The News


One Book One Community

I’m delighted that Emancipation Day is the One Book One Community selection for the Kitchener-Waterloo region for 2017. The announcement was made on April 28 in the Jazz Room at the Hueher Hotel, in Waterloo, with jazz pianist Tim Louis playing local politicians, media and literary-minded folk from the K-W area in attendance.

One Book, One Community supports reading, celebrates books and writing, promotes Canadian writers, and builds a sense of community through the shared experience of reading. OBOC encourages people in Waterloo Region to read the same book, discuss it, attend an event, and meet me during my reading tour in late September.

Over the summer and fall, local libraries and bookstores are planning events related to Emancipation Day, including genealogy workshops, lectures from educators about African-Canadian history, and some music-related events. Emancipation Day is also being included in adult-learning courses offered by the Waterloo Region School Board.

Please visit the official OBOC website [] for more information about the program and Emancipation Day-related events.

Photo: Donna Luelo, left, publisher of the Waterloo Region Record, and Christine Brown, chair of the One Book One Community committee, announce that Emancipation Day is this year’s OBOC selection.



Les Empocheurs

My translation of Yves Beauchemin’s controversial new novel, Les Empocheurs, is scheduled to be published by House of Anansi Press in the spring of 2018, under the title: The Confidence Men.

The hero of the novel is a young man, Jérôme Lupien, who gets caught up in a web of conspiracy and fraud at the highest levels of Quebec’s social strata. His boss, Séverin Sicotte, bills himself as a “lobbyist,” but what he does is bring top-level politicians into clandestine contact with the CEOs of major construction companies. Lots of money changes hands, and as a result, shoddy bridges and highway overpasses are built. “It’s not exactly a roman-à-clef,” Yves said when I spoke with him in Moncton in April. “If it was, I’d be in jail by now.” But it comes very close to some recent construction scandals that took place in and around Montreal. I predict that sparks will fly.



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