Secret passages, zombies, cemeteries and coffins

Fall publishing season is well under way, and it’s also award season!

Congratulations to Will Ferguson for winning the Giller Prize for 419, and congratulations are also in order for the winners of the 2012 ReLit Awards: Suzette Mayr for best novel (Monoceros), Greg Kearney for short fiction (Pretty) and Patrick Friesen for poetry (Jumping the Asylum).

I read Monoceros in October, though the others I haven’t acquired yet. I can never make it through the shortlists before the winners are announced. I’m always amazed the judges for these competitions, who have to read through hundreds of books to arrive at and argue for their final selections. What remarkable fortitude.

  • Book Riot’s rounded up ten kick-ass secret passage bookshelves. My grandfather has a secret storage room hidden behind a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in his study. I’m jealous.
  • The novelist Ian Rankin’s wife,” who doesn’t seem to have a name of her own, isn’t thrilled with her husband’s writing habits. Blanket statements about ruthless authors follow. Sigh.
  • Things are going to be ok though, Russell Smith says the sky isn’t falling. It may not be falling, but it still looks shifty to me.
  • The Canadian Conference of the Arts, Canada’s largest arts nonprofit, is disbanding after government cut to its funding.
  • A great conversation with Tamara Faith Berger and Kate Zambreno on teen sex and sexuality,  porn, and writing.
  • Margaret Atwood writes zombie fic.
  • I love cemeteries, and this dead poet’s society is something I can get into. When I was in Paris a few years ago the cemeteries were among my favourite haunts.
  • While we’re on the subject, this handy bookshelf becomes a coffin.

I think I saw my first snowflake of the season today.