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Anecdotal history a fascinating approach: review

Posted by on February 6, 2017

9781927492901_FCAmong a flurry of reviews received last week are these great comments about Vincent W. MacLean’s These Were My People: Washabuck, an Anecdotal History (CBU Press 2014).

Ethnologies, published by the Folklore Studies Assoc. of Canada, says These Were My People is a fascinating approach to community history “because it allows an author to inject colour and texture into what might otherwise be a dry retelling of facts and dates by focusing on the stories that come directly from the people.”

“MacLean has delivered an impressive account of everyday life,” the review continues, that “offers the reader a unique perspective into a world that is as familiar as some of our own communities, yet infused with the unique influence of Gaelic culture.”

These Were My People was written and edited to be an “anecdotal history,” as articulated in the book’s title. It’s a term we picked up from Cape Breton author Frank Macdonald and we were thrilled to read that the above reviewer commented so favourably on that aspect of Vince MacLean’s great book.

You’re welcome!

Among a flurry of reviews received last week are these great comments about Vincent W. MacLean’s These Were My People:… Continue»

Reeling over reviews

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Reeling RoostersWe received a flurry of copies of reviews last week, including these great comments about Heather Sparling’s Reeling Roosters and Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music (CBU Press 2014).

Béaloideas: The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society (no. 84: 232-35), calls Reeling Roosters “excellently researched.” It’s “fascinating [,] incredibly rich [and] a must read [for] anyone interested in the social and historical contexts of traditional music and song.”

Ethnologies, published by the Folklore Studies Assoc. of Canada, calls Reeling Roosters “a book that fills a significant gap in the literature.”

“Sparling’s work is admirable both in its depth and breadth, successfully engaging in detailed, yet clear explanations of complex, often murky topics.”

“…an enjoyable, well-balanced book. [The writing is] clear and direct [and] fills an important gap in Gaelic and Cape Breton scholarly work.”

We received a flurry of copies of reviews last week, including these great comments about Heather Sparling’s Reeling Roosters and… Continue»

Canadian Gaelic literature focus of Quebec performance

Posted by on February 2, 2017

MNewton-2013-rgbLewis MacKinnonMichael Newton and Lewis MacKinnon will reprise the Gaelic concerts they collaborated on during the period we were launching Newton’s latest book Seanchaidh na Coille /Memory-Keepers of the Forest: Anthology of Scottish-Gaelic Writing of Canada (CBU Press 2015). They performed excerpts from the collection in Toronto and Guelph in 2015, and in Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown during the Atlantic Book Awards festival in 2016, when Seanchaidh was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award.

Later this month, on February 22, 2017, they will be at the Morrin Cultural Centre in Quebec City (7 p.m.). The Centre is in vieux Quebec at 44 Chaussée des Écossais (Quebec City, Quebec G1R 4H3), 418-694-9147.

Michael Newton is the author a numerous books on Scots-Gaelic culture, including the enormously popular Naughty Little Book of Gaelic: All the Scottish-Gaelic You Need to Curse, Swear, Smoke, Drink and Fool Around.

Lewis MacKinnon is a Nova Scotian Gaelic poet, singer and musician. He has published several albums and two poetry collections: Rudan Mì-bheanailteach is an Cothroman, Dàin : Intangible Possibilities, Poems and Famhair: agus dàin Ghàidhlig eile / Giant: and other Gaelic Poems (both from CBU Press, 2014 and 2008, respectively). In 2011, MacKinnon was proclaimed national bard by the Royal National Mod, a first for a poet from outside of Scotland. His was a four-year stint.

An English-language cultural centre located in the historical quarter of Quebec City, the Morrin Centre strives to be a leading cultural institution of national standing, providing the Francophone and Anglophone public with rich, engaging programming in the areas of heritage interpretation, education, and the arts. The Centre is operated by Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, the oldest existing learned society in Canada. Its history is linked to the intellectual development of Quebec and Canada.

Newton-Canadian-Gael-Quebec

Michael Newton and Lewis MacKinnon will reprise the Gaelic concerts they collaborated on during the period we were launching Newton’s… Continue»

It’s a curse

Posted by on January 31, 2017

MNewton-2013-rgbPerhaps you saw the research circulating in media in recent weeks that people who swear a lot tell the truth more often – or something like that.

So, who is a Scottish newspaper to call to get a Gaelic perspective? Last week we fielded a call from a Scottish Sun staffer who was preparing an article on “potty-mouth” and looking for a Gaelic expert: Michael Newton, of course…

Newton is the author of the enormously popular Naughty Little Book of Gaelic: All the Scottish Gaelic You Need to Curse, Swear, Drink, Smoke and Fool Around (CBU Press 2014), illustrated by Arden Powell.

And, quick as you can say rach a h-irt (go to St. Kilda – apparently the equivalent of hell) there’s Michael on page 10 of the Sun (Friday, January 20, 2017).

It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to … say it.

Michael Newton is highly respected author and researcher with numerous serious books to his credit too, including Seanchaidh na Coill \: Memory Keeper of the Forest: Anthology of Scottish Gaelic Literature of Canada (CBU Press 2015).SUN.010.1SM.______.20jan.TTB

 

Perhaps you saw the research circulating in media in recent weeks that people who swear a lot tell the truth… Continue»

Two-month residency for author A.J.B. Johnston

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A.J.B. JohnstonWe are so pleased for author A.J.B. (John) Johnston who leaves today for a two-month (February-March, 2017) writer-in-residency at the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts (Fairhope, Alabama). Johnston is the author of three novels and fourteen books of history; many of his books were published by CBU Press.

