers is a courageous and open-minded gentleman for whom I have great respect. This, as we all know, has nothing much to do with literary merit, most of the time. I mention it because it gives me even more reason to rejoice that Quebec has chosen to celebrate Joël des Rosiers and his work with its highest literary honour.

Doug Gibson's Stories about Storytellers, reviewed by Linda Leith   > read more...

Friday 28 October 2011

My review of Doug Gibson's Stories about Storytellers has just appeared on the Globe Books site and no doubt in the paper tomorrow.

From Yan Liang: Q & A with Norwegian Wood director Tran Anh Hung   > read more...

Wednesday 26 October 2011

"I am a guy who is Vietnamese, living in France, making a Japanese movie. But Vietnamese culture is really deep inside me. Let’s say I enjoy watching Vietnamese women more than others. It’s something like that. I feel that I am a different man when I am in Vietnam compared with France. I feel that I’m not living my life fully in France, I feel as though my life is in suspension. It is not something I dislike, that’s just how it is."

From Guy Tiphane: Letter from San Francisco   >

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Like an earthquake, Litquake is felt through the entire city and what we call the Bay Area.

Much outcry as Australian broadcaster kills popular radio book show   > read more...

Monday 3 October 2011

I will take this opportunity to point to the spectacular example that Australia’s Book Show has set in books coverage on radio – and to lament that fact that we don’t have anything that comes even close to daily books coverage here in Canada.
                                           Ramona Koval, presenter of
                                           The Book Show

Montreal BookCamp   >

Sunday 2 October 2011

Questions about the future of bookstores and libraries soon resulted in bold statements to the effect that “Bookstores will die. It’s a pity, but that’s the reality.” Booksellers fared better in this imagined future, but not by much. To the suggestion that booksellers can continue to play a role in providing advice on books, one participant cracked, “you might have difficulty living on that.” Publishers came in for some dismissive comments, as well, and radio and television got it in the neck.

Changes made to .ll. -- and changes to come   > read more...

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Introducing fiction and poetry in translation into English -- and, in the weeks to come, a new blogue in French.

Not to mention, it's easier than ever to sign up and comment.

Not to mention the books that will follow in the new year.

Photo: Phyllis Papoulias
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