Vera Manuel and her Indigenous lit

Daughter of George Manuel, Vera Manuel (1949-2010), actor, playwright, poet, drama therapist, and healer, has been honoured with an anthology of her varied written work. FULL STORY

Who’s Who

Bill Arnott

A is for Arnott
When he was banished from Iceland to Greenland in 982, Erik Thorvaldsson—aka Erik the Red—established a settlement at Qassiarsuk, or Brattahlid. It’s one of the northern locations that Bill Arnott recalls visiting in his memoir, Gone Viking: A Travel Saga (Wonderful Magical Publications $19.95 U.S.), a self-described “peripatetic pursuit of Norseman.” Including a trip to Haida Gwaii, it’s his attempt to honour Scandinavian exploration and influence that reached the British Isles, North Africa, the Mediterranean, Russia and most of Europe, particularly during the eighth to eleventh centuries. It was deemed a finalist for the new Whistler Independent Book Awards. As a small boy, Bill Arnott pretended a gunny sack belted with a length of cord was a Viking tunic. He completed the uniform with a helmet concocted out of paper-mache and horns; a round shield and sword made from light wood wrapped in tinfoil. It transported him to an imaginary world that stuck with him. Arnott later set out on an epic journey of his own following in the wake of “history’s most feared and misunderstood voyagers.” He called it “going a-Viking” in honour of the Norsemen’s “Grand Tour before rail or the Renaissance, an overseas experience without synthetic packs of Swiss Army Knives. Just wool and fur, wood and iron, axes as tools and weapons along with the power of sail, oar, and effort.” 978-1-926459-01-1

B is for Bowering
Victoria writer and poet, Marilyn Bowering’s new book of poetry, What is Long Past Occurs in Full Light (Mother Tongue $21) reflects her long-held interests in culture as ecology. There are meditations on absences and loss; personal and cultural memories; and poems that link literature, civilization, history, ecology and personal critique. Bowering’s other recent works include the poetic Threshold: an encounter with the seventeenth- century Hebridean bard Màiri nighean Alasdair Ruaidh (Leaf Press 2015) and a libretto, Marilyn Forever, composed by Gavin Bryars and premiered in Europe in the Spring of 2018. She has received many awards for her writing including the Pat Lowther Award, the Dorothy Livesay Prize, the Ethel Wilson Prize and several National Magazine awards. She has been short-listed for the world-wide Orange Prize, long-listed for the Dublin Impac Award, and twice short-listed for the Governor-General’s Prize for poetry. 978-1-896949-72-7

C is for Croteau
Rejection, abandonment, bullying, alcoholism, reconciliation, redemption, love, and enlightenment but above all, hope, are the themes of a memoir by Canadian Marcel Croteau, Conquering the War Within: Conversations with a WW II RCAF Rear Air Gunner (Austin MacCauley $13.95 U.S.) co-authored with Lynda Manson of Sechelt. The ninety-five-year-old Sechelt veteran was decorated by King George VI and survived an unprecedented thirty-nine missions during the war—not unscathed. He has endured a half-lifetime of PTSD. In 2014, France honoured the Sechelt veteran with a medal and made him a Knight of the Legion of Honour, its highest award, to go with a plethora of previous medals. 9781643787077

D is for Dickinson
Set in London during the IRA crisis in 1974, Don Dickinson’s Rag & Bone Man (Coteau $24.95) follows the misadventures of an unemployed Canadian hockey player named Rob Hendershot who is led into intrigue by his 83-year-old roommate. As a somewhat naive Canadian who went to England to play pro hockey, Hendershot is perplexed by the volatile politics of the era as he looks for love in some of the wrong places–and in an art studio. To make ends almost meet, he works as an artist’s model, posing as a modern day Beowulf for the mesmerizing artist, Margaret Lowenstein, with whom he is smitten. A long-time resident of Lillooet, where he taught English, Don Dickinson lived in London during the time period described. His first work of fiction was published in 1982. 9781550502749

