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

Highway Book9781772120417_large
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




CWILA: Canadian Women in the Literary Arts

The Canadian Literature Centre is a strong supporter of CWILA: Canadian Women in the Literary Arts.

CWILA is an inclusive national literary organization for people who share feminist values and see the importance of strong and active female perspectives within the Canadian literary landscape. Check out the website at cwila.com.

The 2014 CWILA Count is circulating! Canadian Women in the Literary Arts is an “inclusive national literary organization for people who share feminist values and see the importance of gender equity in Canadian literary culture.” CWILA is commited to unpacking literary review culture in Canada in order to draw attention to the persisting gender gap. You can read the 2014 CWILA Count  here.

Read CWILA’s Chair of the Board Erin Wunker talk about the CWILA Effect. “Our focus this year – the story – is not just the numbers we have counted. The story is the review culture itself. Without a rich culture of reviewing in Canada we lose public forums in which to think critically and discursively about literature. And so, while we are presenting data that tells an important story, we want to draw attention to and celebrate the small and vibrant group of people doing the hard work of reviewing. Just as CWILA is a small organization that may appear more sturdy and institutionalized than it is, many of Canada’s most prolific reviewers are individuals doing the work because they love it and because it matters.”

“The organization collected 5,866 book reviews from 32 publications in 2014, and concluded seeing an overall improvement in gender equality, but added that ‘gender discrimination persists in certain areas.'”
Read more about CWILA and the 2014 Count in this piece from CBC Books.



“ The CLC is a thrivingCoady
and inspiring nerve-centre
of cultural and
intellectual engagement,
a nexus unlike any other
in Canada for people who
read, think and create in
both official languages.”
- Lynn Coady, author of Hellgoing 

“As long as the CLC keeps creating exciting
sparks between creators, scholars and
community members, Canadians and others
gathering at the University of Alberta will
continue to cross new bridges of understanding
and challenge each other in vital ways. I am
honoured to support the CLC enthusiastically
today and I will be doubly honoured to
continue doing so tomorrow.”
- Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes




“The CLC is a treasure of resources for thoseEden1
who are truly passionate about Canadian
Literature. The flurry of events, contacts
and introductions enriches and enlivens the
literary landscape.”
- Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach





“The Canadian Literature Centre reminds usEsi-Edugyan that our national literature is an essential part of our heritage, and helps to bring readers and writers into conversation with each other. It is, quite simply, indispensable for our understanding of our world, and ourselves.” - Esi Edugyan, author of Half Blood Blues



“Voltaire dismissed us as quelques arpents
de neige, inhabited by bears and beavers,arithalee1
but while we may not have tulips in March,
we have instead the Canadian Literature
Centre. A coyote hub of celebration and
research, writing and words flourish here,
deep in the boreal forests of imagination. The
CLC cauldrons ebullient energy around the
sparking fire of Canada’s great literature.”
- Aritha van Herk, author of Mavericks: An Incorrigible
History of Alberta

From Mushkegowuk to New Orleans: A Mixed Blood Highway

From Mushkegowuk to New Orleans: A Mixed Blood Highway

JosephBoydenCover-thumb Author: Joseph Boyden
Publishers: co-published by NeWest Press and the Canadian Literature Centre | Centre de littérature canadienne
Price: 9.95 CDN/US
ISBN 13: 978-1-897126-29-5
Released: March 2008
Pages: 48 pages
Format: Trade paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction/Lecture
About the book: In 2007 Joseph Boyden, author of the bestselling novel Three Day Road, was invited by the Canadian Literature Centre | Centre de littérature canadienne to deliver the inaugural Henry Kreisel Lecture at the University of Alberta. Boyden spoke passionately, relating Aboriginal people in Canada to poor African Americans, Whites, and Hispanics in post-Katrina New Orleans. At the end of his lecture he presented a manifesto to the audience, demanding independence from the shackles of North American governments on behalf of these oppressed cultures. The lecture was received with much acclaim and enthusiasm.
About the author: Joseph Boyden is a member of the Ontario Woodland Métis. His first collection of stories, Born With A Tooth, was shortlisted for the Upper Canada Writers’ Craft Award and has been published in Canada and France. His debut novel, Three Day Road, is an international bestseller and has been published in thirteen languages. The first novel to be translated into Cree, it has received numerous awards in Canada and abroad, including the Roger’s Writers’ Trust Prize. Joseph splits his time between Moosonee (or James Bay Lowlands) and New Orleans. He and his wife, novelist Amanda Boyden, are both currently writers-in-residence at the University of New Orleans.

The Old Lost Land of Newfoundland: Memory, Family, Fiction, and Myth

The Old Lost Land of Newfoundland: Memory, Family, Fiction, and Myth

Johnstoncover-thumb Author: Wayne Johnston
Publishers: co-published by NeWest Press and the Canadian Literature Centre | Centre de littérature canadienne
Price: $8.95
ISBN 13: 978-1-897126-35-6
Released: March 2009
Pages: 48 pages
Format: Trade paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction/Lecture
About the book: In 2008 Wayne Johnston became the second prominent Canadian writer to enlighten and entertain audiences as a speaker in the Canadian Literature Centre’s Henry Kreisel Lecture Series. He spoke to an enthusiastic audience at the University of Alberta about the myths and realities surrounding his native Newfoundland. A master storyteller, Johnston peppered the lecture with impromptu asides, delighting his listeners with true tales and well-spun yarns.
About the author: Wayne Johnston was born and raised in Goulds, Newfoundland. He obtained a BA in English from Memorial University and worked as a reporter for the St. John’s Daily News before deciding to devote himself full-time to creative writing. Since then Johnston has written seven books and has been a contributing editor for The Walrus. His first book, The Story of Bobby O’Malley, won the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Baltimore’s Mansion, a memoir dealing with his grandfather, his father, and himself, was tremendously well-received and won the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. His novels The colony of Unrequited Dreams and The Navigator of New York spent extended periods of time on bestseller lists in Canada and have been published in the US, Britain, Germany, Holland, China and Spain. Colony was also identified by The Globe and Mail as one of the 100 most important Canadian books ever produced. Johnston divides his time between Toronto and Roanoke, Virginia, where he has held the Distinguished Chair in Creative Writing at Hollins University since 2004.

Un art de vivre par temps de catastrophe

Dany Laferrière Dany Laferrière’s March 2009 lecture, I Write as I Live. Introduction and Foreword are in both French and English.
“L’interrogation n’a pas changé à 56 ans: pourquoi ne profite-t-on pas de tout ce qui nous arrive pour changer notre vie?” - Dany Laferrière
Author: Dany Laferrière
Publishers: co-published by the University of Alberta Press and the Canadian Literature Centre | Centre de littérature canadienne
Price: $10.95
ISBN: 978-0-88864-553-1
Pages: 52 pages
Format: Trade paperback
Genre: Canadian Literature/Essay
About the book: On March 5, 2009, The University of Alberta’s Canadian Literature Centre hosted award-winning author Dany Laferrière for its annual flagship Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture. The University of Alberta Press and The Canadian Literature Centre are proud to publish the French monograph that Laferrière’s presentation was based on.
About the author: Unconventional, controversial, prolific and immensely talented, Dany Laferrière was born in Haïti and adopted Québec as his new home. He achieved critical fame with his first novel, How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired. With humour and clarity, his work examines Haitian, Quebec and North American society and inter-racial relationships.