Gunty’s debut nabs second fiction prize – Winnipeg Free Press

Debut novelist Tess Gunty won the fiction prize in the U.S. National Book Awards this month for her novel The Rabbit Hutch, shortly after winning the U.K.’s Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize. The novel tells the story of a few days in lives of neighbours in a Midwestern housing project.

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Princeton professor Imani Perry won the non-fiction prize for South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon Line to Understand the Soul of a Nation, in which the Alabama-born author explores the culture and conflicts of the region. Rutgers professor John Keene, a past winner of the Windham-Campbell Literary Award and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, won the poetry award for Punks: New and Selected Poems.

Argentine author Samanta Schweblin, whose novel and three story collections have been translated into more than 20 languages, and translator Megan McDowell won the award for literature in translation for Schweblin’s short story collection Seven Empty Houses. Novelist Sabaa Tahir won the literature for young people award for All My Rage, inspired by growing up at her family’s motel in the Mojave Desert. The novel tells the story of two children of immigrant families, one of which owns a small motel, in a town in the California desert.

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The Winnipeg Architecture Foundation launches the latest in its series of books on the city’s built history on Tuesday with Max Blankstein Architect, by historian Murray Peterson, focusing on the work of the first Jewish registered architect in Canada.

Blankstein’s buildings included the Merchants’ Hotel and Palace Theatre on Selkirk Avenue, the Uptown Theatre on Academy Road, the Talmud Torah School on Andrews Street and the Roxy Theatre on Henderson Highway.

Peterson launches the book at McNally Robinson Booksellers’ Grant Park location at 7 p.m.

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Chief historian of the Canadian War Museum, and bestselling author of military history, Tim Cook looks at the doctors who served in Canada’s bloodiest war in Lifesavers and Body Snatchers: Medical Care and the Struggle for Survival in the Great War (Allen Lane).

Cook, a two-time winner of the J.W. Dafoe Prize for his books on Canadian military history, will discuss the book online Wednesday at 7 p.m. To register for the event, see

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The book world felt the warm glow of schadenfreude this month when the cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed, taking with it the $16-billion dollar fortune of its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.

After the exchange filed for bankruptcy, his comments in an interview with tech-industry writer Adam Fisher circulated widely: “I’m very skeptical of books. I don’t want to say no book is ever worth reading, but I actually do believe something pretty close to that,” he reportedly said, explaining that any book should probably have been “a six-paragraph blog post.”

It also emerged that Bankman-Fried had been interviewed extensively in recent months by the writer Michael Lewis. If the crypto genius read things longer than six paragraphs, he might have encountered Lewis’s in-depth reporting on the sub-prime mortgage bubble of 2007 and the collapse of 2008, the basis for his book The Big Short.

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With a long backlist of books including the novel that was adapted into the film Schindler’s List, it’s a safe bet that Australian author Thomas Keneally has savings for a rainy day.

So when he won the AUS$50,000 ARA Historical Novel Prize for his latest book, Corporal Hitler’s Pistol (which has yet to be published in Canada), he was able to share the wealth with other writers who probably needed the payday a little more. He gave $5,000 each from the prize to the two other writers who had been shortlisted with him, and $4,000 each to the six other writers who had been longlisted for the prize.

As he told Australian radio: “I wanted to look after some of the other writers on the long list because writing — for young and old — is often a matter of combining pittances to make a living.”

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