E is for Emery
Prudence Emery of Victoria was born in Nanaimo in the 1937. After working for five years as a press secretary for the Savoy Hotel in London–and getting a kiss from Paul McCartney–she became a Hollywood publicist working with the likes of Jodie Foster, Beau Bridges, Rob Lowe, Peter O’Toole and Canadians Raymond Burr and David Cronenberg. She has 80 credits as a unit publicist on IMBD. At age 82, she will publish her memoirs, Nanaimo Girl (Goose Lane 2019), forthcoming in the fall. $24.95 978-1-77086-527-3 / Prudence Emery graduated from Crofton House Private School in Vancouver, B.C. in 1954 and attended UBC for two years before taking a secretarial job at the Naval base in Esquimalt. She earned enough to attend the Chelsea School of Art in London in 1957. She returned to Canada in 1962 at age 25 and taught handicrafts to veterans at Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver for a summer, then took a year of teacher’s training in Victoria before heading to Toronto where she worked as scab proof reader during a strike at The Globe and Mail from 1965-1966. Her breakthrough as a publicist occurred at Expo 67 in Montreal where she oversaw tours for travel writers and celebrities including Liberace, Twiggy, Hugh Hefner and Edward Albee. In 1968 she returned to London for a month’s visit and was offered a job as Press and Public Relations Officer at the Savoy Hotel. For five years she met celebrities and politicians such as Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Petula Clark, Louis Armstrong, Sir Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, Liza Minnelli and Ginger Rogers. She returned to Toronto in 1973 and began working as a publicist for more than 100 film productions, travelling all over the globe in the process, meeting actors such as Sofia Loren, Julianne Moore, Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Viggo Mortensen, Jenifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Robert Redford and Jeremy Irons. She has worked for ten films directed by David Cronenberg. In 2014, at age 78, she wrote and produced the short comedy Hattie’s Heist.

Heather Fawcett

F is for Fawcett
In her third YA novel, Ember and the Ice Dragons (HarperCollins $21), Heather Fawcett tells the tale of a dragon named Ember parading as a human in London, England. But Ember keeps bursting into flames at certain temperatures and decides to move to her aunt’s research station in freezing cold Antarctica. There, in the land of ice storms and playful penguins, she discovers there is an annual hunt for rare ice dragons. She joins the hunt to sabotage it from the inside, discovering that it isn’t easy being an undercover dragon. Will she be able to protect the ice dragons from extinction? Heather Fawcett has a master’s degree in English literature and has worked as an archaeologist, photographer, aerospace technical writer and a backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre festival. She lives in Courtenay.  9780062854513

G is Gardiner
We get two lives. The second one starts when you realize you only get one. Elee Kraljii Gardiner has edited Against Death: 35 essays on living (Anvil 2019) to explore and recount near-death experiences or, as she puts it, “near-deathness.” The collection is an attempt to avoid “the usual platitudes, feel-good bromides, and pep talks associated with near-death encounters.” Against Death follows her second book of poems, Trauma Head (Anvil $18), a memoir of unwellness that recalls her mini-stroke in 2012 that caused her to lose feeling in her left side, leading to a discovery that there was a tear in the lining of an artery. Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the founder and creative mentor of Thursdays Writing Collective, a non-profit organization of Downtown Eastside writers, and editor and publisher of eight of its anthologies. Death 978-1-77214-127-6; Trauma 978-1-77214-122-1

Elee Gardiner at Co-op Radio, Vancouver

H is for Hunt
Gwynne Hunt’s Unlocking the Tin Box (Silver Bow Publishing 2019 / 9781774030103) is a family memoir that describes growing up in Vancouver and Kamloops in the 1950s and 1960s in a dysfunctional home with alcoholic parents and sexual abuse. Hunt describes it as “a personal journey of living with a con man and a carny, but a still very caring Dad. He kept the family going surviving and growing.” With some DNA evidence for grist, this is a generational journey. Hunt has also self-published a collection of poetry called bruises and bad haircuts [sic] and a book about murdered and missing women and children in Canada called ramage [sic].

Taslim Burkowicz

I is for Indo-Canadian
Taslim Burkowicz’s second novel, The Desirable Sister (Roseway $22) sheds light on the importance of skin colour in the Indo-Canadian community and the competition between women that can result. Teenager Serena feels ostracized due to her dark skin, whereas her lighter-skinned sister Gia is openly welcomed and celebrated everywhere by love interests, peers and even family members. Burkowicz’s story about “the bitter games of treachery women are forced to play” takes place in the partying culture of Goa, in Vancouver and during an African safari. Burkowicz grew up in a Gujarati family in the Lower Mainland and lives with her family in Surrey. 978-1-7736-3232-2

