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The Chat with David Bateman

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Acclaimed writer David Bateman has just released his fabulous debut novel, DR SAD (University of Calgary Press). It follows the life of Stephen, a poet and academic living in a small city in the Interior of BC who learns he is HIV positive.

The late artist and writer RM Vaughn said “Only David Bateman, one of our finest poets, could bring academe to such sensual life. DR SAD is the story of a generational shift, one that turned learning into careerism and writing into telegraphing, and, most important, all that’s been lost in this turn. DR SAD makes academe sexy again. That in itself is an Everest-like feat, but to do it with style and grace? Only David Bateman.”

David Bateman has a PhD in English literature with a specialization in creative writing from the University of Calgary. He is currently a freelance arts journalist, painter, and performance poet who lives in Toronto. His poetry collections, all from Frontenac House Press (Calgary), include Invisible Foreground, Impersonating Flowers, ’tis pity, and Designation Youth. His collaborative long poems include “Wait Until Late Afternoon” with Hiromi Goto (Frontenac House Press) and “Pause” with Naomi Beth Wakan (Bevalia Press). His collection of short stories and creative non-fiction entitled A …

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The Chat with Zsuzsi Gartner

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Zsuzsi Gartner’s debut novel, The Beguiling (Hamish Hamilton), is a stunner. It was a finalist for this year’s Writer's Trust Fiction Prize, and the Globe and Mail calls it "exquisite."

2020 Writer's Trust jury citation:

“A lapsed Catholic, curbside confessionals, and quantum realities come together in a one-of-a-kind romp in Zsuzsi Gartner’s The Beguiling: an exquisitely crafted, profoundly readable novel about the human compulsion to seek absolution in strangers, a page-turner so compelling, so inventive, so weirdly weird, readers will feel like they’ve been to a party that leaves them wondering at the genius of the host who pulled it off. A book as full of imagination as heart, its structure like a nesting doll, a scrappy, unforgettable narrator, a multilayered look at stories as both connection and mode of transformation — this is Gartner at her best.”

Zsuzsi Gartner is the author of the fiction collections All the Anxious Girls on Earth and Better Living through Plastic Explosives, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her fiction has been widely anthologized, broadcast on CBC and NPR, and won numerous prizes, including a National Magazine Award. Gartner is the founder and director of Writers Adventure Camp in Whistler, British Co …

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The Chat with Laisha Rosnau

What happens when an author decides to create a novel based on the real lives of three reclusive women in early twentieth century BC? That’s the premise of Laisha Rosnau’s intriguing new novel, Little Fortress (Buckrider/Wolsak & Wynn).

In a starred review, Quill & Quire says “Rosnau has done a masterful job of using the lives of historical figures as the building blocks of a stunning work of fiction ...The narrative is utterly spellbinding.” 

Laisha Rosnau is the author of the best-selling novel, The Sudden Weight of Snow, and four collections of poetry, most recently, Our Familiar Hunger, recipient of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her first collection, Notes on Leaving, was the recipient of the Acorn-Plantos Poetry Prize and her work has been nominated for several awards, including the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Pat Lowther Award, and three times for CBC literary awards. Rosnau teaches at UBC Okanagan, and she and her family are resident caretakers of Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary where they live in Coldstream, BC.

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Trevor Corkum: Little Fortress follows the real-life story of three women living in exile in Vernon, BC, in the middle of the last century. Why was it so important for you to tell this story? And why explore it through fic …

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How We Imagine Ourselves, by Howard White

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"I started incubating a theory of literature which held that mastery of expression could occur as readily in an upcoast bunkhouse as in an ivory tower in some great city in a past age."

—Howard White

At the second Geist Evening of Dinner and Diversion held in February 1994, Howard Whitefounder of Harbour Publishing, author, and Officer of the Order of Canada—gave a talk that Geist later published and which knocked the socks off a good many people. "How We Imagine Ourselves" is one of those pieces of thinking and writing that has never left us—it remains a stunning articulation of why place-based stories are so important to how Canadians understand ourselves.

We are delighted that Geist has given us permission to publish "How We Imagine Ourselves" here. 

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When Geist first approached me with the idea of speaking here, I made it known that of all the things I ever wanted to be when I grew up, being an after-dinner speaker was very low on the list. They took this seriously and called me up a few days later to say that they had taken care of the problem by arranging for me to give most of my talk before dinner, which was not quite what I was getting at, but there’s not much I wouldn’t do for Geist.

I grew up in a logging camp in Pender Harbour, B.C.—I w …

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Eliza Robertson's Red Letter Day

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Red Letter Day is the 49th Shelf series where Canadian authors tell me about a dream day where all pleasures are possible, thanks to a combination of extraordinary talent and mad cash.

Today that day is envisioned by Eliza Robertson, author of the upcoming short story collection, Wallflowers.

Here is the premise: It’s been a good year. Things are looking up. You’ve sold your book, some lucrative foreign rights, and won a few prizes. AND it’s your birthday. It’s time to treat yourself. For once, money is no object. It’s time to go live a little.

And so ...

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GM: You walk (or fly!) to your favourite bookstore (ER: Munro's in Victoria) and browse the shelves for three books you’ve been meaning to buy. What are they?

ER:

GM: Then you se …

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