Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Hello, I’m Sherrill Sherwood from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
The Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. The award recognizes excellence in Canadian fiction – long format or short stories.The prize is the biggest purse for literature in Canada and has so far endowed more than three-quarters of a million dollars to Canadian writers.
Our November online book club theme is the Giller short list and features 13 Ways Of Looking At A Fat Girl by Mona Awad, The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, Yiddish For Pirates by Gary Barwin, The Party Wall by Catherine Leroux and The Best Kind Of People by Zoe Whittall.
Today Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about one of the titles listed.
Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: With the nomination of The Party Wall, Montreal author Catherine Leroux shares the spotlight with translator Lazer Lederhendler. In the words of the Giller Prize jury, The Party Wall is “Intriguing, wise and strange, the novel reveals layers of love and tension that hold mystery yet keep a crystalline clarity. Leroux’s prose, beautifully translated by Lazer Lederhendler, never abandons aesthetic precision. Her story is always assured, yet remains open. Its architecture holds a centre pulsing with life.”
The Party Wall is a story about siblings joined in surprising ways. A twin absorbed in the womb, a sister saving the life of another, a husband and wife – both adopted – finding their world shaken by realizations of each other’s parentage, and a brother and sister searching for an estranged parent while the other parent lay dying. Leroux explores the relationships and revelations that strain those relationships between those closest to us. The fact that it is a translation makes it an intriguing Giller pick, highlighting the literary skills of both the author and the translator tasked with bringing her story to life to an English speaking audience.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable? George Woodbury, a good natured teacher and dearly loved husband and father, is arrested for sexual misconduct at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social outcast. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt? In The Best Kind Of People award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.
In case you haven’t heard, the Giller prize winner for 2016 is Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. HCPL’s online book club is pretty informal. You can choose to read one of the month’s selected titles, or simply comment on what you are reading. The theme is just a guide to get the book discussion juices flowing. So if you have always wanted to join a book club but don’t want to leave home to do that, it’s the perfect solution. You can get there by looking for the social media link on the library’s homepage, click “g” for Goodreads and it will take you right there. No winter driving involved. Thanks for listening to Library Moments here on 100.9 Canoe FM.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM, November 27-December 3, 2016.