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Dancing in the No-Fly Zone Review

by monique t
May 15, 2006

Hadani Ditmars' book Dancing in the No-Fly Zone is reviewed on openDemocracy.net.

The book is reviewed by Mariam Cook, who says, "Dancing in the No-Fly Zone deftly places the reader beyond stereotypes, into the lives of the people who have lived decades under war, sanctions, oppression and terror ... This text is a reference on human courage and normalcy in the face of utter chaos."

Learn more about Dancing in the No-Fly Zone published by Raincoast Books.

Black by George Elliott Clarke

by monique t
Fiction + News / May 10, 2006

A CP news story yesterday included George Elliott Clarke's book of poetry Black among its list of new, upcoming and recent releases from Canadian authors and publishers.

From News.Yahoo.com: "Black by George Elliott Clarke (Raincoast Books). Eighth volume of poetry from award-winning poet, inspired by Clarke's time at Duke University, is a blistering commentary on race and culture."

See more about the book on
An independent retailer


The Quilt of Belonging

by monique t
News / May 05, 2006

Come see Canada's largest quilt.

The Surrey Art Gallery is featuring The Quilt of Belonging until June 25.

This Sunday is Family Day.
Sunday, May 7 from noon to 4 pm
Explore, enjoy and create art together! Everyone welcome.

This Sunday is also Sit 'n Stitch Quilting Demonstrations by the Fraser Valley Quilters' Guild
Sunday, May 7 from noon to 4 pm

About The Quilt of Belonging
Canada's diversity and vast geography is reflected in the monumental textile art project, Invitation: The Quilt of Belonging. Crafted by many hands, the quilt measures 36 metres long and 3.5 metres high (120 feet by 10.5 feet) and is the largest and most inclusive work of textile art made about Canada.

Invitation began in 1998 with the vision of Ontario visual artist Esther Bryan, and grew to involve hundreds of volunteers. The Quilt is inclusive; every fabric, colour, design and tradition is welcomed. Central to the quilt's design are 263 hexagonal shapes, handcrafted by Canadians using unique materials and images to represent their aboriginal community and ethnic heritage. These unique blocks, when stitched together, form one tapestry that expresses the collective unity of Canada.


Janice Weaver has created a children's picture book to complement the exhibit. Quilt of Belonging: Stitching Together the Stories of a Nation.

The Quilt's 263 blocks, from Albania to Zimbabwe, include ones from 70 First Nations, Métis and Inuit groups.

The exhibit opened at the Museum of Civilization on April 1, 2005 and is being exhibited across Canada, with plans to continue touring for several years to come.

With stunning photos, this highly visual book tells remarkable stories of Canada's cultural mosaic and shows kids how to make their own quilt of belonging.

Richard Wilbur wins $100,000 Prize for Poetry

by monique t
News / May 02, 2006

The Poetry Foundation announced yesterday that Richard Wilbur's COLLECTED POEMS 1943-2004, published by Harcourt, has won the 2006 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, one of the largest literary honours in the U.S.

Here is a quote from the U.S. Newswire release:

"In announcing the award, [editor of Poetry magazine and chair of the selection committee Christian] Wiman said: "If you had to put all your money on one living poet whose work will be read in a hundred years, Richard Wilbur would be a good bet. He has written some of the most memorable poems of our time, and his achievement rivals that of great American poets like Robert Frost and Elizabeth Bishop."

Richard Wilbur was named the second Poet Laureate of the U.S., following Robert Penn Warren. He has received the National Book Award, two Pulitzer Prizes and the Bollingen Translation Prize. He lives with his wife, Charlotte, in Cummington, Mass.

Wilbur was born in New York City on March 1, 1921. He was educated at Amherst and Harvard, and served with the 36th Infantry Division. Wilbur began to write poetry in earnest only after experiencing the horrific chaos of battle during WWII service as an infantryman in Italy.

See other Richard Wilbur poetry books available from Raincoast.

Gregory Scofield

by monique t
News / April 27, 2006

In celebration of April as Poetry Month, CBC is promoting poetry on the site CBC.ca/wordsatlarge.

The site mentions that the League of Canadian Poets established April as Poetry Month in 1999, and that "The League brings together bookstores, libraries, literary organizations, cultural centres and poets to celebrate and acknowledge the vital role of poetry, arguably the world's oldest form of literature."

In recognition of poetry month, Raincoast would like to celebrate award-winning poet Gregory Scofield.

