Our Club founders are noted in Swerve Magazine’s Dec 1, 2017 issue

Open old book, studio shot (with permission from Getty Images)

The Calgary Herald’s Swerve Magazine has once again given our Club a lovely tribute, this time to our founders who championed bringing the first library to Calgary. The article ends by reminding us that our Club has been using the Memorial Park premises for 103 years!

You can read the entire article here:

New Central Library, East Village

Click below for more about:

Our History

And while you are at it, Sue recently gave us a presentation:

CWLC Archives at the Glenbow

 

Amy Tan: A life as fascinating as any of her novels

Amy Tan Portrait 2 by David Sifry [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Wilda Dow’s 3 daughters were very special guests for her presentation on Amy Tan.

Although Amy Tan’s main characters are Chinese and Chinese-American women, Wilda emphasized that the author does not write to inform readers of cultural differences. Rather, Tan captures the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, especially when they are raised in different cultures.

Wilda described Amy Tan’s own childhood in California, growing up primarily with a Chinese mother who was superstitious, eccentric and fiery, leading to violent clashes.  This tumultuous life with her mother exerted an enormous influence on her books.

A new book is being published by Amy Tan and will be on shelves soon!

Enjoy reading Wilda’s presentation summary, here.

 

 

William Gibson: Reluctant Oracle of Technology and Creator of Cyberpunk

Photo by Frederic Poirot (Fred Armitage at Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

On November 7, Robin brought us into the realms of new Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction and Cyberpunk with her favorite author, William Gibson. She explained how this “Oracle of tech” changed science fiction “in a good way”. His books:

  • Present strong female characters
  • Read like mystery thrillers
  • Imagined virtual reality, cyberspace, artificial intelligence, hackers and more. His ideas put shape to their development a decade or more later.
  • Reveal the mixed blessings of how technology changes culture
  • Warn of loss/isolation when people prefer living in virtual worlds
  • Include art and artists

William Gibson’s books have, in fact, greatly influenced our culture.

Learn more about William Gibson here.

Out of this World (space, Newfoundland and…)

WordFest has launched year-round events, and there are some fun ones just around the corner, beginning with astronaut Scott Kelly on Sunday, November 19th. Click below:

For information on this event

Check WordFest.com for upcoming events.

Stephan G. Stephansson: Icelandic-Albertan-Canadian Poet

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 Without speaking Icelandic, Moorea Gray clearly demonstrated the art of the poet, Stephan G. Stephansson. She compared an Icelandic stanza with its English translation. Alliteration, formalized rhyme schemes, invented words, double and triple entendre are just a few of the challenges a translator might encounter. Hence, many of this unique, esoteric poet’s works remain in Iceland, without translations. However, the majority of his poetry was published after he settled his family in Markerville, Alberta, where he had moved in 1889. His poems often reflect our Alberta landscape and a pioneer’s experience.

Thanks to a project introduced by Stephansson’s grandson, Stephan V. Benediktson, Moorea started researching this Icelandic-Canadian poet. Her research has been extensive, and her deep appreciation for the poetry of Stephan G. Stephansson was shared with all in attendance on October 17.

Link here for Moorea’s Summary which includes a Stephansson poem that contemplates our Alberta landscape. Not to worry: It’s an English translation!

If you can’t make it to Iceland to see this magnificent tribute, Markerville is nearby.

Janet Halls

 

 

CPL Windows of Opportunity

At last week’s meeting, Margaret Sparkes mentioned the Calgary Public Library Foundation’s Windows of Opportunity initiative. She will discuss this further during the next few meetings, to confirm if we wish to support this initiative as a group.

Rendering of the facade of the Calgary Public Library to open in 2018

Rendering of the new Calgary Public Library opening in 2018 From mylibrarywindow.ca

The new Central Library is considered “the greatest civic project since the 1988 Olympics”.  Calgary’s world-class library’s design will have a spectacular glass-paneled façade. If our Club wishes to participate in the Windows of Opportunity campaign:

  • $100 would give us recognition on a window, alongside other donors, for ten years
  • $2018 would give us one side of our own “CWLC” window, also for ten years

If you can’t get to the next two or three meetings, please go to:

CPL’s Windows of Opportunity

 

Carol Shields gave us “masterful depictions of ordinary life” (The Guardian)

Book Cover showing Carol Shields

Book Cover: Published 2016 by Random House Canada

Lillian Tickles is an avid reader — one of the many in the Club to ask what they’ve been reading and make sure you add their recommendations to your growing reading list! She shared her favorite author this October 10th, and Janet Samber caught some highlights, below.

Carol Shields, born in Chicago in 1935, is a Canadian by choice. At the University of Exeter, she met and married Canadian Donald Shields and they lived mostly in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Victoria. Home life and raising five children was of prime importance to her but she noted that “writing keeps me stable”. She first published poetry but found poetry-to-prose an easy transition.  Her first novel, Small Ceremonies, was written during a sabbatical year in France. Swann, Lillian’s favorite, is a mystery which doesn’t conform to regular novel form and structure. Stone Diaries is Shield’s best-known novel, with its strong female character. Some critics feel that Shield’s writing is too domestic, too nice, but Lillian’s view is that is exactly Carol Shield’s strength.

For more insights, read Lillian’s  Presentation Summary of Carol Shields