Daily Archives: March 26, 2008

A Few Cool Canadians

I see that Canadian writers are being featured on many blogs today. Since I have a number I admire greatly, I’m in!

Sarah Ellis is someone I’ve long admired because of her superb writing, speaking, and smarts. Last year I wrote the following after she won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for her warm and delightful novel, Odd Man Out.

I got to know Sarah at the now-no-more Children’s Literature New England summer institutes. I learned to wait with bated breath for her talks as they were always witty, thought-provoking, and engrossing. Her books are like that too. If you haven’t encountered them, go thee now to find a few! Odd Man Out is wonderful as are her earlier books for children, not to mention those on literature, and her articles. (Roger notes that she has been writing quite a few for his little journal.) I’m partial to From Reader to Writer: Writing Through Classic Children’s Books as she includes many of my favorites.

Tim Wynne-Jones is another CLNE pal. His speeches there are legendary. I will never forget when he and Gregory Maguire spoke about His Dark Materials in Toronto in 2001. They ended the talk with music and a darkened room. It was stunning. Extroardinary. But reading him is wonderful too. A Thief in the House of Memory is an amazing mood piece, thriller, and brilliant coming-of-age story. More recently he has penned the justifiably lauded Rex Zero and the End of the World; the sequel, Rex Zero, King of Nothing is out any day.

Then there is Mélanie Watt. I first discovered her with the charming Augustine, but most know her as the creator of the wonderful Scaredy Squirrel (of which there are several sequels), and the egotistical Chester. I was privileged to have lunch with her last January and she was a total delight. Can’t wait to see what she does next!


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This is such a generous author that one is tempted to borrow as much as $8,000 from him and then never give it back.

Gary Shteyngart judges the first match in the 2008 Tournament of Books semi-finals.

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Historic Accuracy

I only watched a small part of HBO’s John Adams mini-series, but I have been following J.Bell’s posts about it at Boston 1775.  (Bell is probably better known here for his blog Oz and Ends.)  I’m fascinated because again we are dealing with the complex issue of how best to tell history.  When is the telling true and when is it fiction?   How much of each do we need so that audiences today can relate?  Fascinating stuff.  And here is more (with a quote from Bell): Historically accurate TV? A revolutionary idea. – The Boston Globe

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