Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Birth House by Ami MacKay


The Birth House - Canadian Trade Paperback.The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of Rares. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing. Dora becomes Miss B.’s apprentice, and together they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labours, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives. Filled with details as compelling as they are surprising, The Birth House is an unforgettable tale of the struggles women have faced to have control of their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medicine



                               Author Bio

                              Author Website 


As a writer of fiction, essays, musical theatre, radio documentaries and dramas, Ami is a dedicated artist who brings creativity and passion to her work. With over 15 years of experience in musical theater she has scored several productions, including The Clouds, Mother Courage, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest.
She believes that the power and magic of a good story can only come through the strength of the characters, plot and place. Her work has been described as "a balance of stories - observation and internal musings, matter of factness and fancy." Her radio documentary for the CBC, Daughter of Family G won an Excellence in Journalism Award at the 2003 Atlantic Journalism Awards and her novel, Given, was awarded second  place in the 27th annual Atlantic Writing    Competition.
Born in Indiana, Ami currently lives in an old farm house in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia. She's an avid blogger and is an active member of PEN Canada as well as an Associate Editor of Fiction for The Antigonish Review.
Her first novel, The Birth House was published by Knopf Canada in 2006 as their New Face of Fiction's 10th anniversary title (publication by Luitingh Sijthoff - Holland, and Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag -Random House Germany to follow).

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Golden Spruce: a True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed by John Vaillant

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The golden spruce stood in the Queen Charlotte Islands, an unusually rich ecosystem where the normal lines between species blur, a place where “the patient observer will find that trees are fed by salmon [and] eagles can swim.” The islands’ beauty and strangeness inspire a more personal and magical experience of nature than western society is usually given to. Without romanticizing, Vaillant shows that this understanding is typified by the Haida, the native people who have lived there for millennia and know the land as Haida Gwaii – and for whom the golden spruce was an integral part of their history and mythology. But seen a different way, the golden spruce stood in block 6 of Tree Farm License 39, a tract owned by the Weyerhaeuser forest products company. It survived in an isolated “set-aside” amidst a landscape ravaged by logging.The Golden Spruce is the story of a glorious natural wonder, the man who destroyed it, and the fascinating, troubling context in which his act took place. 

A tree with luminous glowing needles, the golden spruce was unique, a mystery that biologically speaking should never have reached maturity; Grant Hadwin, the man who cut it down, was passionate, extraordinarily well-suited to wilderness survival, and to some degree unbalanced. But as John Vaillant shows in this gripping and perceptive book, the extraordinary tree stood at the intersection of contradictory ways of looking at the world; the conflict between them is one reason it was destroyed. Taking in history, geography, science and spirituality, this book raises some of the most pressing questions facing society today. 

Grant Hadwin had worked as a remote scout for timber companies; with his ease in the wild he excelled at his job, much of which was spent in remote stretches of the temperate rain forest, plotting the best routes to extract lumber. But over time Hadwin was pushed into a paradox: the better he was at his job, the more the world he loved was destroyed. It seems he was ultimately unable to bear the contradiction. 

On the night of January 20, 1997, with the temperature near zero, Hadwin swam across the Yakoun river with a chainsaw. Another astonishing physical feat followed: alone, in darkness, he tore expertly into the golden spruce – a tree more than two metres in diameter – leaving it so unstable that the first wind would push it over. A few weeks later, having inspired an outpouring of grief and public anger, Hadwin set off in a kayak across the treacherous Hecate Strait to face court charges. He has not been heard from since


Image result for john vaillantAuthor Bio

John Vaillant is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Outside, among others.  His first book,  The Golden Spruce (Norton, 2005), was a bestseller and won several awards, including the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction (Canada).  His second nonfiction book, The Tiger (Knopf, 2010), is also an award-winning bestseller. His latest book, a novel, is The Jaguar's Children (HMH/Knopf Canada).