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Hugh R MacDonald to appear at book pub

Posted by on January 12, 2018

Hugh R. MacDonaldUs and Theme-card-jan-2018We note that Hugh R MacDonald is scheduled as one of the featured writers at this month’s book pub in Sydney. Hugh is expected to read from the newer of his two YA novels, Us and Them (CBU Press 2016).

Coincidentally, Hugh recently received a nice note from choir master Jack O’Donnell, author of The Men of the Deeps: A Journey with North America’s Only Coal Miners Chorus (CBU Press 2016). The Men of the Deeps includes Hugh’s song, “Trapper Boy,” in their repertoire.

Jack writes: “I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading Us and Them. The book is excellent, and I agree with those who suggest that it should be required reading for young people in school. Congratulations!”

Trapper_FC-webActually, High’s first novel, Trapper Boy (CBU Press 2012), has been used in schools and was named by Nova Scotia librarians as one of the 150 books of influence. You can link here to the full list, or see a copy of the catalogue in any NS library.  Trapper Boy has its own teacher resource, available free to teachers by linking here.

Governors book pub takes place on the third Tuesday of the month (October to April) at Governors Pub and Eatery, on the Esplanade in Sydney – 7-9 p.m.

We note that Hugh R MacDonald is scheduled as one of the featured writers at this month’s book pub in… Continue»

Us & Them review among “best of 2017″

Posted by on December 8, 2017

Us and ThemSo this is a nice way to cap off the year! We are delighted to see that Hugh R. MacDonald’s Us and Them is one of Celtic Life International’s favourites from 2017. The magazine’s year-end “Best of 2017” issue (vol. 31, no. 7) includes some of their favourite book and music reviews published during the year, and right there, on page 119, is their review of Us and Them – how cool is that! Readers can access the magazine’s special issue here.

Hugh R. MacDonaldHugh will be on hand at Indigospirit books in the Mayflower Mall tomorrow (Saturday, December 9, 2017) between 2 and 4 p.m., along with a number of local authors. Just in time for gift-giving, he’ll be there to chat about and personalize his books, including Trapper Boy (CBU Press, 2012).

 

So this is a nice way to cap off the year! We are delighted to see that Hugh R. MacDonald’s… Continue»

“Madness” a possible re-read in these times

Posted by on December 5, 2017

Macdonald-madness-2012-webNews stories this past couple of weeks exposed some real-life situations that brought to mind Frank Macdonald’s IMPAC Dublin-nominated novel, A Possible Madness (CBU Press, 2012) and one of our favourite reviews of that novel.

You can check out the news stories we mean with the following links below, or get a synopsis from a recent blog post by Mike Hunter, here.

What do these stories have to do with a work of fiction? Well, the main protagonist in A Possible Madness is a city-trained journalist turned editor-owner of a small town weekly. David Cameron’s journalistic instincts, homegrown ethics, and not a little courage manage to expose to his community an ill-conceived development plan that, instead of boosting the local economy, will risk the very lives of those it promises to employ and the very survival of the town itself.

Back in 2013, essayist Wilf Cude, himself a product of a mining town in northwestern Quebec and now a resident of Roberta, Cape Breton, published a profound review of A Possible Madness in The Antigonish Review (no. 171, Winter 2013, ff. 119). Cude quotes Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who once opined about the limits of so-called free speech, the free circulation of ideas. To paraphrase, we are free only by definition; in reality we are “hemmed in by the idols of the prevailing fad.”

“‘[T]he need to accommodate mass standards … frequently prevents the most independent-minded persons from contributing to public life and gives rise to dangerous herd instincts that block successful development’,” said Solzhenitsyn in a speech at Harvard University.

Wilf Cude writes: Journalism had schooled the fictional David Cameron that the malign circumstances of “an economically deprived part of the world, preferably sparse in population [is an essential starting point] where rapacious exploitation could be unleased with impunity.”

“A slick web of professional rationalizations” for schemes and talks between corporate interests and governments is captured by Cameron, “ ‘everyone but the people who live here and who will have to live with whatever consequences there are’.”

“Dismayingly, [Cameron] encounters one after the other the many subtle obstacles our society has put in place to frustrate any serious inquiry about the truth behind contentious policies.”

