Ann-Marie MacDonald is named Concordia’s first Richler writer-in-residence
Sir George Williams University — now Concordia — was home to Mordecai Richler for only a few years, but his spirit will be galvanizing a new generation of students.
Concordia’s latest gift from the Richler estate is support for a three-year writer-in-residence program in the late author’s name. The Montreal-based novelist, playwright and Gemini Award-winning actor Ann-Marie MacDonald will be the first to adopt the role.
The 2016 Neustadt Prize Finalists (source: The Neustadt Prize)
Ann-Marie has been chosen as one of nine finalists for the 2016 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. The Prize is the most prestigious international literary award given in the United States and is celebrated for its exclusive focus on literary merit.
The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a $50,000 biennial prize funded by a generous endowment from the Neustadt family of Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Dallas. The Neustadt Prize is the first international literary award of its scope to originate in the United States and is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, novelists and playwrights are equally eligible. The charter of the award stipulates that the Neustadt Prize be conferred solely on the basis of literary merit, and each laureate is chosen by a jury of writers that World Literature Today convenes on the University of Oklahoma campus.
Do our more modest northern neighbors talk about the Great Canadian Novel? After all, they have big geography there too — the mountains, the prairies. “Always in view was the vastness of what in most countries would be called a sea but in Canada was known simply as ‘one of the Great Lakes,’ ” the Canadian writer Ann-Marie MacDonald writes in her big, troubling and brave new novel. Books like hers have a continental sweep: The writer amply stocks them with people and ideas, with all she knows. Spare, quiet perfection isn’t the aim. Read more…
“As an artist you have to have authentic self and an authentic core, which is a channel for stories and for meaning.” – Ann-Marie MacDonald
I was bewitched by Fall On Your Knees when it first came out, and have followed Ann-Marie’s career ever since. If you’ve read her work, you know what a lyrical and poetic author she is. Even more than that, she seems to possess otherworldliness; from her three novels, there’s a strong sense of haunting, of past and present irrevocably intertwined, and of a great connection to the wisdom of the spirits.
Such a rich tapestry begs to be examined, down to its barest threads. Read more…
Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald review – an acidly funny portrait of parenthood
A writer’s stint in the psychic sweat lodge of toddler-rearing prompts a search for the secrets of her troubled childhood
It’s April on an ordinary Monday in a trendy Toronto neighbourhood and the trees are “tight with buds”. A woman, married to another woman (partner sounds “sexless” and lesbian sounds “lizardy”), walks her child and ageing dog. Mary Rose MacKinnon’s life is a densely woven fabric of domestic detail: “expiring” birthday balloons, grilled cheese, ingested toothpaste, hamsters, glass unicorns. But insistent as the faint pings of sonar, distant memories begin to intrude. Mary Rose increasingly sees double: while parenting her lively two-year-old, Maggie, she remembers herself at the same age, erratically parented by her own depressed mother. The result – in the capable hands of Ann-Marie MacDonald, Orange Prize nominee for her 1996 novel Fall on Your Knees – is a powerful psychological gyre. – Read more