J is for Jordan
Once women had the vote and were given property rights, ushered in by first-wave feminism, a new struggle began for broader equality in areas such as sexuality, family life, the workplace and other areas. Branching Out, Canada’s first national magazine serving this second-wave  feminism, which operated from the early 1960s to the 1980s, started surprisingly on the prairies although it was read widely from coast to coast. Vancouver researcher and educator, Tessa Jordan has written a history of this influential magazine, Feminist Acts: Branching Out Magazine and the Making of Canadian Feminism (Univ. of Alberta $34.99) with a foreword by CBC Radio’s Eleanor Wachtel. Branching Out is an Edmonton-based story of political activism and feminist communities. It ceased publication in 1980 but not before becoming the most popular feminist magazine in the country. Jordan’s work focuses on Canadian feminist histories as well as the private sector’s role in the fight for social justice and ecological sustainability.
978-1-77212-484-2

K is for Klee Wyck Journal
A group of friends return to the same remote coastal area in B.C., year after year. Eventually they begin to build a cabin from foraged materials (there’s lots of wood and logs washed up on the shores). One of the builders is Lou McKee, an artist who had grown up in Vancouver and spent childhood summers on Texada Island and the Sechelt Peninsula. She documented the communal construction of the cabin in her diaries and illustrations, which she turned into a book, Klee Wyck Journal: The Making of a Wilderness Retreat (Epicenter Press $29.95). “We reach this remote shore by kayak,” McKee writes. “There are no roads nor pathways. No docks nor safe buoys. We land on a little sheltered spit in a bay that is otherwise open ocean surf. In time, we forged a trail into the woods to build a cedar cabin to shelter us from the rain that can drench (and beautify) this sea coast. A summertime community forms, made up of folks from 6 years old to 80. Everyone pitches in to cook, to build fires, to make shakes and cut and carry logs… We gather mussels, clams and oysters in secret places.”
978-1-935347-75-0

Gloria Levi

L is for Levi
Vancouver author and activist, Gloria Levi was born and raised in New York City, which she left in 1950, at the age of 19, to travel to what was then the newly-formed country of Israel. Intending to stay for the summer only, she fell in love with a man she met en route and shortly thereafter, Israel too. Levi got pregnant and decided to remain in Israel only to find there were difficulties raising a young family in her new country. Kissing an Old Dream Goodbye: A Memoir, 1950 -59 (Fictive Press 2019) is her story of the travails of a family trying to integrate into Israeli society in the 1950s. Levi gradually came to the realization that her path to Israeli identity was complex and multi-layered. She eventually moved to Canada and worked as a gerontologist for more than 30 years in positions such as recreation therapist, social worker, trainer/consultant in aging, and finally as a community volunteer coordinator. Her series of six booklets, Challenges of Later Life (1992) was widely distributed throughout Canada. Her book, Dealing With Memory Changes As You Grow Older (Bantam, 1998), co-authored with Kathleen Gose, has been translated into six languages. Gloria published her first memoir, My Dance with Shechina, in 2012. A dedicated student of Judaic studies, she also translated the story of a Chasidic master, The Life and Times of Simcha Bunim of P’shischa (2007), from the original Hebrew. Politically active, Levi served as a city councillor in Coquitlam from 1981 to 1984. She also established Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver and helped build 27 houses from 1997 to 2004. She is the mother of five, grandmother of eleven, and great grandmother of seven. Kissing an Old Dream Goodbye will be launched at the Gabriola Island library on August 13, at 2 pm.

Lee Maracle

M is for Maracle
Sto:Lo author and poet, Lee Maracle is among nine finalists for the US$50,000 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. The prize is significant because a large number of the winners go on to be nominated or win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Maracle earned the nomination for her novel Celia’s Song (Cormorant 2014). The Neustadt is awarded every other year to a work of poetry, fiction or drama that has significantly contributed to world literature. Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and its magazine World Literature Today, the award has been nicknamed the “American Nobel” because more than 30 laureates, finalists and jurors have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The winner of the 2020 Neustadt Prize will be announced at a reception in Norman, Okla., on Oct. 16, 2019. 978-1770864511

N is for Natalie
Natalie Meisner of Salt Spring Island is a playwright and author of the memoir, Double Pregnant, about two lesbians and their quest to have children. Illustrated with watercolours by Mathilde Cinq-Mars of Quebec, her My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother and Me (Nimbus $22.95) is for children and young teens. It arises from Meisner’s experiences as a mother of two. “When the fog disappears, the path to the beach beckons, with all the treasures it leaves behind: lobster traps, buoys, fused glass, urchins, a note in a bottle.” 9781771087414