The program gives authors an opportunity to work on their writing while in residence at Wolff Cottage, which offers writers-in-residence the solitude and privacy to hone their craft, an escape-to-create or retreat-to-complete while living “in one of the prettiest places in the country.”

We recently learned that, while in Fairhope, John will be working on the fourth of his Thomas Pichon novels. Soon after he arrives, he will also be working with a French Canadian film company on a French-language film in development.

The focus of the film is on the “French in America.” John will speak about Louisbourg and Acadie in the film, of course, but it turns out they want that plus a lot more, including talking about the history of Mobile (AL) and Mardi Gras. They have also prepared him with quite a few questions about Thomas Pichon and the novels that bear his name. The crew want shoot footage of Johnston working on the novel in the WIR setting.

A career historian with Parks Canada, and the author of more than fourteen books, Johnston turned his hand to fiction in 2012, authoring three novels fictionalizing the life of Thomas Pichon, and 18th-century Frenchman, known to history as the spy of Beauséjour: Thomas, A Secret Life, The Maze and Crossings.

The Wolff Cottage Writer-in-Residence program is supported in part by the City Council of Fairhope, AL, donations from FCWA membership and the fundraising efforts of its members.

Johnston-Maze-web9781772060201_FCThomas: A Secret Life

We are so pleased for author A.J.B. (John) Johnston who leaves today for a two-month (February-March, 2017) writer-in-residency at the… Continue»

Nice review of Trapper Boy and of Us and Them

Posted by on January 17, 2017

Us and ThemTrapper_FC-webThere is a lovely review in the latest edition (January 11, 2017) of the Cape Breton Community Post of Hugh R. MacDonald’s two YA novels set in 1920s Cape Breton.

Yes, they are historical fiction written with young people in mind, but freelance writer and avid reader Lila Carson points out that Trapper Boy (CBU Press 2012) and Us and Them (CBU Press 2016) are “too good not to read and enjoy for yourself,” meaning adult readers of her column. Us and Them is a sequel to Trapper Boy, but holds up on its own very well.

These “incredible books,” she writes, “tell an astonishing, particularly realistic story of the mines, specifically focused on a young person’s perspective….”

MacDonald tells this “tender tale to get you completely engrossed in their lives with wonder, worry, and hope for their safety and betterment.”

This edition of the Cape Breton Community Post does not seem to be accessible on-line, so you’ll have to take our words for it!

There is a lovely review in the latest edition (January 11, 2017) of the Cape Breton Community Post of Hugh… Continue»

Acadiensis review of Living Treaties

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9781772060539_FCIt’s always a pleasure to see one of our books reviewed positively in the prestigious Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region, but especially gratifying when the review is by the highly respected William Wicken.

In his January 16, 2017, review blog, Prof. Wicken reviews Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations, edited by Marie Battiste.

Chapters in the Living Treaties collection, Wicken says, “are especially valuable … providing insightful comments about varying dimensions of the Mi’kmaw community […] often missing from more academic texts.”

William C. Wicken is Professor of History at York University.  He has testified as an expert witness on various constitutional cases involving the Mi’kmaq and the Maliseet and is the author of two monographs concerning the Atlantic region’s indigenous populations.

You can link here to the full review.

It’s always a pleasure to see one of our books reviewed positively in the prestigious Acadiensis: Journal of the History… Continue»

Us and Them “an excellent piece of storytelling”

Posted by on December 21, 2016

Us and ThemA valued resource for Canadian learning materials, the December 2016 issue of Resource Links (vol. 22, no. 2) will soon be in circulation, and we are so pleased that a review of Hugh R. MacDonald’s Us and Them is included. Not only that, it made the publication’s “Best of 2016” list.

Us & Them is an excellent piece of storytelling that should be in the Canadian history curriculum for Grades 7-12. The historical content is accurate, and very compelling, not just as a coming of age story, but as a story that both male and female readers can enjoy […] a remarkable book that will have the reader hoping for the next installment…. Highly recommended for both public and school libraries….”

The review calls Us and Them “‘stepping back in time’ to discover a rich history…. The conditions in the mines are so vivid that in reading the author’s descriptions the reader could close his/her eyes and sense being underground.”

Published five times a year, Resource Links: Connecting Classrooms, Libraries and Canadian Learning Resources is Canada’s national journal devoted to the review and evaluation of Canadian resources for children and young adults. For subscription information: resourcelinks@nl.rogers.com.

A valued resource for Canadian learning materials, the December 2016 issue of Resource Links (vol. 22, no. 2) will soon… Continue»

Reader gushes over “Us and Them”

Posted by on December 14, 2016

Us and ThemGosh, what a great customer review of Hugh R. MacDonald’s Us and Them posted on Amazon.com recently – from Nebraska no less!

“Excellent read!! Thank you to the Author Hugh Mac Donald for the story line … of how life was … and how someone can make a difference in another s life … and pass it forward..:)..”

Link here to read the full review.

Gosh, what a great customer review of Hugh R. MacDonald’s Us and Them posted on Amazon.com recently – from Nebraska no… Continue»

Reeling Roosters review published

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Reeling RoostersWe had seen an advance version of this review of Heather Sparling’s Reeling Roosters and Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music in  International Review of Scottish Studies vol. 41 (University of Guelph), but now it’s in print!

Link here to our previous post about this awesome review.

 

We had seen an advance version of this review of Heather Sparling’s Reeling Roosters and Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music… Continue»