Friday, 25 July 2008

Ms. Julie Curls up with a Good Qué-book: Campaign to Promote English-Language Writing from Quebec

Some of the best Canadian writing in English is coming from the heart of Quebec. Sounds like an oxymoron—this is la belle province, after all--but I assure you it’s true. The last winner of the Impac Dublin prize, Rawi Hage, wrote De Niro’s Game in Montreal, and until recently. at least, was driving cab here. Anita Rau Badami’s Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?—shortlisted for several international prizes—was written in NDG where she spends her summers in her splendid garden. Heather O’Neill, whose Lullabies for Little Criminals won Canada Reads in 2007, lives in Mile End…and the list goes on.

The Quebec Writers’ Federation, the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec and the English Language Arts Network with financing from Canadian Heritage are trying to get the word out about this wealth of creation. Ms. Julie, a saucy, sexy librarian is helping them out.

The promotional campaign was launched in June at Book Expo Canada, and is now going into high gear. Check out Ms. Julie’s blog to see what she’s recommending and what the book buzz is.

And of course in the interest of full disclosure I should say that my two new books--The Violets of Usambara published by Cormorant Books this spring, and The Walkable City, due from Véhicule Press this fall--are in Ms. Julie's scrapbook of favourites.

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