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Saskatoon's Stylin'

Alexis small.jpg


Coming up on the X, immerse yourself in the stylings of two talented women from Saskatoon. French chanteuse Alexis Normand sings jazzy blues that would go well with a crackling fire and a bottle of wine while writer Alice Kuipers brings us the story of a young man faced with a terrible decision who also has angelic support.

















In Alice Kuipers' own words (from Harpercollins.ca):

I started writing when I was in my teens. I had a notebook that I carried around with me and in it I put poems, stories, and stuff from my daily life. At the time, I sort of thought I might like to be a writer but I couldn't imagine how the words I wrote could ever be in a real book.

I was born in London, England, in the suburbs. The suburbs of London are vast and I felt growing up that I couldn't escape them. So when I was eighteen, I went traveling on my own for nearly a year. I went to The Cook Islands, Fiji, the US, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and some other places along the way. I realized there was a big big big world out there and I decided to spend the rest of my life visiting every country in the world.

That didn't happen. I went to University in Manchester and got a degree in Psychology, spending most of the time working on a novel instead of studying. Writing was traveling with my imagination. After my first degree, I did an MA in Novel Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. It seemed like a step to get me closer to my aim of writing a good book. I spent my summers throughout these years traveling as much as I could afford to. I worked in Hong Kong, traveled around Greece with my brother and sister, and spent two months in Indonesia.

When I was twenty-four, I fell in love with a Canadian and moved to Canada; Saskatoon to be precise. I'd never even heard of it, but I was wildly in love and I wanted the relationship to work. It has worked--we have a son together now, seven years later. And while I was in Canada, I kept writing, kept writing, kept writing. I became brave enough to send out work, to get rejection letters, to finally get work published. And so, now, my second book is out and I'm working hard on the third.

My first novel, Life on the Refrigerator Door, was published in 28 countries and won several awards. I've had stories produced for the radio, nonfiction published by The Sunday Telegraph, Easy Living magazine, and The Bristol Review of Books, and I've had some poems published in literary magazines in Canada. My second novel, Lost for Words, has a different title in the other countries where it's published: The Worst Thing She Ever Did. I love titles and found it impossible to chose between the two!"

Chromosone Four is an unpublished short story.


Alexis Normand 2010 067.jpgAlexis Normand is a young Fransaskois singer-songwriter who makes her home in Saskatoon. After graduating with a music degree from the University of Ottawa, Alexis spent a year at the École nationale de la chanson, a prestigious songwriting school located in Granby, Québec. She has won several awards and prizes for her writing and performing, including Radio-Canada's Muziklip contest. Alexis sings, plays and writes with simplicity, warmth and charm.

Here's what José Deschênes from Saskatchewan's francophone weekly newspaper, Eau Vive, has to say about this young lady:

"Warm folk ambiance comforts the palate while the sweet aftertaste of jazz lingers... Alexis Normand carries her audience away on a journey to a place where one discovers her reflections and observations: she is perplexed by love in a bus station; she finds forgiveness in an inner space; the vast horizon of the living sky in Saskatchewan is home to her roots and her need for space. Notes twinkle on the piano, rhythms groove on guitar and her voice unifies her jazz-folk style. «Simplicity and assurance is what makes the strength of Alexis Normand. A promising future awaits this young determined artist."

This concert took place at the intimate Refinery Arts and Spirits Centre in Saskatoon and was supported by 'On the Boards'.

You can also here this show on CBC Radio 2's Concert on Demand site.