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The Metamorphosis

Goose Lane Editions


Winner, Best Atlantic Published Book Award

Shortlisted, Canadian Regional Design Award

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"[A] magical history tour of the highest order ... Nova Scotia writer Bruce MacNab, according to experts cited all over, has simply nailed the untold apprenticeship of Harry Houdini as the magician performed throughtout Maritime communities more than a century ago. ... you cannot escape the fact that this is an absolutely exceptional book."

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"Bruce MacNab's absolutely fascinating reconstruction of Harry Houdini's summer-long 1896 tour of Eastern Canada was Atlantic Canada's 'sleeper' book of the past year. ... It's a fabulous book to read and savour, with an engaging narrative, detailed research and striking visuals, including rare news clippings, vintage posters, illustrative maps and newly unearthed photographs. ... In his first book, the author has produced a gem that won the 2012 APMA Best Atlantic Published Book Award. ... It has great appeal to those with a passion for Victorian Canadian life, travelling circuses, magic tricks, fortune tellers and freak shows. Fans of the master magician as well as curious people of all ages will also marvel at Houdini's sleights of hand and the secrets of his illusions. ... Shedding new light on Houdini's career is quite an accomplishment, but it's the author's polished writing style and the richness of the illustration that makes The Metamorphosis a very entertaining summer read."

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"It's a fascinating read."

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Bruce MacNab grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and attended the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology. Since then, he has worked as an author, carpenter, craftsman, tutor, and teacher. He has long been fascinated with the story of Harry Houdini. His articles have appeared in the Beaver, the Chronicle Herald, History Today, and other magazines and newspapers. Bruce MacNab now lives in New Ross, Nova Scotia, a region steeped in the mythology of Oak Island and Prince Henry Sinclair. The Metamorphosis is his first book.

 
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Almost a Great Escape

Goose Lane Editions


Winner of the W.O. Mitchell Award, the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction, and the Alberta Readers' Choice Award

Following his mothers death in 2004, Tyler Trafford discovers an album of old letters and creased photographs that reveal a mother he never knew, a man hes never heard of, and a love affair doomed by class and circumstance. The letters are from Jens Müller, a Norwegian pilot who trained in Canada during the early days of World War II, one of only three prisoners who would make it home after The Great Escape.

In Almost a Great Escape, Trafford takes us on a journey of emotional discovery and dramatic disclosure as he reconstructs his mothers life, from her youth as a wealthy Montreal debutante to her final days as a broken but unbent casualty of a loveless marriage. His search for answers takes him across Canada and then across the ocean to Norway, hoping to learn more about the mystery of this secret relationship.

Written with a fluidity fueled by heart-wrenching honesty, Traffords unconventional memoir confirms that while you can survive your past, you can never escape from it. Almost a Great Escape includes photographs as well as excerpts and reproductions of telegrams and letters Jens sent from England and Stalag Luft III.

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"Tyler Trafford exposes an elaborately intertwined story of family, romance, war, and love's aftermath. His multi-genre approach is both lyrical and admirably adapted to the challenge of the story he both unearths and illuminates."

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"As his own reflections intermingle with Alice's letters, the book becomes a moving story of love between a mother who dreamed of being a writer and a son who became one."

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"Tyler Trafford uses his creative ingenuity to bring the story of his late mother's secret love to life. Told with great flair and extraordinary skill, this captivating tale is an engrossing voyage of discovery and revelation."

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"Trafford is a mesmerizing writer with a style all his own.... The story of a secret love affair, it is a wonderfully twisted story of a Westmount upper class family, romance in war, and the scars that come from not taking a chance on love."

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"This is not a sentimental love story. It belongs in another, higher category. It's one that people of both sexes and any age past puberty will appreciate. And incidentally, it's a fine piece of writing and composing."

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"Letters in love and war reveal the most about the human condition. Tyler Trafford takes us inside a wartime romance, situates it at the heart of the most celebrated escape of the Second World War, and delivers a moving account of his own search to understand a parent and his own condition."

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"There are a handful of characters in a reader's life that are real, their wakes resonating like ghosts. Such is Alice Tyler, conjured by her son, writer Tyler Trafford, in his epistolary biography, Almost a Great Escape. She is so evoked you will taste her in a glass of vodka.... Trafford's writing swims with the heady heat of a slow, balmy, never-ending childhood summer. He builds towers with his words, stacking adjectives to describe the slow-motion escape of a lovesick war hero and building to a satisfying, thought-provoking conclusion."

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Tyler Trafford worked for many years as a reporter and editor first with the Calgary Herald, then in Australia with the Australian and later with the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. When he returned to Canada, he began writing biographies, histories, and works of fiction, including The Story of Blue Eye, which was shortlisted for the 2005 Grant McEwan Author's Award. He now divides his time between Calgary and his studio on the Oldman River near Pincher Creek, Alberta.

 
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Crying is for Babies

BWL Publishing Inc.


