Donna Leon’s Venice

Reflections of Venetian houses
Image by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

There is one last Favourite Author to post, shared by Marcia Century in April 2018. Marcia’s favourite genre is crime fiction and her favourite author is Donna Leon. Almost none in the audience have read this author, and we are grateful Marcia made this recommendation!

Donna Leon was born in New Jersey in 1942. This is the only consistent fact Marcia found in her research. The author has lived her adult life between Venice and Switzerland, where her books were published in German. Leon refuses to have her books published in Italian to retain her privacy in Venice. Her works are translated in 35 languages.

Since Marcia’s presentation, a new novel (29th in the series) has come out. In other words, her non-stereotypical Commissario has solved more than a major crime a year in Venice since 1992. Yes, this author was first published at 50! She finds writing effortless, doing one scene every morning and starting the next one before turning off the computer. Critics call her prose “exquisite.” Marcia described her writing as intelligent, intense, subtle, funny, satirical and angry — “character studies wrapped around the heart of a mystery.” There are three more Donna Leon books to discover: a cookbook, a book of essays on Venice and a multi-sensory publication of music, painting and the literary arts.

Ready for Spring?

Fashion sketch of spring dress
Image from blog Chronically Vintage
March 19, 2015

Could it be the polar vortex that is making our club’s winter break seem so long?  I know that I, for one, am really looking forward to resuming our weekly meetings. And having said that, I am very pleased to announce that the first meeting of The Calgary Women’s Literary Club will take place on Tuesday, MARCH 5th. Our usual meeting space is reserved, Lynn Koltutsky and Flora Spackman have volunteered to bring refreshments and Sandra Ens is looking forward to presenting her paper. The tea and coffee will be on and I look forward to seeing everyone again. Until then, do stay warm. A Chinook or spring is just around the corner.  

Cheers to all,  Doloris

CWLC’s Winter Party 2018

Another Celebration! In December, we returned to Amica to enjoy our annual Winter Party. CWLC former president Ruth Hilland opened the meeting with a few poignant words of welcome. She reflected on the grand tradition and history of our club.  A selection of readings was provided by three fun-loving ladies, Sandra, Shawna and Moorea who brought the audience to their feet! Encores ensued. Cathy presented each club member with a Getting To Know You booklet, a collection of member profiles compiled by an energetic Executive, driven by the desire to know each other more fully. By Doloris Duval, President

Work Bee to create 1st CWLC Bios Booklet
Anita and Neelima
Sandra and Ruth
Ruth welcomes us again to Amica
18-12-04 Time to dive in
Betty, Helle, Lillian and Linda
Flora, Kathy M, Janet H, Sue
Mavis, Della Mae, Wilda and Lyn
Helen, Anita, Ritta and Elaine
Cathy R, Cecilia, Neelima and Shawna
Margaret, Janet S and Anne-Marie
the first CWLC Bios Booklet

The club is taking a hiatus, with no formal meetings until the spring. We will reconvene on March 5, 2019 to continue an exploration of the Role of Humor, Satire and Irony in Literature.

CWLC toured The New Central Library

The women of the Calgary Women’s Literary Club have been very busy celebrating over the past few weeks!

In November, Christine Gingerick and Robin Padanyi hosted our group on a private tour of the breathtaking new Calgary Public Library. We learned behind the scenes information about the design and construction of the building itself and about the evolving philosophies surrounding libraries today. Our tour concluded with Robin guiding the group to our very own CALGARY WOMEN’S LITERARY CLUB window on which the dedication reads:

Donated by members past and present of The Calgary Women’s Literary Club, established 1906. 

Doloris Duval

Emily Carr

“Writing is a splendid sorter of… feelings, better even than paint.”

Emily Carr

This past April during our season of “favourite authors”, Lyn Koltutsky revealed the literary side of the now-iconic Canadian artist Emily Carr. Lyn’s talk was interspersed with views of old photographs and stunning paintings. Emily Carr’s talents as an artist went largely unrecognised during a lifetime of sorrow, poverty and many challenges. In spite of — or perhaps because of — her life journey, she shines as a true “original”: adventurous, confident, quirky and complex. Her literary and artistic accomplishments seem even more astounding! 

Carr’s first book Klee Wyck, a collection of short stories, wasn’t published until 1941 near the end of her life when her painting career had ended due to a heart attack. Nonetheless, it won the Governor General’s Award for Literature that year! The two subsequent books published in her lifetime, The Book of Small (1942) and The House of All Sorts (1944) were “autobiographical” but she used creative licence which created somewhat of a myth of Emily Carr. Four more books were published posthumously.

LYN’S PRESENTATION SUMMARY CAN BE FOUND HERE

Giller Light Nov 19 event, supporting Frontier College

Ritta brought a fun Giller Light event to our attention, in support of Canada’s original literacy organization. I hope some of us from the Club can join Ritta at this event.
If you haven’t heard its story, check the Frontier College website.
The 9th annual Giller Light Bash is sponsored by volunteers of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, Shelf Life Books and Freehand Books and Metro Calgary.
Monday, November 19, 2018
5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Wurst

 

 

Calgary Jewish Centre Book Festival

I recently discovered a writer in my neighbourhood and she writes for youth (I have a soft spot for youth literature!) You may want to check out this local book festival.

Jewish Book Festival starts tomorrow

And my neighbourhood author

Janet Wees

will be there in person!

(Disclosure: I haven’t met Ms. Wees or read her book yet but it’s on my Kindle. Janet Halls)

 

 

Nora Ephron launches our Humour, Irony and Satire Season!

Note: Regretfully, Calgary’s poorly-timed, record-breaking dump of snow on Oct 2nd caused us to postpone Mary’s presentation, “The Evolution of Humor & Its Role in Society & Literature. 

Neon sign on wall "all you need is lol"

Our season to Laugh Out Loud!
Photo by Kah Lok Leong on Unsplash

Welcome to CWLC’s Season of LOL!

Della Mae Wood started her presentation by showing us her notes, done in pencil on yellow lined paper. This is now a tradition of hers, ever since preparing an earlier club presentation on John Steinbeck, in the manner of John Steinbeck who always wrote this way!

Like Steinbeck, using traditional writing tools did not hamper Della Mae’s creativity. She launched our season of humor, irony and satire by talking about Nora Ephron, “a feminist with a funny bone”, who chronicled every aspect of being a woman in our times with hilarious acuity.

Nora Ephron produced an extensive body of work as journalist, novelist, essayist, playwright and screenwriter (e.g. When Harry Met Sally; Julie and Julia.) Della Mae shared some of her favorite passages, and the double-whammy of Ephron’s sharp insight and humor! Two of Della Mae’s favorites are: I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing. Ephron’s publisher, in consultation with the author, celebrated her body of work with a compilation, The Most of Nora Ephron.

Della Mae’s summary delves into so much more about this author, whose own life is a story in itself! CLICK HERE to read more…

Alberta’s 1st Bookmark on the CanLit Trail

Here’s an interesting project, spreading a path across Canada!

Project Bookmark Canada has announced that Rosemary Griebel’s poem, “Walking with Walt Whitman Through Calgary’s Eastside on a Winter Day,” is to be a “bookmark” on the CanLit Trail. It will be located at Loft 112,  along 8 Avenue SE (East Village), the site of the poem.

Get more information here.