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Here is an explanation of the top pages at the Writer's Cafe.


The "news" page is this page which you are currently reading.


interviews The "interviews" pages feature individual audio interviews with an author about an individual book. Browse our interviews page which lists all our our audio interviews by book and author. Or, select a topic from our "Interview Topics" sidebar to browse a list of books by topic.

history wiki

history wiki The "canadian history wiki" is a forthcoming section which will be a Wikipedia-style section dedicated to books and writing on books and topics in Canadian history.

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walrus magazine

Walrus Interviews In the past the Writer's Cafe conducted interviews with writers of articles in The Walrus magazine. Go to our Walrus Magazine Interviews page to find a list of the interviews you can hear. Or go directly to the Walrus magazine web site.



Many of the interviews at the Writer's Cafe originally aired on "Cabbages & Kings", a one-hour literary program which broadcast for about 15 years on CHUO 89.1 FM at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Press Releases

Book News from the Toronto Star

Literary antics in pre-war Shanghai

Canadian writer Taras Grescoe's herculean research brings the city and characters to life. (Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:07:23 EDT)

Death and destruction mark the latest crop of mystery books

Invisible Dead, Seven Days Dead and Widowhood mark the casualties in both familiar and new settings. (Sun, 26 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Marie-Claire Blais: Looking for love

Quebec writer's latest book is peopled with motley characters, exquisite writing, and barely a period in sight. (Sun, 26 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Thunder Bay-set novel taps into fear and failure

Amy Jones' debut novel We’re All In This Together brings comedy and tragedy together beautifully in a story about an estranged family. (Sun, 26 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Word Under the Street

On the train, commuters are transported to a quintessential American road trip, a Cinderella story and young-adult redemption through reading. (Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Summer reads: Five books to keep the kids happy

From birds and toads to gods and monsters, these captivating choices will ward off road-trip boredom. (Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Summer reads: Amy Schumer’s memoir, and other insights into notable lives

Get the backstory on Moby, delve into a detailed take on Paul McCartney or absorb Carol Shields’ advice on the act of writing. (Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Be a hero for your book club

Homegoing author Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and immigrated as a child to the United States, giving her a unique point of view of black history. (Tue, 21 Jun 2016 16:48:45 EDT)

Books for the beach

(Tue, 21 Jun 2016 16:47:05 EDT)

Summer reads: Creepy tales to liven up the dog days

These thrilling and chilling stories will leave you shivering in the sunshine. (Tue, 21 Jun 2016 16:46:37 EDT)

Time to dig into these rainy day reads

Rained out cottage weekend? Fret not, these page-turners will make you wish for a downpour (Tue, 21 Jun 2016 16:46:14 EDT)

Debut fiction from Iain Reid gets under your skin

After two volumes of memoir, Canadian writer Reid writes a thriller that keeps the reader guessing. (Sun, 19 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

On the unexpected joy of a dinner date each week

Isabel Vincent's Dinner With Edward explores the Toronto writer's friendship with a widower in his 90s, and the wisdom and support it offers. (Sun, 19 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Graphics: the newest books for lovers of words and pictures

From a traditional comic story told from a true-life experience to bringing new life to Canadian history. (Sun, 19 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Father’s Day reads: Something for Dad to dig into

Strong male figures — and male authors — are at the heart of all these new books, both fiction and fact. (Sun, 19 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Reading the lives of David Bowie and Paul McCartney

Looking at the legends — different takes on two of the most important figures in 20th century music. (Sun, 19 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)


The books Canadians bought this week. (Fri, 17 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Word Under the Street

You know when you see a stranger on the TTC immersed in a book and you’re just dying to know what they’re reading? We asked for you. (Wed, 15 Jun 2016 16:31:44 EDT)

Debut novel rethinks the Manson “family” from girls’ point of view

Emma Cline;’s novel The Girls captures a visceral, vicious sense of the cult group through the fictional lens (Sun, 12 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

Short and sweet: short stories to get you thinking, open your heart or simply entertain you

Catastrophe strikes a seaside town in Britain; God-fearing Americans shun a family headed by an atheist; a Canadian anthology is powered by clockwork and steam; plus other notable new offerings (Sun, 12 Jun 2016 00:01:00 EDT)

New York Review of Books

from Canoe

Giller Prize-winning author Austin Clarke dies

Giller Prize-winning author Austin Clarke dies (Sun, 26 Jun 2016 16:00:35 -0400)

Kelly Osbourne writing tell-all

Kelly Osbourne writing tell-all (Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:29:02 -0400)

Jack White: 'I never approved biography'

White: 'I never approved biography' (Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:49:15 -0400)

Stacey Dash reveals drug addiction, abuse in memoir

Dash reveals drug addiction in memoir (Wed, 01 Jun 2016 11:51:32 -0400)

Steve Jones to chronicle Sex Pistols history in new book

Former Sex Pistols star Steve Jones is to share the details of his colourful life in a new autobiography. (Tue, 24 May 2016 23:11:55 -0400)

Kendall and Kylie Jenner writing second novel

Kendall, Kylie Jenner writing second novel (Tue, 24 May 2016 12:15:24 -0400)

New at BookBrowse

Michael Herr, author of "Dispatches," dies aged 76

Michael Herr, who wrote Dispatches, a glaringly intense, personal account of being a correspondent in Vietnam that is widely viewed as one of the most visceral and persuasive depictions of the unearthly experience of war, died last Thursday. He was 76.