In the 1930s medicine was still very much a hit and miss affair. The surgeons were still experimenting and learning about the human body. This at a period when there was little in the way of pain relief. This is one woman’s story about a childhood ruined by such surgeons, whose bad judgement confined an eight-year-old subsequently to bed for three years and left her with a disability to last a lifetime. Nowadays she would have been given bed rest and pain relief, and in no time would have been up and running again. Her strong will, and the love of a close family, saw her through the bad times, enabling her to go on and become the talented, remarkable person she was. I know because this woman was my sister.

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Inspiring story of overcoming adversity.

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Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Tricia is a dreamer who still dreams every night; snippets from those dreams have translated into ideas for her books. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart. Tricia loves reading and writing historicals and her other great passion, time-travels.

 
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Master and Madman

Goose Lane Editions


Shortlisted, Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

Despite the coming social reforms undertaken at home, the world of the Georgian British Empire was nothing if not class-conscious and leery of outsiders. But Anthony Lockwood, with no known certain record of his parentage and whose first appearance in history is his signing onto the USS Iphigenia in Jamaica in 1795, certainly broke through this mould. His naval record almost exactly spanned the French wars and the War of 1812, and he was commended for bravery in action against the French, was present at the Spithead Mutiny, shipwrecked and imprisoned in France, appointed master attendant of the naval yard in Bridgetown Barbados, and served as an hydrographer in the English Channel and the West Indies before beginning a three-year marine survey of Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy. All of this certainly seems eventful enough, but he was just getting started. Despite being an "outsider", Lockwood was able, due to his experience in the Navy, to acquire an appointment as the Surveyor General of New Brunswick and become the right-hand man to Governor George Stracey Smyth. Also appointed as Receiver General, his rise to the top of society seemed all but assured — despite the "handicap" of his low birth. But was he accepted or only tolerated by the aristocratic high New Brunswick society? On June 1, 1823, after several days of confronting authorities, picking fist fights, and riding from one side of the province to another, Lockwood took to his horse, brandished two pistols, and declared that he was taking over the government. This one-man coup d'etat failed, and he was declared mad. Jailed and later placed under house arrest, it would be November 1825 before he was officially removed from office and went home to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life in and out of asylums. With his own destruction of many of his records as well as the loss of more to a shipwreck and a fire, the story of Anthony Lockwood was a difficult one to research. With an exhaustive bibliography and notes, here, for the first time, is the bizarre, true story of Lockwood's almost unprecedented rise and disastrous fall.

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"Master and Madman, nominated for the 2013 Atlantic Book Awards for historical writing, is not a novel, but it contains some of the essential elements of an engrossing fiction: social ambition, suspense, disappointment, and the perverse workings of fate."

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"The authors... convincingly argue, in this intriguing look at a little-known corner of Canadian history, that Lockwood's grand gesture on that spring day in 1823 was ‘both mad and meaningful.’"

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Peter Thomas, a devoted fly fisherman, was also the author of three books of poetry. Among his prose works are The Welsher, a novel, and Strangers from a Secret Land, about Welsh settlement in Canada, which won the Welsh Arts Council's annual award for a work of non-fiction.

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A naval historian and experienced yachtsman, Nicholas Tracy holds a PhD from the University of Southampton and is the author of several books including Naval Warfare in the Age of Sail. Although he was born on the Canadian prairies, Tracy has been an active yachtsman on two continents for many years.

 
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Barbarossa, Botticelli und die Beatles

Eichborn


Von den ersten Hochkulturen bis heute: Anhand der 300 wichtigsten Protagonisten aus Geschichte, Kultur und Wissenschaft erzählt Helge Hesse unterhaltsam und informativ, warum unsere Welt so geworden ist, wie sie ist.

Ramses II. führte das ägyptische Reich zu seiner höchsten Macht, Europa erwacht in Griechenland durch den ersten Philosophen Thales, Marco Polo findet China und Gutenberg die beweglichen Lettern, Machiavelli seziert die Macht des Fürsten und Luther die Allmacht des Papstes, Newton entdeckt die Kräfte des Universums und Freud das Unbewusste des Menschen. Martin Luther King stirbt für die Gleichheit der Menschen und J. F. Kennedy für eine neue Gesellschaft: Helge Hesse entdeckt verblüffende Zusammenhänge, beschreibt neue Weichenstellungen und erzählt von entscheidenden 300 ersten Taten, Malen, Entdeckungen und Erfindungen in Welt- und Kulturgeschichte, die unser Leben bis heute prägen.

 
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Across the Rivers of Memory

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs


Transnistria, Romania, did not exist on a map. Yet that is where ten-year-old Felicia Steigman and her parents arrived in 1941, after a cruel deportation and death march overseen by Romanian Nazi collaborators. After surviving three years amid squalor, devastation and death, they finally returned to their pre-war idyllic hometown, Vatra Dornei, only to find their suffering being silenced. Decades later, Felicia was determined to commemorate the forgotten cemetery of Transnistria in a way that could not be ignored.

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Felicia Carmelly was born in Vatra Dornei, Romania, on September 25, 1931. In 1959, Felicia and her family emigrated from communist Romania to Israel. Three years later they immigrated to Canada, where Felicia earned her master’s degree in social work. Felicia founded Toronto’s Transnistria Survivors’ Association in 1994 and published the anthology Shattered! 50 Years of Silence: History and Voices of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria in 1997. Felicia Carmelly lives in Toronto.

