Friday 23 November 2018

Esi Does It On Winning Book Prizes

Edugyan Wins the Giller Again for Her Novel About A Bajan Slave.

 By Stephen Weir

Esi Edugyan has won Canada’s most prestigious fiction book prize again!  Earlier this week the young novelist captured the Giller Prize for her new book Washington Black, it is the second time that she has captured the $100,000 award.
She won the prize at a black tie dinner event in Toronto on Monday. The announcement was made in front of nearly 500 members of the publishing, media and arts communities.
Washington Black tells the story of George Washington Black; an eleven-year-old field slave living on a Barbados sugar plantation. From the brutal cane plantations to the icy waters of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-filled streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black is the tale – inspired by a true story – of a world destroyed by slavery and the search to make it whole again.
Although the book is a work of fiction, the author told the CBC that details about slavery are unfortunately true. “"I was doing a lot of research into the history of slavery in the Caribbean. The acts of brutality described in the novel are things that came directly from history. There's nothing I made up."

"I just have to say that in a climate in which so many forms of truth telling are under siege this feels like a wonderful and important celebration of words," Esi Edugyan said shortly after she learned that she had once again won Canada’s top fiction award.
Esi Edugyan made history in 2011 by being the first Black woman to win the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Half-Blood Blues The four other finalists were;
  • Patrick deWitt for his novel French Exit,
  • Eric Dupont for his novel Songs for the Cold of Heart, translated by Peter McCambridge,
  • Sheila Heti for her novel Motherhood,
  • Thea Lim for her novel An Ocean of Minutes, 
Ms Edugyan is currently Canada’s most successful fiction writer. She has won the Giller twice, was the winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, was a finalist for the Writer’s Trust Prize and was shortlisted for the world’s leading literature award, the UK’s Man Booker Prize.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, to Ghanaian immigrant parents, Edugyan studied creative writing at the University of Victoria BC.  She lives and writes in Victoria, she and her husband poet Steven Price are the parents of a 7-year old child.  

Thursday 22 November 2018

Canadian Manda Group, Baker & Taylor sign on with Sutherland

Inline image

Sutherland House announces sales and distribution agreements in Canada and USA

(Toronto) Sutherland House, Canada’s newest publisher of quality non-fiction, is pleased to announce its sales and distribution agreements in Canada and the United States.
Domestically, Sutherland House will be distributed by the University of Toronto Press. The press’s exclusive sales agent in Canada will be Canadian Manda Group. Founded in 1977, Manda has offices in every region of the country and one of the largest sales forces anywhere in North America.
“Canadian Manda is very excited to begin working for Ken Whyte and Sutherland House,” says Carey Low, vice-president and partner at Manda. “We are proud play a part in bringing to market books that will enrich the dialog around timely and important conversations, and look forward to many bestselling books in the years to come.”
In the United States, Sutherland House will be represented for distribution and sales by Baker & Taylor, a premier publishing services agency founded in 1828.
“We are pleased to be representing Sutherland House,” says Mark Suchomel, senior vice-president. “This small publisher stands out among thousands of others due to the high level of sophistication and sharp instincts of Ken Whyte. Like Ken, the list is smart and focused and a great addition to the book industry.”
Says Kenneth Whyte, publisher and editor of Sutherland House, “We are most appreciative of the support and enthusiasm of UTP, Manda, and Baker & Taylor. To reach sales and distribution agreements with these pillars of the industry simply on the strength of our list, without having produced any sales figures yet, is gratifying. We have put a lot of work into our list.”
Sutherland House, based in Toronto, will release eight books in 2019. It is accepting proposals and manuscripts from writers everywhere.

For more information contact:
Stephen Weir & Associates |
109 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto, ON
Tel: 416-489-5868 | cell: 416-801-3101 twitter: sweirsweir

Sunday 4 November 2018

Late artist no longer obscure and forgotten

New Book about Peter Clapham Sheppard is launched in Toronto - Facebook postings

Collector Louis Gagilardi
By Stephen Weir 
Canadian curator and art author Tom Smart has written the long overdue first book about the late Toronto artist Sheppard. Peter Clapham Sheppard: His Life and Work, launched Friday, fittingly at Toronto's Arts & Letters Club on Elm Street.

Tom Smart at podium
Pictured Tom talks about Sheppard’s ability to arrest moments in the built world! The Firefly book is available in bookstore and on-line (I do know that Ben McNally's on Bay Street has copies).
Artist would have faded into obscurity if it wasn't for Woodbridge retired teacher and avid Sheppard collector, Louis Gagliardi (pictured at launch)
As well the Weekend Globe and Mail is always a good read but his weekend's paper is worth picking up for a major feature by Gregory Humenick about the undiscovered Peter Clapham Sheppard. Group of Seven contemporary died unknown and broke. 
Elizabeth Street by Sheppard. Painting was used in Globe story

Ring of Peace around City Shul in Toronto

Media Advisory

TIME: 9:30 A.M.

post event pick-up

In response to the murders of eleven worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Christian and Muslim faith communities have come together in Toronto to form a ring of peace around the Bloor Street United Church (300 Bloor Street West) where the congregants of City Shul will be worshipping. In February 2017, the Christian and Jewish communities came together to form a ring of peace around the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre for their first day of prayers after the murders in Quebec City on January 27.
Toronto Sun TV/Print
It is expected that hundreds of people will stand peaceful watch from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on both sides of Bloor Street, from Spadina to Huron, and Huron to Prince Arthur.
The Ring of Peace will conclude at 10:30. All are asked to depart at this time. The Shabbat for Solidarity is for the members of City Shul - please do not enter the house of worship following the Ring of Peace.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people should do nothing.” – a twenty-first century paraphrasing of Edmund Burke.

Front Page Toronto Star

For more information, please contact:

The Reverend Canon Gary van der Meer at St. Anne's Church:

Marc Côté: or 416 925 8887, x 200

Stephen Weir: |
Tel: 416-489-5868 | cell: 416-801-3101 

CBC National News TV