Thomas Antony Olajide

O is for Olajide
A member of the Saga Collectif, Thomas Antony Olajide co-wrote the play Black Boys (Playwrights Canada $18.95) about the complex dynamics of the queer black male experience. His co-writers include two other black men, a black woman and a white man. The play examines three very different black men seeking to understand themselves in a society that both vilifies and sexualizes the black male body. Each role does a deep dive into the interplay between gender, sexuality and race. Olajide is a Dora Mavor Moore Award-nominated Toronto-based actor from Vancouver. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. The Saga Collectif was founded in 2012 to bring under-represented bodies and voices to the stage in a way that is honest, risky and new.
978-0-3691-1004-7-4

Steven Price

P is for Price
Following on the heels of his historical novel By Gaslight (Penguin, 2016), Steven Price’s Lampedusa: A Novel (Penguin $32) imagines the life of Giuseppe Tomasi (1896 – 1957), a minor Sicilian aristocrat who wrote one novel during his lifetime, The Leopard (1958) published posthumously and considered one of the greatest Italian novels of the 20th century. The last prince of Lampedusa, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, Tomasi conceived his novel during World War I but didn’t actually begin committing it to paper until after World War II. When The Leopard appeared, it won the Strega Prize, Italy’s most prestigious literary award; and when made into a movie in 1963, it won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Price himself is no stranger to literary accolades having garnered two poetry awards: the Gerald Lampert Award for Anatomy of Keys (Brick Books, 2006) and ReLit Award for Omens in the Year of the Ox (Brick Books, 2012). By Gaslight was long-listed for the Giller Prize. He and his wife, novelist Esi Edugyan live in Victoria. 978-0-7710-7168-3

Linda Quennec

Q is for Quennec
A widow at the age of 32, Kate leaves her backward hometown on Vancouver Island and moves to an even smaller island hoping to find solace. Here, she meets another woman, Ivy who regales Kate with wild stories of Cuba in 1926. Another woman, Kate’s mother Nora provides backstory on mid-twentieth century island living. These are the main characters of Linda Quennec’s new novel Fishing for Birds (Inanna $22.95) that navigates island life from the tropical South to the temperate Northwest Coast, across time and through the very different experiences of three women. Throughout, the novel examines the expectations people cling to, and the unexpected things that show up and impact their lives. Quennec describes herself as an island dweller at heart. She is a PhD student in Depth Psychology with a MFA in creative writing from Naropa University, and is a graduate of The Writers’ Studio at SFU and the Humber School of Writing. Her work has been published in Quills Canadian Poetry, 3Elements Review, Cirque, and Emerge. She lives in Vancouver. 978-1-77133-613-0

Robin and Jilian Ridington

R is for Ridington
Robin Ridington began working with the Beaver Indians, or Dane-zaa, in 1964; his wife Jillian began working with the Dane-zaa in 1978. As a UBC-based anthropologist, Robin Ridington studied storytelling techniques of the Dane-zaa in the subarctic Peace River area of northern British Columbia for Trail to Heaven: Knowledge and Narrative in a Northern Native Community (1988), which won the Hubert Evans B.C. Non-Fiction Prize in 1989. The Victoria couple also co-authored Where Happiness Dwells: A History of the Dane-zaa First Nations (2019) with Elders of the Dane-zaa First Nations. For decades they chiefly resided on Galiano Island. Robin Ridington began writing sonnets as a student at Swarthmore College in the 1960s. “Some people do crosswords,” he says. “I write sonnets.” In 2008, he self-published his first collection of sonnets, The Poets Don’t Write Sonnets Anymore (Plume of Cockatoo Press) followed by Spaghetti Must be Ambidextrous: Sonnets 2008-2019 (Plume of Cockatoo Press $15.95). 9780981066615

Michelle Sylliboy

S is for Sylliboy
Michelle Sylliboy’s Kiskajeyi- I AM READY (Rebel Mountain $19.99) is described as a hieroglyphic poetry book with which she seeks to revitalize the L’nuk (Mi’kmaq) language. Sylliboy blended her poetry, photography & Mi’kmaq (L’nuk) hieroglyphic poetry to coincide with the launch of her Mi’kmaq hieroglyphic art exhibit in Nova Scotia. The book’s B.C. publishers reported Kiskajeyi sold out in one month, requiring a second printing, and Sylliboy was interviewed by Shelagh Rogers for the CBC’s The Next Chapter. In 2019, Sylliboy moved to Nova Scotia to work on her doctorate for Simon Fraser University, having lived on unceded Coast Salish territory for twenty-seven years. In Vancouver she was a member of the West Coast Aboriginal Writers Collective. 978-1-7753019-2-9

