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2018 CLC Kreisel Lecture: Michael Crummey

Twelfth Annual CLC Kreisel Lecture: “Most of What Follows is True” by Michael Crummey

The past twenty-five years have witnessed the flowering of a Newfoundland literature that has had a significant presence on the national and international stage. The place and its people have featured in the work of writers such as Annie Proulx, Wayne Johnston and Lisa Moore, all of whom have been published to acclaim in countries around the world. The emergence of a significant body of fiction in which Newfoundland’s culture and history figures prominently has done much to influence the image of Newfoundland that people from the province and in the outside world “see.” And it has also raised niggling questions about the use of history and real-life figures to animate fictional stories. Is there a limit to the liberties a writer can take with the real world? Is there a point at which a fictionalization of history becomes a falsification of history? What responsibilities do writers have to their readers, and to the historical and cultural materials they exploit as sources?

Using Newfoundland and its recent literature as a case study, and drawing on Michael Crummey’s own experience appropriating historical characters to fictional ends, “Most of What Follows is True” is an examination of the complex relationship between fact and fiction, between the “real world” and the stories we tell to explain the world to ourselves.

Date: April 12, 2018

Time: 7:30 pm

Place: The Timms Centre for the Arts (87th Avenue and 112th Street NW, University of Alberta campus)

Price: Pay What You Can

 

2017 CLC Kreisel Lecture | Heather O’Neill

2017 CLC Kreisel Lecture with Heather O’Neill

My Education. On unusual muses and mentors. And how I had to teach myself everything in order to cross the class divide.”

Thursday, March 9, 2017 | 7:30 PM | Timms Centre for the Arts
Pay-what-you-can | Reception & signing to follow

 

Watch Heather O’Neill’s 2017 CLC Kreisel Lecture:

2016 CLC Kreisel Lecturer Margaret Atwood on CBC Radio One Ideas

CBC Atwood

“WHAT DID WE THINK WE WERE DOING…”
… we young writers of Canada?”  That’s a question Margaret Atwood asked during a Canadian Literature Centre talk in Edmonton.  In excerpts from the talk and in conversation with Paul Kennedy, she considers the accidental but sometimes intentional creation of a culture and a tradition.  Some things were unimaginable decades ago, like the diversity and strength of Canadian literature today…or the PowerPoint she uses to help tell the tale.

Friday September 16, 2016
CBC Radio One at 9:05 pm, 9:35 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Hear it online: cbc.ca/ideas

Who Needs Books? Reading in the Digital Age

Lynn Coady’s new book, Who Needs Books, from her 2015 CLC Kreisel Lecture is available in February 2016 from the University of Alberta Press.

Who Needs Books? Reading in the Digital Age

Introduction by Paul Kennedy.

Author: Lynn Coady

Publishers: co-published by the University of Alberta Press and the Canadian Literature Centre9781772121247

Price: $10.95

ISBN: 978-1-77212-124-7

Format: Trade paperback

Genre: Literature/Essay

About the book:“More people play games than read books. More people watch porn than read books. More people watch sports and TV and movies than read books.”

What happens if we separate the idea of “the book” from the experience it has traditionally provided? Lynn Coady challenges booklovers addicted to the physical book to confront their darkest fears about the digital world and the future of reading. Is the all-pervasive internet turning readers into web-surfing automatons and books themselves into museum pieces? The bogeyman of technological change has haunted humans ever since Plato warned about the dangers of the written word, and every generation is convinced its youth will bring about the end of civilization. In Who Needs Books?, Coady suggests that, even though digital advances have long been associated with the erosion of literacy, recent technologies have not debased our culture as much as they have simply changed the way we read.

About the author: Lynn Coady is an award-winning author and journalist whose work has
consistently drawn critical and public attention. Her first novel, Strange Heaven, was a Governor General’s Award nominee. Her subsequent books, Play the Monster Blind, Saints of Big Harbour, and Mean Boy were each recognized by the Globe and Mail as a “Best Book” in 2000, 2002, and 2006 respectively. In 2011, her novel The Antagonist was shortlisted for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize, an award she won in 2013 for her short story collection Hellgoing. Her journalism has been published in such publications as Saturday Night and Chatelaine, and Coady is also a founding editor of the Edmonton-based magazine Eighteen Bridges.

 

A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance: Imagining Multilingualism

Tomson Highway’s new book, A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance, from his 2014 CLC Kreisel Lecture is now available from the University of Alberta Press.

A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance: Imagining Multilingualism

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Introduction by Christine Sokaymoh Frederick.

Author: Tomson Highway

Publishers: co-published by the University of Alberta Press and the Canadian Literature Centre

Price: $10.95

ISBN: 978-1-77212-041-7

Format: Trade paperback

Genre: Literature/Essay

About the book: “Fasten your chastity belts, ladies and gentlemen, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” From his legendary birth in a snowbank in northwestern Manitoba, through his metamorphosis to citizen-artist of the world, polyglot, playwright, pianist, storyteller, and irreverent disciple of the Trickster, Tomson Highway rides roughshod through the languages and communities that have shaped him. Cree, Dene, Latin, French, English, Spanish, and the universal language of music have opened windows and widened horizons in Highway’s life. Readers who can hang on tight—Highway fans, culture mavens, cunning linguists, and fellow tricksters—will experience the profundity of Highway’s humour, for as he says, “In Cree, you will laugh until you weep.”

