Thursday, October 25, 2012

A prize of their own

(I know. That title was a cheap shot).

I read with interest the recent announcement of the Rosalind Prize, a new Canadian literary prize for fiction by women (seen via Pickle Me This). As Kerry points out, the statistics about women writers in other literary prizes in Canada are pretty bad.

What do you think about this? Do we still need a room of our own?

Or, are literary prizes in general worthwhile schemes, or do you believe that "writing is not a competitive or comparative endeavour," to quote Richard Greener?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Midnight's Children

Tomorrow, I will be at the sold-out evening premiere of Midnight's Children, listening to director Deepa Mehta talk about the film.

I'm kind of crazy excited. This might be because the novel formed one of the book-ends to my Honours thesis, or it could be because the timing is perfect and I just finished reading Joseph Anton. Either way, I am looking forward to introducing The Husband to the story, and I hope it's a great movie.

In the meantime, watch this trailer:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Help my former branch celebrate 50 years!

The Children's department, St Laurent Branch, Ottawa Public Library
Photo credit: the library's own official camera wizard, Rhéal Doucette

For a year, in 2009-2010, I worked as the supervising children's librarian at the St Laurent Branch of OPL. This coming Saturday, October 20th, the branch will dedicate the children's department to the city's first bilingual chief librarian Claude Aubry. Aubry served as chief librarian for 26 years, which also makes him the longest-serving individual in that role; he also got the Bookmobile on the road, so, you know, I have a soft spot for him. He has an amazing list of achievements under his belt during his time at OPL; check them out at the end of this document.

Aubrey was also Ottawa's own renaissance man: he was a children's author (IBBY Canada has an award named after him) and an accountant. The St Laurent Branch was first opened during his tenure, in fact, giving Saturday's event a nice simpatico.

I can't be there to celebrate with them, but you should go if you can!

As it says in the lobby of the Don Gamble Community Centre, outside the library entrance:

"A library is not a luxury; but one of the necessaries of life."
- H. W. Beecher

"Un livre est une fenêtre par laquelle on s'évade."
-Julien Green

Thursday, October 18, 2012

News round-up