Janette Platana ’11 Shortlisted for Trillium Book Award; Plus New and Noteworthy Literature from Trent Alumni

Trent alumna Janette Platana has been shortlisted for the presigious Trillium Book Award for her short story collection, A Token of My Affliction. The Trillium is the province’s leading award for literature.

Janette was born and raised in Saskatchewan and now resides in Peterborough. A multi-talented artist, she writes, plays music, and makes short films. Her writing has been published in Canada, the United States, and Turkey.

From Tightrope Books:

Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open.

Past Trillium winners include Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley and Anne Michaels and Trent alumnus Richard B. Wright (see below for a new novel from Wright).

Coming soon: Look for a podcast interview with Janette Platana on Trent Voices.


Richard B. Wright '70: Nightfall
From Simon & Schuster Canada:

From the acclaimed writer of the beloved Clara Callan comes a memorable new novel about first loves, love-after-love, and the end of things, set during summer in Quebec City.

James Hillyer, a retired university professor whose life was evocatively described in Wright's novel October, is now barely existing after the death of his beloved daughter in her forties. On a whim, he tries to locate the woman he fell in love with so many years ago on a summer trip to Quebec and through the magic of the Internet he is able to find her. But Odette’s present existence seems to be haunted by ghosts from her own past, in particular, the tough ex-con Raoul, with his long-standing grievances and the beginnings of dementia. The collision of past and present leads to violence nobody could have predicted and alters the lives of James and Odette forever.

Nightfall skillfully captures the way in which our past is ever-present in our minds as we grow older, casting its spell of lost loves and the innocent joys of youth over the realities of aging and death. The novel is skillfully grounded in observation, propelled by unforgettable characters, and filled with wisdom about young love and old love. Drawing on the author’s profound understanding of the intimate bonds between men and women, Nightfall is classic Richard B. Wright.

Wright is known for his break-through 2001 novel Clara Callan, which won three major literary awards in Canada: The Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the Governor General's Award.

Highly decorated for his work, Wright has been nominated or won several major literary awards, including:

  • Toronto Book Award 1973 (In The Middle Of Life)
  • Faber Memorial Prize UK 1975 (In The Middle Of Life)
  • Nom. Giller Prize 1995 (The Age Of Longing)
  • Nom. Governor General's Award 1995 (The Age Of Longing)
  • Governor General's Award 2001 (Clara Callan)
  • Giller Prize 2001 (Clara Callan)
  • Trillium Book Award 2001 (Clara Callan)
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters 2006 (Trent University)
  • Member of The Order Of Canada 2007
  • Coming soon: Look for a podcast interview with Richard B. Wright on Trent Voices.

Linwood Barclay '73: The Promise Falls Trilogy

The first book of the Promise Falls Trilogy, Broken Promise, came out in 2015. The second, Far From True, was released earlier this spring. The final instalment, The Twenty-Three, will be released this fall.

Stephen King calls #1 bestseller Barclay "a suspense master" and The Promise Falls trilogy does not disappoint.

From linwoodbarclay.com

Broken Promises
Promise Falls is a broken town. No jobs. No prospects. Not even a newspaper since the Standard went under. Which means reporter David Harwood is unemployed. But there are still things out there for him to look into, like how his cousin Marla has acquired a baby she swears was given to her by an angel. And what this baby has to do with a vicious murder on the other side of town.

Add into the mix a a series of strange and possibly connected occurrences. A mothballed Ferris wheel coming to life. A ritualistic animal slaughter. A serial predator on the prowl at the local college. Promise Falls is slipping into darkness...

Far From True
The second spine-chilling thriller set in the troubled town of Promise Falls.

After the screen of a run-down drive-in movie theater collapses and kills four people, the daughter of one of the victims asks private investigator Cal Weaver to look into a break-in at her father's house. Cal discovers a hidden room where salacious activities have taken place--as well as evidence of missing DVDs. But it may not be the discs the thief was interested in. . . .

Meanwhile, Detective Barry Duckworth is still trying to solve two murders he believes are connected, since each featured a similar distinctive wound. And when yet another murder happens, Cal and Barry are both driven to pursue their investigations, no matter where they lead. But where they lead may be more horrific than either man can imagine.

The Twenty-Three
Everything has been leading to this.

It’s the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd, and the small town of Promise Falls, New York, has found itself in the midst of a full-blown catastrophe. Hundreds of people are going to the hospital with similar flu-like symptoms—and dozens have died. Investigators quickly zero in on the water supply. But the question for many, including private investigator Cal Weaver, remains: Who would benefit from a mass poisoning of this town?

Look for a Trent Voices Podcast interview with Linwood Barclay later this year.

Hannah Papp '94: The Mystical Backpacker

From Simon & Schuster Canada:

Part memoir, part guidebook, The Mystical Backpacker invites you to explore your inner terrain and learn how to create your own unique version of a modern day vision quest or walk-about.

Tired of living a life based on other’s expectations, Hannah Papp quit her job, bought a EuroRail ticket and a map, notified her landlady, and left town. Embarking on a journey across Europe with no plan and no direction, Hannah stumbled into becoming a modern-day Mystical Backpacker. Along the way her discoveries and the teachers she encountered allowed her to go on a deeper journey into the self and the spirit—revealing the real self she had long been missing.

The Mystical Backpacker shows you how to identify the signs along the road that will lead to teachers and experiences that will reorient your own life map. Ultimately, The Mystical Backpacker offers a solution, a way to break free and find your inner self’s rhythms and needs, fulfilling your true destiny. It’s time you hit the road and become a mystical backpacker.

From themysticalbackpacker.com:

The journey is twofold; first, you head out into the world to experience an adventure all by yourself. Go anywhere you want – Italy, Mozambique, Tibet or Wisconsin – the choice is yours and there’s no ‘wrong’ place to go. Second, you travel the inner road to personal freedom (don’t worry, the book tells you how) and you reconnect with your authentic, bad-ass self! This is the 21st century vision quest: a place where the solitude required to experience the world from a fresh perspective yields the greatest treasure of all: discovering your destiny.

Carol-Ann Marshall'71: I Dare You!: Conquer Fear and Free Yourself from Emotional Abuse

From carolannmarshall.com:

I Dare You! Conquer Fear and Free Yourself from Emotional Abuse examines the devastating affect of emotional abuse on women. Emotional abuse is the mental control of women by the systematic undermining of their self-confidence, self-esteem and sense of self. It is hidden behind closed doors, not discussed with anyone and often severely damages a woman’s thought processes and self -worth. Its effects have the potential of lingering for a lifetime. I Dare You! is a road map for women who find themselves uncomfortable in and questioning the state of their intimate relationships. It challenges the traditional definition of abuse, explores the signs of emotional abuse, suggests ideas for self-examination, provides steps to follow to heal their brokenness and encourages women to dream of a new and more fulfilling life. It is a wake up call for women to face their fears and take a bold step towards a new life.

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