About the author: Tomson Highway enjoys an international career as a playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter. He is considered one of this country’s  foremost Indigenous voices. He is best known for his award-winning plays, The Rez Sisters (1986), Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing (1989), Rose (2000), and Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout (2005) as well as his critically-acclaimed novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998). His most recent play is a one-woman musical called, “The (Post) Mistress.” Highway has won four Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a Chalmers Award, and a Wang Festival Award. In 1994, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada, the first Indigenous writer to be inducted. He holds ten honourary doctorates and has been writer-in-residence at universities across Canada. He has travelled extensively around the globe as a speaker and performer, having visited 55 countries to date.  www.tomsonhighway.com

Reviews:

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/2015/03/tomson-highway-magic-8.html

http://www.cbc.ca/books/2015/01/a-tale-of-monstrous-extravagance.html

Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home

Esi Edugyan’s new book Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home, from her 2013 CLC Kreisel Lecture is now available from the University of Alberta Press.

Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home

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Esi Edugyans 2013 Kreisel lecture is now available, with Introduction by Marina Endicott.

Author: Esi Edugyan

Publishers: co-published by the University of Alberta Press and the Canadian Literature Centre

Price: $10.95

ISBN: 978-0-88864-821-178-0-88864-821-1

Format: Trade paperback

Genre: Literature/Essay

About the book: Home, for me, was not a birthright, but an invention.… It seems to me when we speak of home we are speaking of several things, often at once, muddled together into an uneasy stew. We say home and mean origins, we say home and mean belonging. These are two different things: where we come from, and where we are. Writing about belonging is not a simple task. Esi Edugyan chooses to intertwine fact and fiction, objective and subjective in an effort to find out if one can belong to more than one place, if home is just a place or if it can be an idea, a person, a memory, or a dream. How “home” changes, how it changes us, and how every farewell carries the promise of a return. Readers of Canadian literature, armchair travellers, and all citizens of the global village will enjoy her explorations and reflections, as we follow her from Ghana to Germany, from Toronto to Budapest, from Paris to New York.

About the author: Esi Edugyan’s most recent novel, Half Blood Blues won the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2012 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. It also won the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, which recognizes books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. The novel was a finalist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, the 2012 Orange Prize, the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and the 2011 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally to critical acclaim. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003. Edugyan has held fellowships in the U.S., Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Spain and Belgium. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband and daughter.

Reviews: Find a new review of Dreaming of Elsewhere in Foreword Magazine at ca.zinio.com

Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book: Anatomy of a Book Burning

DearSirlargeLawrence Hill’s April 2012 lecture is now available, with Introduction by Ted Bishop.

Publishers: co-published by the University of Alberta Press and the Canadian Literature Centre

Price: $10.95

ISBN: 978-0-88864-679-8

Format: Trade paperback

Genre: Canadian Literature/Essay

About the book: In 2011, Canadian writer Lawrence Hill received an email from a man in the Netherlands stating that he intended to burn The Book of Negroes, Hill’s internationally acclaimed novel. Soon, the threat was international news, affecting Hill’s publishers and readers. In this provocative essay, Hill shares his private response to that moment and the controversy that followed, examining his reaction to the threat, while attempting to come to terms with the book burner’s motives and complaints. Drawing on other instances of book banning and burning, Hill maintains that censorship is still alive and well, even in this age of access to information. All who are interested in literature, freedom of expression and human rights will appreciate this passionate defence of the freedom to read and write.

Imagining Ancient Women

Imagining Ancient Women

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Annabel Lyon’s March 2011 lecture is now available, with Introduction by Curtis Gillespie.

Author: Annabel Lyon

Publishers: co-published by the University of Alberta Press and the Canadian Literature Centre

Price: $10.95

ISBN: 978-0-88864-629-3

Format: Trade paperback

Genre: Literature/Essay

About the book: In March 2011 the Canadian Literature Centre hosted award-winning novelist Annabel Lyon at the 5th annual Henry Kreisel Lecture. Annabel Lyon’s passion for historical novels and her love of ancient Greece make her lecture on the process of creating characters of historical fiction captivating. She discusses the process of wading through historical sources – and avoiding myriad pitfalls – to craft believable people to whom readers can relate. Finding familiarity with figures from the past and then, with the help of hindsight, discovering their secrets, are the foremost tools of the historical novel writer. Readers interested in the literary creative process and in writing or reading historical fiction will find Lyon’s comments insightful and intriguing.

About the author: Annabel Lyon, a Vancouver-based fiction writer and teacher, is the author of several books, including her acclaimed historical novel, The Golden Mean.

The Sasquatch at Home: Traditional Protocols & Modern Storytelling


Robinson-book
Eden Robinson’s March 2010 lecture is now available, with Introduction by Paula Simons. “I was born on the same day as Edgar Allan Poe and Dolly Parton: January 19. I am absolutely certain that this affects my writing in some way.” — Eden Robinson

Author: Eden Robinson

Publishers: co-published by the University of Alberta Press Press and the Canadian Literature Centre

Price: $10.95

ISBN: 978-0-88864-559-3

Format: Trade paperback

Genre: Canadian Literature/Essay

About the book: In March 2010 the Canadian Literature Centre hosted award-winning novelist and storyteller Eden Robinson at the 4th annual Henry Kreisel Lecture. Robinson shared an intimate look into the intricacies of family, culture, and place through her talk, “The Sasquatch at Home.” Robinson’s disarming honesty and wry irony shine through her depictions of her and her mother’s trip to Graceland, the potlatch where she and her sister received their Indian names, how her parents first met in Bella Bella (Waglisla, British Columbia) and a wilderness outing where she and her father try to get a look at b’gwus, the Sasquatch. Readers of memoir, Canadian literature, Aboriginal history and culture, and fans of Robinson’s delightful, poignant, sometimes quirky tales will love The Sasquatch at Home

Download the audio file for Eden Robinson’s 2010 Kreisel lecture here