Singing Home the Bones is Scofield's first book in more than five years. He reclaims through poetry and storytelling the untold history of the Metis people and his own biological family—in particular, his mysterious father, whom he discovers to be Jewish.

Singing Home the Bones is a startling mix of narrative prose and lyric poetry, and it is my personal favourite. To me, the format is comparable to Dennis Cooley's Irene, Robert Kroetsch's Seed Catalogue or any of the great prairie long poems, which are a collection of poetry, prose--and sometimes recipes, quotes or snippets of other memorabilia.

Gregory Scofield (Calgary) is a Metis poet, writer, activist and community worker whose maternal ancestry can be traced back five generations to the Red River Settlement and to Kinesota, Manitoba. He has published four much-praised and award-winning books of poetry as well as a memoir, Thunder in My Veins: Memories of a Metis Childhood. He teaches First Nations and Metis poetry at Brandon University in Manitoba.

For more books by Gregory Scofield, visit the Raincoast website.

Buy the Book from Amazon.ca or search for a Canadian independent retailer.


by monique t
Fiction / April 26, 2006

Seeing by Jose Saramago, translated from Portuguese to English by Margaret Jull Costa, is newly available in stores.

Seeing is the companion novel to Saramago's earlier Blindness.

About the novel Seeing by Jose Saramago
On election day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has bothered to come out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. What's going on? Should they reschedule the elections for another day? Around three o'clock, the rain finally stops. Promptly at four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if they had been ordered to appear.

But when the ballots are counted, more than 70 percent are blank. The citizens are rebellious. A state of emergency is declared. The president proposes that a wall be built around the city to contain the revolution. But are the authorities acting too precipitously? Or even blindly? The word evokes terrible memories of the plague of blindness that had hit the city four years before, and of the one woman who kept her sight. Could she be behind the blank ballots? Is she the organizer of a conspiracy against the state? A police superintendent is put on the case.

What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister. A singular novel from the author of Blindness.

For bookclubs
A reading guide is available on the Harcourt website. It features 15 questions for discussion. See the Reading Guide.

An excerpt is also available. Visit Harcourtbooks.com

View more books by Jose Saramago or Search Inside the Book: Amazon.ca

Fab Designers Tell It All

by monique t
Podcasts / April 24, 2006

Design*Sponge has started podcasting and their first interviews happen to be with two fantastic designers, who among other projects, create Chronicle gift products: stationery, cards, address books and journals. Find out how they began, how they work and what inspires them.

Design*Sponge's first podcast is an interview with Lotta Jansdotter

See images on the Chronicle website

Here's another podcast from Design*Sponge --an interview with Jill Bliss.

There's also a (written) interview with Jill Bliss on fredflare.com

See images on the Chronicle website

Anosh Irani

by monique t
Fiction + News / April 23, 2006

In 2004, Raincoast Books published Anosh Irani's first novel, The Cripple and His Talismans. In his bestselling debut novel, a jaded young man wanders the streets of a teeming, mythical Bombay, searching for his lost arm.

Doubleday Canada has now published his second novel, The Song of Kahunsha.

In celebration of BC Book & Magazine Week, Anosh Irani will be part of the CBC Radio Studio One Book Club. The CBC Studio One Book Club is an intimate gathering of only 120 audience members. It is hosted by Sheryl MacKay of CBC Radio and John Burns of the Georgia Straight, and is recorded for broadcast on North by Northwest and other CBC Radio programs. Microphones are set up for audience questions. The only way to get in, is to win! For all the details go to http://www.cbc.ca/bc/bookclub/anoshirani.html.

Anosh Irani at CBC's Studio One Book Club
Presented by CBC Radio One
Date: Saturday, April 29, 1:00 to 2:30 pm
Location: CBC Radio Studio One, 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver.

For more on Anosh Irani and his first novel, visit www.raincoast.com. Or download a PDF sampler of The Cripple and His Talismans

Happy Earth Day: Two Kids Name a New Species

by monique t
News / April 22, 2006

cover of Strange New Species8-year old Duncan Uszkay and 11-year old Hannah Walsh won the Maple Tree Press contest to Name a New Species.

From over a thousand entries that came in for the Maple Tree Press "Name a New Species" contest, one name was chosen as the favourite by the judges. Surprisingly, the winning name of “Salsolis” was entered twice, separately, by 8-year old Duncan Uszkay and 11-year old Hannah Walsh. To honour this coincidence (surely a testament to the endless ingenuity and intelligence of kids), Maple Tree Press offers the heartiest congratulations to the winners: Duncan Uszkay and Hannah Walsh! The common name for the new species is "Salsolis."

