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Canada Reads 2013: Meet two of this year's authors

Meet two of this year's five authors in CBC's annual battle of the books, Canada Reads 2013: Turf Wars.

Richard Wagamese: Indian Horse
Jane Urquhart: Away

Join us for readings and an open discussion about roots and writing. Hosted by Superior Morning's Lisa Laco.

Date: Thursday, January 24, 2013, 7- 9 p.m.
Location: Thunder Bay Public Library, Waverley Branch
Admission: Free tickets available at all branches: 2 per person

For more information about Canada Reads, visit the official website.

Away.jpgAn epic family saga spread across multiple decades and countries, Away details the history of an Irish family in Canada. Esther O'Malley Robertson is the last occupant of her family's homestead in Ontario, where she is being forced out by an encroaching limestone quarry. Esther relates the 140-year history that brought her family from the inhospitable shores of Ireland during the potato famine to the challenging realities of the Canadian Shield. Shot through with Irish mythology, Away also vividly depicts the 19th-century pioneer life in settlements in Ontario at the time of Canadian Confederation.

Away is Jane Urquhart's third novel. It was first published in 1993 by McClelland & Stewart, and won Ontario's Trillium Award in 1994.

Away is being defended by Charlotte Gray for Canada Reads 2013.

Jane.jpgJane Urquhart is the internationally acclaimed author of seven award-winning novels, three books of poetry and numerous short stories.

Born in Little Long Lac, Ontario, she grew up in Toronto. As a novelist, Jane is well known for her evocative blending of history with the present day. Her first novel, 1986's The Whirlpool, gained her international recognition when she became the first Canadian to win France's Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (Best Foreign Book Award). Her subsequent novels were even more successful. Away, published in 1993, won the Trillium Award and was a national bestseller. The book was also one of the six finalists for the inaugural Dublin IMPAC International Literary Prize.

In 1997, her fourth novel, The Underpainter, won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. Jane has also won the Marian Engel Award and is a recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has been named to France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a chevalier.

She currently lives outside of Toronto.

Indian Horse.jpgRichard Wagamese's latest novel deals with Saul Indian Horse, an alcoholic Ojibway man who finds himself the reluctant resident of an alcohol treatment centre after his latest binge. To come to peace with himself, he must tell his story. Wagamese takes readers on the often difficult journey through Saul's life, from his painful forced separation from his family and land when he's sent to a residential school to the brief salvation he finds in playing hockey. The novel is an unflinching portrayal of the harsh reality of life in 1960s Canada, where racism reigns and Saul's spirit is destroyed by the alienating effects of cultural displacement.

Indian Horse is Richard Wagamese's sixth novel. It was published by Douglas & McIntyre in February 2012.

Indian Horse is being defended by Carol Huynh for Canada Reads 2013.

Richard.jpgOne of Canada's foremost Native authors and storytellers, Richard Wagamese has been a professional writer since 1979. His impressive body of work includes six novels, a book of poetry and five non-fiction titles, including two memoirs and an anthology of his newspaper columns.

An Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Richard has garnered a number of awards in different fields over the course of his career. In 1991, he became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for column writing. His debut novel, Keeper 'n Me, published in 1994, won the Alberta Writers Guild's Best Novel Award. He has twice won the Native American Press Association Award for his journalism, and he received the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for his 2011 memoir One Story, One Song. He was also awarded the Canadian Authors Association Award for fiction in 2007 for his third novel, Dream Wheels. Most recently, Richard was honoured with the 2012 Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media and Communications.

Richard is well known as a storyteller and a teacher, both in British Columbia, where he now lives with his wife and their dog, and across the country. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, in recognition of his lifetime of achievement in writing and publishing, and in 2011 he was the Harvey Stevenson Southam Guest Lecturer in journalism at the University of Victoria.