So, have you had a chance to read some or all of the four “On The Same Page” shortlist titles? (On The Same Page, if you’re wondering, is the province’s biggest book club, during which all Manitobans are invited to read and talk about the same book at the same time.)
Whether you have or not, be sure to come down to meet all of the creators in person and hear them talk about their works at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 10 at McNally Robinson Booksellers (1120 Grant Avenue).
The House on Sugarbush Road by Méira Cook (Enfield & Wizenty)
This story of the intertwining lives of a once prominent liberal Afrikaner family and Beauty Mapule, their domestic servant of more than thirty years, is set in post-apartheid Johannesburg shortly after the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela.
The Lucky Ones by Anne Mahon (Great Plains Publications)
In this compelling collection, refugees tell us in their own words about their former lives and how they came to build new ones in Manitoba. Hear the stories of men and women ranging in age from 4 to 73, from a variety of African countries and backgrounds.
7 Generations by David Alexander Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson (Highwater Press)
An epic graphic novel that follows one Aboriginal family over three centuries and seven generations as a young man learns about his family’s past in order to face the present and embrace the future.
No One Must Know by Eva Wiseman (Tundra Books)
In 1950s Winnipeg, Alexandra’s world is turned upside down when she discovers her parents’ secret: they are Jewish. Now Alexandra’s view of her family, of her friends, and of the society in which she lives is confused. Who is she and where does she really belong?
You might see a common theme or thread connecting these books, and you’d be right; all four give a voice to people who have been disadvantaged in some way. The diversity among them is just as strong, however: from a graphic novel combining the power of art and words to a book aimed at young adults (but enjoyed by all ages), from the fictional history of two South African families to the lived histories of new Canadians from Africa – each of these four books has its own unique style.
The last day to vote is coming up soon on Friday, September 13. Cast your vote online at www.onthesamepage.ca or by paper ballot at McNally Robinson and all twenty Winnipeg Public Library branches. And when you do, don’t forget to enter your name to win a prize package of all four books.
Once we tally the votes, we’ll announce the title chosen by YOU before the end of September – watch the On The Same Page website for the news. And in early 2014, book giveaways, author appearances, and other special events get underway…