R.I.P. Alice Munro (1931 – 2024)

“Compared to Anton Chekhov for her peerless short stories for which she won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013, Alice Munro (left) has died.FULL STORY


Arthur Joyce tours Ontario

September 08th, 2014

Author and blogger Arthur Joyce starts a round of touring this autumn with his new book, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest (Hagios Press 2014).

He’ll start readings in Ontario, where he has a busy schedule. Joyce says the highlight will be a Peterborough event in celebration of “Ontario Home Child Day” September 28, although his reading will be held the day before at Northminster United Church. The Ontario Home Child Day program has been organized by the ever-resourceful Ivy Sucee, who at 90 years young, may be one of Peterborough’s most active citizens. It’s fitting that she has received both Peterborough’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a Queen’s Jubilee Medal for her work on behalf of the former Hazelbrae Home that saw 9,000 children, mostly girls, pass through its doors on the way to indentured labour on local farms.

In Laying the Children's Ghosts to Rest I talk about the unsung heroes of Canadian history—the British Home Children.

Children’s Ghosts has recieved good reviews from some noted authors. Cole Harris, Professor Emeritus of Historical Geography, UBC, calls the book “A significant achievement in Canadian history.” British historian Andrew Simpson, based in Manchester, wrote: “Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest is an important contribution to the history of the British Home Children. … the book is bigger than just a collection of stories for the last section raises very real questions about an economic, political and social system which created such inequalities and poverty and in turn allowed the migration of children to seem a real solution. What I particularly like is the way each case study weaves from the person to the bigger picture always placing each individual in its historical context referencing back to the issues and arguments of the period. So there is much scholarship here with excellent notes and references but presented with a light touch.”

Gary Geddes recently published a review of Children’s Ghosts in the Vancouver Sun, writing that, “Joyce writes with passion, all the more so for having discovered that he is a descendant of a Home Child. And he has the skill to make the story dramatic by using intimate close-ups, focusing on individual histories, documenting the day-to-day struggles a number of these reluctant immigrant children had making a new life, most never to see their parents or siblings again. With a poet’s eye, (Joyce) often finds the exact image to make his story fly beneath the radar and nest in the ear and eye.” Author Rita Moir says, “Joyce has found his niche in the melding of heart and politics.”

Joyce’s Ontario tour dates include:

  • Wednesday, September 10, 3 pm

Niagara Historical Museum, 43 Castlereagh St., Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL)

  • Saturday September 13, 2 pm

Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre, 33 Victoria St. N., Southampton

  • Monday, September 15, 7 pm

Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library, 824 1st Ave. W., Owen Sound

  • Tuesday, September 16, 7 pm

Mady Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Dunlop St. W., Barrie

  • September 19, 20, 21 (Fri. to Sun.)

British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Conference

Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa

  • Tuesday, September 23, 6:30 pm

Belleville Public Library and John M. Parrott Art Gallery, 254 Pinnacle St., Belleville

  • Thursday, September 25, 2 pm

Brockville Museum, 5 Henry St., Brockville

  • Saturday, September 27, 1 pm: Ontario Home Child Day celebration hosted by Ivy Sucee

Northminster United Church, 300 Sunset Blvd., Peterborough

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