Jane Teskey

T is for Teskey
Jane Teskey has published her memoir: Garden Glimpses: A Protection Island Memoir (self-published, $20) about her lifelong journey to independence through maintenance gardening. According to the jacket cover’s back page blurb, it’s also “a practical guide to tending gardens as delight rather than toil.” Teskey’s editor, Valerie Hennell says the book is a history of Protection Island through the eyes of its gardens and early residents, many of whom “have gone over the garden wall.” Another Protection Island resident, retired bookseller Thora Howell is thankful that Teskey introduced their community to Hazelnut flowers and writes, “We all enjoy Heather’s garden but little did we know what it took to make the bed that has nurtured her flowers and shrubs for over 25 years… It is the story of one person’s commitment to enabling people to bring their dreams of gardens to life.” Mainly straightforward prose with a sprinkling of photos and illustrations, Teskey has also included some poetry and gardening tips. Teskey has spent 25 years honing her skills as a gardener. She lives with her partner Frank and their dog Buddy on Protection Island where she tends many gardens. 978-1-9991186-0-0

U is for Ut’akhgit
Smithers arose from a swamp beneath a mountain. Initially the non-indigenous residents of the town in northwestern B.C. largely excluded the surrounding Witsuwit’en population. As a third-generation native of Smithers, who now works as an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Florida State University, Tyler McCreary has orchestrated interviews with more than fifty Witsuwit’en and non-indigenous families for Shared Histories: Witsuwit’en – Settler Relations in Smithers BC 1913 – 1973 (Creekstone $24.95). To celebrate this publication, the community of Witset (formerly Moricetown) and the Liksilyu clan organized a 34 km. Walk to Witset and a feast hosting more than 400 guests (over 50% non-Indigenous). Ut’akhgit Henry Alfred, the last living Witsuwit’en plaintiff in the Delgamuukw – Gisdaywa court case, hosted the feast, attending in spite of illness, and died soon after. “This book is part of a process to acknowledge the historic contributions of Witsuwit’en people to building the town,l” says McCreary, “and the forms of discrimination that they endured.” 978-1-928195-04-7

Irsula Vaira

V is for Vaira
The Federation of BC Writers has announced Ursula Vaira is the new editor of their magazine WordWorks distributed to more than 700 writers around B.C. After working for Oolichan Books in the 1990s, Vaira founded Leaf Press in 2000. She has written several chapbooks as well as And See What Happens: The Journey Poems (Caitlin 2011), containing an account of her thirty-day, 1000-mile paddle from Hazelton to Victoria in a First Nations canoe to raise awareness of the mistreatment of Indigenous people in residential schools. She was the only woman on the journey.

W is for Wong
In 2018, Edwin Wong (1974-) founded the Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Playwright Competition with Langham Court Theatre to challenge conventional Aristotelian, Hegelian, and Nietzschean interpretations of tragedy. It is touted as the world’s largest competition for the writing of tragedy (visit risktheatre.com). A year later, Wong’s study of the nature and appeal of tragedy, The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy: Gambling, Drama, and the Unexpected (Friesen 2019 $22.50), asserted his own theories as to why tragedy has been an integral part of storytelling for two millennia. Tragic heroes, he maintains, “by making delirious wagers, trigger catastrophic events. Because they wager human assets, tragedy functions as a valuing mechanism. Because they lose all, audiences ask: how did the perfect bet go wrong?” Wong has a Master’s degree from Brown University, where he concentrated in ancient theatre. His other research interests include epic poetry, having published “a solution to the contradiction between Homeric fate and free will by drawing attention to the peculiar mechanics of chess endgames.” He lives in Victoria, B.C. and blogs at melpomeneswork.com

