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    The Remarkable Chester Ronning: Proud Son of China

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    Just Getting Started: Edmonton Public Library’s First 100 Years, 1913-2013

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    The Peace-Athabasca Delta: Portrait of a Dynamic Ecosystem

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    At the limit of breath: Poems on the films of Jean-Luc Godard

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    Stephen Scobie

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    Boom and Bust Again: Policy Challenges for a Commodity-Based Economy

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    David L. Ryan, Editor

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    Ethics for the Practice of Psychology in Canada, Revised and Expanded Edition

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    Travels and Tales of Miriam Green Ellis:
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    Nellie Carlson & Kathleen Steinhauer
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    Game Plan: A Social History of Sport in Alberta

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    Civilizing the Wilderness

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    Anti-Saints: The New Golden Legend of Sylvain Maréchal

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    Baba’s Kitchen Medicines: 

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    Taking the Lead: Strategies and Solutions from Female Coaches

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    Too Bad: Sketches Toward a Self-Portrait

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    People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders/Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in


    Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
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    Heavy Burdens on Small Shoulders: The Labour of Pioneer Children on the Canadian Prairies

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Featured Reviews and Awards of “Rising Abruptly”

“The seven quirky stories in Gisèle Villeneuve’s new collection, Rising Abruptly,all have mountains at their heart…. The characters’ relationship with mountains evolves throughout the stories, creating an arc that models a romantic relationship: infatuation, the conflict between independence and commitment, and the acceptance of love coupled with death. Rising Abruptly is a literary ode to climbers and the mountains that captivate them, and presents a fascinating portrait of passion for the high peaks.”

Karen Ackland, Foreword Magazine


“Sept nouvelles impressionnantes, écrites dans une langue irréprochable, qui donnent — ou ne donnent pas — envie d’affronter les toits du monde.”

Lettres québécoises


# 5 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, April 23, 2017


“Mountain climbing is a metaphor in the stories found in her new collection, Rising Abruptly, which use form, language, and narrative to deal with raw emotions like fear, love, and passion… Villeneuve’s stories convey to readers a sense of the dual nature of the mountains, which are at once hard, difficult, and intimidating, but also fragile. In fact, it is precisely the juxtaposition of two opposites that often fuels Villeneuve’s writing.”

Paula F. Kirman, Prairie Books Now


Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction, Canada
Winner


Banff Mountain Book Competition – Mountain Fiction & Poetry, Canada
Winner


Alberta Book Publishing Awards, Trade Fiction, Canada
Winner

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International Mountain Day 2017

Dr. Colleen Skidmore—author of Searching for Mary Schäffer: Women Wilderness Photography—gave a talk about the subject of her new book at the University of Alberta’s Mountain Festival on December 7, 2017. The event was hosted by Dr. PearlAnn Reichwein, author of the award-winning Climber’s Paradise.​
Mary Schäffer was a photographer, writer, botanical painter, and mapmaker from Philadelphia, renowned for her travels in the Canadian Rockies at the turn of the 20th century. Schäffer’s own themes—women and wilderness, travel and science—shape this critical exploration of her work amid Philadelphia’s science and photography communities, and the scientific, tourist, and Indigenous societies of the Rocky Mountains of Canada.
Professor Colleen Skidmore is a photo historian at University of Alberta, whose work has been featured at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies​ in Banff​. Her previous ​work​,​ ​This Wild Spirit: Women in the Rocky Mountains of Canada​, ​was ​exhibit​ed​ in ​at galleries in ​Edmonton in concert with the publication of the book in 2006​, and again in Edmonton and Jasper in 2016​. ​T​he exhibit was ​then ​mounted in ​Banff in the summer of 2017, as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations. It will be shown again ​this winter at the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum and Archives, alongside another​ ​show about Mary Schäffer​’s photography​.

Have a Bookish Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

May the holidays and 2018 bring you many good reads!

If you are looking for some ideas, here is a link to the best books of 2017 in the National Post. The 49th Shelf and Kerry Clare also have some suggestions.

Iceland has the neatest Christmas tradition! Did you know about Jólabókaflóð or “The book flood of Christmas”.

And if you are stuck at the airport and looking for something shorter than a book, the Edmonton International Airport has a short story dispenser.

See you in 2018!