The war in Vietnam and its dehumanizing effect on its participants figured widely in Mr. Herr's writing life. He contributed the narration to Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola's epic adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and with the director Stanley Kubrick and Gustav Hasford wrote the screenplay for Full Metal Jacket (1987), adapted from Mr. Hasford's novel ("The Short-Timers"). (Mon, 27 Jun 2016 11:20:25 -0400)

Austin Clark, author of The Polished Hoe, dies aged 81

Austin Clarke, the award-winning Barbadian-born author who wrote about the immigrant experience and being black in Canada, died Sunday at age 81.

The author of at least eleven novels, six short-story collections, and four memoirs, Clarke is perhaps best remembered for The Polished Hoe, for which he was awarded the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. (Mon, 27 Jun 2016 06:00:00 -0400)

Apple e-book refunds begin today

Attorneys today confirmed that $400 million in refunds due readers following the end of the Apple e-book price-fixing case will begin flowing into customer accounts on June 21—with refunds for New York Times bestsellers approaching $7 per title purchased.

In all, the price-fixing suit will have refunded $566 million to e-book consumers, including $400 million from Apple and $166 million paid in 2014 from the five publishers accused of collusion. (Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:43:01 -0400)

Hastings files for bankruptcy protection, 126 superstores selling new and used books in jeopardy

Hastings Entertainment, which operates 126 superstores in medium-sized markets selling new and used books, among other things, has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with its parent company and several sister companies; and is seeking a buyer for its stores. This news comes after several years of substantial losses.

The Wall Street Journal comments: "A declining market for physical movies, music, books and games hurt Hastings's revenues, as online sources of entertainment began to dominate. A cost-cutting campaign and emphasis on product lines such as children's products, comics and hobbies weren't enough to reverse the trend." (Wed, 15 Jun 2016 11:46:19 -0400)

Hamilton wins 11 Tony Awards, one shy of record held by The Producers

Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical based on the 2004 Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton (Penguin) has won 11 Tony Awards including best new musical. This is just one award short of the record for a single show - The Producers won 12 in 2001.

The Color Purple, based on the 1982 Alice Walker novel, won two awards - one for best musical revival, and the other for best actress in a leading musical role given to Cynthia Erivo. (Mon, 13 Jun 2016 13:00:21 -0400)

The ten 2016 recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced the 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities. The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., on June 1.

The 2016 winners of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service demonstrate impactful programs and services that exceed the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from 30 finalists across the country nominated for the honor.

The 2016 National Medal recipients are:

  • Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • The Chicago History Museum (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, S.C.)
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children (Gulfport, Miss.)
  • Madison Public Library (Madison, Wis.)
  • Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Ark.)
  • North Carolina State University Libraries (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Otis Library (Norwich, Conn.)
  • Santa Ana Public Library (Santa Ana, Calif.)
  • Tomaquag Museum (Exeter, R.I.)
(Tue, 31 May 2016 06:00:00 -0400)

In Britain, lit fiction books in translation outsell English language lit fiction

Translated literary fiction is selling better on average in the UK than literary fiction originally written in English, according to new research by Nielsen, with authors including Elena Ferrante, Haruki Murakami and Karl Ove Knausgaard driving a boom in sales.

Though fiction in translation accounts for just 3.5% of literary fiction titles published, it accounted for 7% of sales in 2015, according to the survey commissioned by the Man Booker International prize.

At first glance this statistic might seem to be easily explained away by the fact that, as a rule, only the better of the best foreign language works get translated into English and there is a lower bar for books already written in English; but there does seem to be substance to the claim given that, according to Fiammetta Rocca, administrator of the Man Booker International Prize, "In 2001, every literary fiction title written in English sold an average 1,153 copies, while every translated literary fiction title sold only 482 copies. By 2015 this had completely changed – every literary fiction title written in English sold an average of only 263 copies, while every translated literary fiction title sold an average of 531 copies." (Mon, 16 May 2016 06:00:00 -0400)

The Vegetarian wins the Man Booker International Prize

South Korean author Han Kang has won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her novel The Vegetarian, described by Judging panel chairman Boyd Tonkin as "unforgettably powerful and original".

