Hugh’s News #2
June 23rd, 2014
Congratulations to Vancouver’s Renée Saklikar whose much-shortlisted and bestselling Children of Air India (Nightwood) was chosen best poetry book in Canada by the Canadian Author’s Association on June 21. For the recent Dorothy Livesay Poetry at the B.C. Bo0k Prizes, Saklikar’s shortlisted title was nipped at the wire by Jordan Abel’s A Place of Scraps (Talonbooks) but she should consider this national award more than adequate compensation. The CAA poetry award winner receives $2,000 and a silver medal.
Children of Air India has already sold out one printing and now looks like it’s headed for a third printing—no mean feat for poesy in this day and age… Of course it doesn’t hurt that she approaches book promotion like the final week of a provincial election campaign ably abetted by her spouse Adrian Dix, who must be enjoying that elusive taste of victory.
Renée Sarojini Saklikar was 23 years old when her aunt and uncle were murdered on June 23, 1985, in the bombing of Air India Flight 182. In her first book of poems, children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections, Saklikar presents a powerful and deeply personal collection. These poems offer a fresh perspective on a heartbreaking chapter in Canada’s history—the bombing of Air India Flight 182, which killed all 329 passengers and crew, including 82 children under the age of 13.
“Lambert is not the kind of doctor who puts Humpty back together. He’s the kind who roots around in your brains ’til they dribble out your mouth.”—Billy Livingstone
If you’re hankering for some gritty fiction by Vancouver poet and novelist Billy Livingstone you can read a sample of her upcoming novel for free at Hazlitt magazine http://www.randomhouse.ca/hazlitt/feature/watch-night. Hazlitt, the online zine run by Random Canada, has a series where it asks fiction writers to do a story based on “the
trashiest, most lurid, or just bizarre stories of the moment and writes a short story inspired by same.” Billie took off on a documentary called Oxyana about this town in West Virginia where all anyone does is score Oxycontin. She got into the swing of it and decided to expand it into her next novel, due out next year.
Congrats to Yukon author Michelle Genest, who launched her new BC-published book, The Boreal Feast, today at Mac’s Fireweed Books in Whitehorse. Following on her well-received The Boreal Gourmet (Harbour 2010) the thumping new 256-pager goes on a circumpolar foodie tour, examining the feasting tradition of Canada, Norway Russia and other arctic countries. Part ethnography, part recipes.
BC-celebrated National Aboriginal Day on Saturday, June 21, and the whole of June is designated as National Aboriginal Month. Prepare by the First Nations public library community and now in its 10th year, the First Nations Community Reads list for 2013–2014 includes some books by BC authors Richard Wagamese, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Stella Calahasen.
You can support the First Nation Communities Read by purchasing some or all of the 2013–2014 featured titles from GoodMinds, the program’s official wholesaler.
More information about First Nations Communities Read including the full list is available on the Southern Ontario Library Service website: http://www.sols.org/index.php/share-collaborate/networking-meetings/first-nations-gathering/325-develop-your-library-staff/professional-information-a-z/providing-services/first-nations/fn-communities-read/1088-whatis-communities-read
Happy National Aboriginal Month, and happy reading!
— by Hugh Henderson