Featured Reviews of “Nuala: A Fable”

“… Beach’s spare, poetic prose swept me away from the present world of mad dictators into a magical timeless realm like the sweet books of my childhood. I was transported and found myself rationing each page near the end, because I did not want to leave Beach’s fictional world. Highly recommended, even if you don’t like puppets, poetry or fables. It’s all about the craft and the way Beach spins a sharp sensuous story…”

Bruce Hunter, Goodreads


While it is a highly original tale, many of its themes—alienation, the search for understanding and companionship, and struggle for independence—are universal…”

Lana Michelin, Red Deer Advocate


“From the start, the book has the power to take a reader on a journey that is wonderfully image-laden…. [You] get the feeling that every single word has been meticulously chosen… It’s always polished but crackles with authenticity.”

Mark Weber, Red Deer Express


# 1 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, March 19, 2017


# 2 on Saskatoon Fiction Bestsellers list, April 8, 2017


# 7 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, April 23, 2017


# 7 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, September 24, 2017

Rising Abruptly Wins Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Award

Gisèle Villeneuve’s new short story collection continues to win major awards. Most recently, Rising Abruptly was announced as the winner of the Mountain Fiction & Poetry category at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

The book also won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction [Writers’ Guild of Alberta], the Trade Fiction Book of the Year [Book Publishers Association of Alberta], and was on the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award long-list.

Here is Gisèle Villeneuve’s acceptance speech, given at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, on November 2, 2017:

I am so pleased that Rising Abruptly is now linked in this manner with our Rockies. It’s no great revelation to say that writers are the ultimate soloists. Even if we are only climbing along the horizontal line of the page, it has its challenges and hazards. But after months, if not years, of working the problem alone, it’s a great comfort, and relief, to find a support team when we reach our summit. Meaning of course when the manuscript is accepted for publication. And so, I owe a debt of gratitude to my publisher, The University of Alberta Press, who took a chance on me, and to my editor, Maya Fowler. It can be tricky to be assigned an editor you never met before. Fortunately, in the case of Rising Abruptly, working with Maya was pure joy. Think of it like a team of two on a rope. When it works well, the moves are fluid, no movements wasted. No swearing at each other. Maya and I share the same views about writing, language, taking risks on the page. And no matter how careful you think you had been reviewing your manuscript, after all those months, or years, you get a little snow-blind staring at your words. And so, the sharp-eyed editor keeps you from hitting the stylistic deck. Afterward, if our books are nominated for awards, and actually win, we think about the jurors. In this case, Mayan, Ian, and David. I wish to acknowledge their contribution. The job often requires that the individuals serving on a jury put aside their own work to read and assess and debate and decide. Then, there are the sponsors. We know that makers of gear for the great outdoors regularly sponsor expeditions into the wild. Tonight, I’d like to pay tribute to Deuter for its support of literature, another kind of expedition into the wild of our minds. And now, I offer a heart-felt thank-you to all of you organizing and coordinating the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. And last, but not forgotten in this adventure, there is the mysterious, elusive person of the reader, without whom no book can have true meaning. Merci beaucoup.

Congratulations, Gisèle!

The Writing Stick: Sharing Indigenous Stories – Recap

The organizers of The Writing Stick: Sharing Indigenous Stories welcomed over 200 people to participate in a conference dedicated to conversations about respectful ways to publish Indigenous stories. The conference took place at the University of Alberta from June 8 to 10, 2017.

Organizer Linda Cameron noted, “With cultural appropriation in the news once again, it is clear that we need to continue to talk about these difficult issues, including stereotyping, racism, and recognition. People involved in publishing are always looking to continue to improve how they work with authors and stories, and clearly this conference is filling a need.”

Program Chair Kieran Leblanc added, “After working on this project over the past two years and talking to dozens of people about the conference, I know how important it is to gather and have these conversations in a safe and respectful environment. We are bringing together a remarkable group of resources—Elders, keynote speakers and panelists—and Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have responded by registering in large numbers: writers, editors, publishers, educators, librarians, filmmakers, and artists.”

Cathie Crooks concluded, “Over and over again, we heard about the importance of developing ongoing, respectful relationships with Indigenous people and communities. Our hope of creating conversations became a reality, with people involved in powerful exchanges in every corner. As first steps toward continuing the conversations we started, we will maintain the conference website, develop greater linkages amongst conference attendees, and continue to build our relationships with one another.”

The conference was a great success, exceeding the expectation of organizers, presenters, and attendees alike. The most common question at the end of the three days? “When is the next Writing Stick?”

Any volunteers?

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Our Scholar is in Residence…

…blogging about our new PhD Internship in Publishing and Editing.

As Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Alberta Press (UAP), one of my goals has been to develop a deeper and more substantive academic relationship between the Press and students. That goal has come to fruition: the University of Alberta Press(UAP) has partnered with the Department of English and Film Studies (EFS) to host a doctoral internship as an integral component of a PhD Concentration in Editing and Publishing beginning in Fall 2018. Read more…