X is for Xesdu’wäxw
Born in 1931 in the Kitlope, Cecil Paul, also known by his Xenaksiala name, Wa’xaid, is one of the last fluent speakers of his people’s language. At age ten he was placed in a residential school run by the United Church of Canada at Port Alberni where he was abused. After three decades of prolonged alcohol abuse, he returned to the Kitlope where his healing journey began. He has worked tirelessly to protect the Kitlope, described as the largest intact temperate rainforest watershed in the world. In his late 80s, he resides on his ancestors’ traditional territory. He is the co-author of Stories from the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid (Rocky Mountain Books $30) as told to Briony Penn, who is also releasing her own 400-page book, A Year on the Wild Side: A West Coast Naturalist’s Almanac (Touchwood $26). “My name is Wa’xaid,” he says, “given to me by my people. ‘Wa’ is ‘the river’, ‘Xaid’ is ‘good’ – good river. Sometimes the river is not good. I am a Xenaksiala, I am from the Killer Whale Clan. I would like to walk with you in Xenaksiala lands. Where I will take you is the place of my birth. They call it the Kitlope. It is called Xesdu’wäxw (Huschduwaschdu) for ‘blue, milky, glacial water’. Our destination is what I would like to talk about, and a boat—I call it my magic canoe. It is a magical canoe because there is room for everyone who wants to come into it to paddle together. The currents against it are very strong but I believe we can reach that destination and this is the reason for our survival.” Front page photo by Callum Gunn. Colour above, by Greg Shea.

Rande Cook and Linda Rogers

Y if for Yo! Wik’sas?
Yo! Wik’sas? Hello! How Are You?: An Illustrated Conversation with the Invisible Girl Siri (Exile 2019) is a collaborative kids’ book in English and Kwak’wala based on the paintings of Kwakwaka’wakw artist Chief Rande Cook. It takes the form of a conversation between Siri (an enigmatic creator) and Rande’s two real-life kids, Isla and Ethan, who wonder about friendship, the future of the planet and what besides coffee motivates Dads. Cook’s work is in a natural environment, not in front of a computer screen. When Linda Rogers suggested a book, he replied, “Good, go right ahead.” So, Rogers proceeded to produce the book under Cook’s supervision. The story is followed by some guidance for conversations to be led by teachers or parents. There is also a short glossary to introduce a few Kwak’wala words, the most important of which is Gilakas’la, thank you! 978-1-5509-682-8-6

R.E. Donald

Y is for Yellowhead Blues
R.E. Donald has released a fifth book, Yellowhead Blues (Proud Horse, 2019) in her murder mystery series set on the highways of North America. The story opens with former RCMP investigator Hunter Rayne on the road in his eighteen-wheeler when he’s flagged down to help calm a horse with a bloodied saddle and no rider. The RCMP arrest a man for the murder of the horse’s owner but Hunter believes they’ve got the wrong man and sets out to uncover who stood to gain from the death of the wealthy ranch owner. Rayne’s beliefs are shared by a rookie female RCMP constable who joins him in the search for the truth. She befriends the dead man’s young fiance in an effort to get answers, and discovers that the vulnerable Texas beauty is not who the victim believed her to be. R.E. Donald was introduced to mystery fiction while reading books at her Uncle John’s family cabin on Shuswap Lake, “everything from Agatha Christie to Dick Francis to John D. MacDonald,” she says. “I started writing a novel when I was twelve, then wrote numerous business and horse-related articles over the years, but didn’t get serious about writing fiction until 1994. At that time, I was very active on the Compuserve Mystery Forum, attended Surrey Writers’ Conferences and Bouchercons, joined Crime Writers of Canada (we used to meet at Bunny Wright’s house) and Sisters in Crime.” Donald’s Proud Horse imprint is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. 978-0-9940-7625-0

Z is for Zuehlke
Following the tumult of early Canada’s war with America in 1812, several decades of peace ensue before the group of British North American colonies take their first steps to becoming a real country. Mark Zuehlke’s first graphic novel, The Loxleys and Confederation (Renegade Arts $19.99) tells the story of this era through the lives of the Loxley family who live in the Niagara peninsula. In a blend of history, education and adventure, the novel begins in 1864, following the Loxley family when the pre-Canada colonies once again face the threat of an American invasion after the cancellation of the Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty. The colonies look to unite for protection and the Loxleys journey to the Charlottetown Conference and witness the events that lead to the formation of the Dominion of Canada. The main storyteller is fifteen year old Lillian Stock, who is the granddaughter of George Loxley and the hero of a previous book The Loxleys and the War of 1812 (Renegade Arts). Zuehlke’s co-writers are Alexander Finbow and Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair; illustrations by Claude St. Aubin and Christopher Chuckry; and lettering designed by Todd Klein.  978-0-99215-089-1

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