“The tiny community of Shean is in truth very real—and is in truth everywhere.”

Frank Macdonald is revered for his cutting-edge satire as much as for his priceless (and oh-so-real) characters and for his enduring commitment to Cape Breton, warts and all. His commitment, like his satire, cuts deeply when addressing the injustices of political and corporate hegemony, and A Possible Madness bleeds truth; it’s well worth a re-read.

New Glasgow book signing cancelled under pressure from Northern Pulp:

Protest against proposed rock quarry on Kelly’s Mountain (again):

Lobster fishing seen as under threat from proposed sonic seismic testing:

Cape Breton (Sydney) port development deals done in camera:

Torstar and Post Media swap, and then close, dozens of small-town newspapers:

 

 

 

News stories this past couple of weeks exposed some real-life situations that brought to mind Frank Macdonald’s IMPAC Dublin-nominated novel,… Continue»

Truly understand the treaties: Review

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9781772060539_FCMi'kmaw HumanitiesWe’ve responded to a number of requests from academics for examination copies of two recent books centred on Indigenous studies, and it seems like a good time to share the latest review of Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations, edited by Marie Battiste.

The latest issue of Ethnologies 37 (2), Folklore Studies Association of Canada, includes a great review by Katie K. MacLeod (Dalhousie University).

Living Treaties … presents the treaties in a more digestible and anecdotal manner.”

It allows the reader “to truly understand how treaties are relevant in the daily lives of Mi’kmaq while still learning about important Supreme Court Decisions.”

“Non-indigenous readers [especially] will gain a better understanding of what it means to be a treaty partner and the importance of reconciliation moving forward.”

We’ve responded to a number of requests from academics for examination copies of two recent books centred on Indigenous studies,… Continue»

Hugh R MacDonald book signing

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Us and ThemHugh R. MacDonaldTrapper_FC-webAuthor Hugh R MacDonald (Trapper Boy, Us and Them) will be greeting booklovers and signing his books at Indigospirit in the Mayflower Mall on Saturday, December 9 (2017), between 2 and 4 p.m.

These highly acclaimed novels for young readers (older readers too!) would be excellent choices for someone on your gift list and having it personalized would make it extra special.

Author Hugh R MacDonald (Trapper Boy, Us and Them) will be greeting booklovers and signing his books at Indigospirit in… Continue»

CBU Press among books of influence

Posted by on September 19, 2017

(Amended Sept. 19, 2017, 1445 ADT)

We were just alerted to publication of “150 Books of Influence” in Nova Scotia and to the fact that there are eight CBU Press books on the list.

As a’ Bhraighe / Beyond the Braes: the Gaelic Songs of Allan the Ridge MacDonald 1794-1868, by Effie Rankin

Clay Pots and Bones, Poems, by Lindsay Marshall

Famhair, agus dàin Ghàidhlig Eile / Giant, and Other Gaelic Poems, by Lewis MacKinnon

The Language of this Land, Mi’kma’ki, by Trudy Sable and Bernie Francis

Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations, edited by Marie Battiste

The Mi’kmaw Grammar of Father Pacifique, New Edition, edited by Bernie Francis and John Hewson

Seanchaidh na Coille / Memory- Keeper of the Forest, edited by Michael Newton

Trapper Boy, A Novel, by Hugh R. MacDonald

Kudos to all these CBU Press authors – and thanks for supporting our mission.

Published in September 2017, Reading Nova Scotia, 150 Books of Influence is the culmination of a province-wide library project of the Nova Scotia Library Association and Nova Scotia’s nine regional Public Library systems in honour of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The project was supported by the province of Nova Scotia through the Dept. of Communities, Culture and Heritage. You can link to the entire publication and read the favourable comments on our books here.

9781772060539_FCMarshall-clay-pots-webMemory-Keeper of the ForestPacifiqueAsa'bhraigheforest-2011-liteThe Language of This LandTrapper Boy

In the original of this post, we mistakenly claimed for CBU Press, A Cape Breton Ceilidh, by Allister MacGillivray. That book was published by Sea-Cape Music, not CBU Press. We were of course thinking of The Cape Breton Fiddler (1981), and apologize for the misinformation.