The writer and her British translator - who only started learning Korean in 2010 - will split the award's GBP 50,000 prize money. (Mon, 16 May 2016 06:00:00 -0400)

Praise for BookExpo America in Chicago, despite slow Wednesday and Friday

After a slow start on Wednesday afternoon, BookExpo America kicked into gear on Thursday and concluded on Friday with much praise from many attendees. The somewhat smaller attendance--probably around 18,000--allowed for a more pleasant trade floor experience for many booksellers and librarians. Quite a few said that at this BEA, they could circulate more freely in exhibitors' booths and not feel like--or be treated like--interlopers. (Mon, 16 May 2016 06:00:00 -0400)

7000 attendees enjoyed successful BookCon in Chicago

7000 book fans attended Book Con in Chicago on Saturday. As in the two previous years in New York City, attendees skewed towards significantly more females than males. Some attendees were disappointed that the event was on just one day, unlike last year's BookCon in New York which was two days long, but exhibitors (who had already been exhibiting for the three preceding days for Book Expo America) seemed relieved! (Mon, 16 May 2016 06:00:00 -0400)

New at NPR

Pack These Pages: Three Must-Reads For Summer

Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, recommends a graphic novel about trash, a George Eliot classic and a children's book about a bear pianist. (Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:28:00 -0400)

'A Hundred Thousand Worlds' Might Be A Few Too Many

Bob Proehl's sprawling novel follows actor Valerie and her son Alex on an epic road trip, punctuated by stops at comic conventions. It's a charming but messy debut that crams in too many ideas. (Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:45:18 -0400)

'They May Not Mean To, But They Do' Is A Sparkling, Sad Family Affair

Cathleen Schine's new novel explores how one character's physical and mental decline ripples out to affect his whole family. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls it a mix of "fun and bad behavior." (Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:13:00 -0400)

'The Big Sheep' Plays Hardboiled Sci-Fi To The Hilt

It's not hard to parse the two main influences on Robert Kroese's new novel, The Big Sheep: Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler. But Kroese's knack for humor helps elevate their gonzo grimness. (Wed, 29 Jun 2016 07:00:00 -0400)

In 'Hustling Hitler,' A Jewish Vaudevillian Scams The Third Reich

It seems everyone has one: the eccentric relative much gossiped about. For Walter Shapiro, it's his great-uncle, Freeman Bernstein. The vaudeville manager, boxing promoter, card shark and stock swindler managed to scam the Third Reich. Shapiro writes about this in his new book, Hustling Hitler. (Tue, 28 Jun 2016 16:37:00 -0400)

'The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear' Echoes Real-Life Republican Race

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Stuart Stevens, a former strategist for Mitt Romney, whose new novel, The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear, tells the story of a neck-and-neck Republican primary campaign that ends up at a brokered convention. (Tue, 28 Jun 2016 16:37:00 -0400)

'Nobody Is Immune': Bracing For Zika's First Summer In The U.S.

Author Donald. G. McNeil Jr. predicts that 2016 will be the worst year for Zika transmission in the U.S. "After this year, a fair number of people will be immune, and ... immunity will grow," he says. (Tue, 28 Jun 2016 13:49:00 -0400)

'Icon' Keeps The Shutters Clicking And The Danger Growing

We first met diplomat Suyana Sapaki in Persona; she was a C-lister in a world where statecraft and celebrity are interchangeable. But now she's on the rise — and the stakes are getting higher, too. (Tue, 28 Jun 2016 07:00:00 -0400)

Broadway Chanteuse Barbara Cook: 'My First Memories Are Of Singing'

After starring in Broadway shows like The Music Man and Candide, Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her new memoir is Then and Now. (Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:14:00 -0400)

Human Or Machine: Can You Tell Who Wrote These Poems?

Can a computer write a sonnet that's indistinguishable from what a person can produce? A contest at Dartmouth attempted to find out. With our online quiz, you too can give it a try. (Mon, 27 Jun 2016 12:14:00 -0400)

A Toast To The Toast, The Site That Was Just For You. Yes, Even You

The Toast — the funny, literary feminist website, gleeful kneecapper of high culture, center of cheerful misandry, and habitat of the courteous commenter — is closing. We have an appreciation. (Mon, 27 Jun 2016 07:00:00 -0400)

'The Mandibles' Is Financial Dystopia With A Bite

Lionel Shriver's newest novel is a work of speculative fiction: A national debt crisis leads to a systematic civil breakdown, bringing a once-prosperous family (Sun, 26 Jun 2016 07:59:12 -0400)

A Mystery Novel Is The Mystery At The Heart Of 'Blockbuster!'

Lucy Sussex's new book is a history of 1886's runaway best-seller, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. Why was it such a hit? Who was involved with it? And why was author Fergus Hume left without a dime? (Sun, 26 Jun 2016 07:00:00 -0400)

Beautifully Alien 'Ninefox Gambit' Mixes Math And Magic

Yoon Ha Lee's new novel is hard to sum up — in an alien world so dissimilar to ours its technology seems like magic, reality is a consensus that requires intense, rigid belief to function. (Sat, 25 Jun 2016 07:00:15 -0400)

Michael Herr, Whose Vietnam War Reporting Became Iconic, Dies At 76

Herr's book Dispatches redefined the genre of war reporting. "I was there to watch," he wrote. "I went to cover the war and the war covered me; an old story, unless of course you've never heard it." (Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:44:00 -0400)

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