Background on the contest:
In October 2005, Maple Tree Press announced the exciting Name a New Species Contest in conjunction with the publication of Strange New Species: Astonishing Discoveries of Life on Earth by Elin Kelsey.

The contest ran from November 1st, 2005 to March 31st, 2006 giving children across North America the chance to enter a name for a newly identified species and leave a permanent mark on science.

About the newly discovered species:
The new species to be named was found in the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This microbe is part of a group of organisms called extremophiles, so named because of their ability to survive in extreme environmental conditions that would kill humans in seconds flat. More specifically, this organism is classified as a halophile or salt-loving microorganism because it thrives in water ten times saltier than the sea.

The new species was identified in 2004 by 21 year-old college student Ashlee Allred, part of a team of scientists--led by American biochemist Dr. Bonnie Baxter--who are doing research on life in extreme environments, on Earth and other planets.

Read the press release announcing the new name

About the new name “Salsolis”:
To quote the scientist whose team discovered the new species, and who was also one of the judges, Dr. Bonnie Baxter says:

“The scientists on the judging committee were astounded by the variety and numbers of names submitted. Most of us were particularly drawn to the rationale that children used to choose a name. Some of the children took this very seriously and presented names with Latin roots or named by the discoverer. Others decorated these microbes with creative and imaginative names. Still others gave names of compassion: one after her late father, another after Hurricane Katrina. To all of these kids, thanks for participating and helping us name this very important little part of our natural world!”

Hannah and Duncan both chose the name “salsolis” because sal means salt and solis means sun in Latin, which describes two of the defining characteristics of this newly discovered species of halophile (meaning salt-lover).

Salsolis thrives in water ten times saltier than the sea and contains such an abundance of carotinoid pigments that it is completely resistant to ultraviolet rays. Dr. Baxter hopes that these tiny microbes could lead to breakthroughs in understanding how to prevent UV damage to humans.

Other finalists:
The winners and 10 lucky finalists will receive a copy of Strange New Species signed by the author, Elin Kelsey. The finalists are:
Jeffrey Martin, "Saladuro"
Cameron Coyle, "Salteenies"
Kate Eppler, "Solsaphilia"
Lindsay McKay, "Lawrence"
Cooper Harcott, "Fire Saltan"
Carly Wood, "Allred"
Kris Mutafov, "Sallum"
Jared Edwards, "Sicro"
Maritza Morales, "Variphile"
Jordan Kovacs, "Salty the Basking Carrot"

Congratulations to all the finalists, the winners, the panel of judges and Maple Tree Press.

Clean Bill of Health Not Always the Final Step for Cancer Survivors

by monique t
News / April 20, 2006

New book offers guidance on transition from hospital to home

Press Release (Vancouver)-- An estimated 153,100 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in 2006: 2 out of every 5 men and 1 out of every 3 women. Of those, about 45% will not survive. What will happen to the remaining 82,700?

These cancer survivors are told they are the lucky ones: they beat a horrible disease and can now go back to normal life. But what is normal for someone who has just faced death? Stepping back into everyday life is not as simple as it sounds.

Raincoast Books is proud to publish Picking Up the Pieces: Moving Forward After Surviving Cancer. Written by the leading Canadian experts on life after cancer, Picking Up the Pieces is the first book to offer a practical recovery process that acts as a bridge from hospital to home.

Authors Sherri Magee, Ph.D and Kathy Scalzo, M.S.O.D. have spent a combined 20 years working in cancer care and research, rehabilitation medicine and change and transition management. They interviewed hundreds of cancer survivors and combine these inspiring voices with practical methods to help ease the journey to recovery.

A podcast featuring Sherri Magee and Kathy Scalzo is available at www.raincoast.com/pickingupthepieces

More on Picking Up the Pieces
Content for media, including sample interview questions and author commentary, is also available on the site:

For review copies and interviews, please contact
Selina Rajani, Publicist, Raincoast Books
selina at raincoast dot com

About Raincoast Books
Raincoast Books is a Canadian publisher and distributor based in Vancouver, BC. Raincoast Publishing, which includes the Polestar imprint and key titles from Press Gang Publishers, produces a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and children. Raincoast Distribution is the exclusive Canadian distributor for publishers from the U.K., the U.S. and Canada.

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