(Amended Sept. 19, 2017, 1445 ADT) We were just alerted to publication of “150 Books of Influence” in Nova Scotia… Continue»

Dance researcher/author visiting Mabou area

Posted by on September 11, 2017

Melin9781772060287_FCI bumped into Mats Melin at the Mabou Farmers Market Sunday (September 10, 2017). Mats is, of course, the author of One With the Music: Cape Breton Step Dancing Tradition and Transmission (2015).

Mats is on sabbatical leave from his post as Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland, and will be in Cape Breton for a couple of months of writing and research.

We recently noticed a rather nice review of Mats’s book on Amazon, calling it “exceptionally informative and enjoyable.” Link to the full review here.

I bumped into Mats Melin at the Mabou Farmers Market Sunday (September 10, 2017). Mats is, of course, the author… Continue»

CBUP author at Word on the Street, Halifax

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Halifax-Logo-PNGBooklovers in Nova Scotia will get their Word on the Street this Saturday (September 16, 2017) at Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road.

 

Hugh R. MacDonaldUs and ThemSydney Mines writer Hugh R. MacDonald is one of this year’s featured authors. Hugh will read from his new YA novel, Us and Them, at 10 a.m. on the “Young Adult Fiction” stage in the library’s Creative Lab.

Hugh will share the stage with Melanie Mosher and Tom Ryan and be signing books afterward at the Bookmark booth.

Congratulations Hugh.

For 23 years now, and one of Atlantic Canada’s premier book festivals, the Word on the Street is the largest free literacy event in Nova Scotia. It’s inclusive and welcoming to all ages, and best of all it is FREE!

 

Booklovers in Nova Scotia will get their Word on the Street this Saturday (September 16, 2017) at Halifax Central Library… Continue»

CBU Press authors featured at Harvard Symposium

Posted by on September 7, 2017

symposiumposter03_final_webWe note that several of our authors and friends are taking part in a symposium on Gaelic at Harvard University next month.

The Harvard Symposium on North American Gaelic Literature features Michael Newton, author of Seanchaidh na Coille / Memory-Keeper of the Forest and The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic, Michael Linkletter, co-editor with John Alick MacPherson of Fògradh, Fàisneachd, Filidheachd / Parting, Prophecy, Poetry, and our good friends and colleagues Rob Dunbar and Tiber Falzett.

Both Rob and Tiber have contributed chapters to CBU Press books at one time or another, and one of the symposium organizers, Natasha Sumner, was a contributor to Celts in the Americas, edited by Michael Newton. Gee, wish I was going to this reunion too!

“Gaelic languages have a nearly three hundred year history on this continent. In both Irish and Scottish Gaelic, stories were told, songs were composed, sermons were preached, and essays were written on this soil. However, much North American Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature still awaits scholarly examination.

“With the Harvard Symposium on North American Gaelic Literature, we seek to advance the study of the Gaelic diasporic experience through the promotion of an ongoing dialogue between scholars of North American Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature.”

The symposium will take place at Harvard on October 5, 2017. Link here to the symposium’s website.

 

 

We note that several of our authors and friends are taking part in a symposium on Gaelic at Harvard University… Continue»

“Experience Italy” weekend to include talk by co-editor of “Italian Lives: Cape Breton Memories”

Posted by on September 5, 2017

Italian Lives19074109_10154493917152623_1162926556_nHow’s your appetite? How’s your Italian? How’s your appetite for Italian?

This weekend (Sept. 8-10, 2017) the Italian Canadian Cultural Association of Nova Scotia (ICCANS) is hosting and Italian festival at their building on 2629 Agricola Street, Halifax, and our own Evo DiPierro is to give one of the featured talks. Fr. Evo is speaking on Friday evening between 7 and 8 p.m. in the ICCANS boardroom, entitled “Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories (and Your Memories).”

The weekend promises a long list of cultural events and lots of food.

First published in 1999 by CBU Press, Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories was recently republished (2017) to satisfy an appetite for the book that never really went away.

Signed copies of the book will be available for sale. Check out the association’s website www.iccans.org for the full schedule.

How’s your appetite? How’s your Italian? How’s your appetite for Italian? This weekend (Sept. 8-10, 2017) the Italian Canadian Cultural… Continue»