 
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Tolstoy and Tolstaya

Donskov, Andrew (Hrsg.) | University of Ottawa Press


Both Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy (1828–1910) and his wife Sofia Andreevna Tolstaya (1844–1919) were prolific letterwriters.

Lev Nikolaevich wrote approximately 10,000 letters over his lifetime — 840 of these addressed to his wife. Letters written by (or to) Sofia Andreevna over her lifetime also numbered in the thousands. When Tolstaya published Lev Nikolaevich’s letters to her, she declined to include any of her 644 letters to her husband. The absence of half their correspondence obscured the underlying significance of many of his comments to her and occasionally led the reader to wrong conclusions.

The current volume, in presenting a constantly unfolding dialogue between the Tolstoy-Tolstaya couple — mostly for the first time in English translation — offers unique insights into the minds of two fascinating individuals over the 48-year period of their conjugal life. Not only do we ’peer into the souls’ of these deep-thinking correspondents by penetrating their immediate and extended family life — full of joy and sadness, bliss and tragedy but we also observe, as in a generation-spanning chronicle, a variety of scenes of Russian society, from rural peasants to lords and ladies. 

This hard-cover, illustrated critical edition includes a foreword by Vladimir Il’ich Tolstoy (Lev Tolstoy’s great-great-grandson), introduction, maps, genealogy, as well as eleven additional letters by Sofia Andreevna Tolstaya published here for the very first time in either Russian or English translation. It is a beautiful complement to My Life, a collection of Sofia Tolstaya’s memoirs published in English in 2010 at the University of Ottawa Press.

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This is truly a magisterial book: a welcome and valuable addition to the library of any Tol­stoy scholar and to those interested in the life and works of Sofia Andreevna Tolstaya. 

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"Andrew Donskov and his team based at the University of Ottawa have just produced a new gem: a collection of the correspondence between the Tolstoys from their courtship in the early 1860s through to Tolstaya's last unsent letter on the eve of her husband's death. (...) Tolstoy and Tolstaya: A Portrait of a Life in Letters is the epistolary novel of one of the world's greatest literary couples. And for the first time, both have an equal voice."

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There are elements in their relationship that

are so very universal, particularly the weighing and measuring and comparing of the contributions of each of the spouses to the union and to the household.  It is refreshing to have this unvarnished, un-romanticized window on the relationship of such a famous and fascinating couple. It is almost literary voyeurism.  Imagine having one's own relationship laid bare for public consumption in this way.  

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"Tolstoy and Tolstoya includes the letters Sofia and Lev wrote to each other (...) not without occasional arguments and indeed fierce fights, deaths of children, and problems with peasants."

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The Tolstoys had things to say — to each other and to the world. And because that communication was written down in the form of letters to each other, it is possible to compile their thoughts into a book. (...) It is a companion book to [Andrew Donskov] earlier, highly regarded collection of Sofia Tolstoy’s memoirs called My Life, published in 2010. Donskov is a distinguished professor of languages at the University of Ottawa and a respected expert on Tolstoy and his wife.

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It is a treasure! (...) such a fine volume. It will stand for ages as

the book in its field.

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Andrew Donskov and his team based at the University of Ottawa have just produced a new gem (...) The volume also includes a wealth of contextualizing information—from detailed family trees and a list of Russian geographical names to a lengthy introduction by the editor, photographs of the Tolstoy family, a chronology and detailed index. The editors have done everything they can to make the book both broadly accessible and also of interest to experts. It succeeds in both of these tasks. As a Tolstoy scholar well versed in the vicissitudes of his life and thought, and as a human being who cares about questions of love and intimacy, I found it illuminating and at times heart-wrenching to immerse myself in this correspondence. It brings to life both the writers and their intense relationship. Even the many letters I had read before took on a new meaning when placed in the context of this greater dialogue.

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So how did the written memoirs of Tolstoy's indomitable wife, Sofia Tolstaya (the Russian feminine version of Tolstoy), one of the most important and anticipated works in modern Tolstoy scholarship, land at a university press in Canada's capital city? As with most things in academia, it involves an almost obsessive love of the subject, and lots of time. (...) To publish on Tolstoy you need permission from one of the two directors. Or, as [Andrew] Donskov jokingly puts it: "The only way to get something from Russians is to know them." (...) When Tolstaya's memoirs were scheduled to be printed in Russia as a coffee-table book, Donskov was entrusted with creating the full scholarly edition, as well as the obligation to treat the material as seriously as it deserved.

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Tolstoy and Tolstaya: A Portrait of a Life in Letters offers 239 of more than 1500 letters the couple wrote to each other in the decades ahead, as Tolstoy became a celebrated author and Sonya his respected wife. It's a weigthy, fluently translated book of 400 large-format pages, a solemn product of serious scholarship, announcing itself, a little self-righteously, as an important tool for future Tolstoy studies.

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Andrew Donskov, member of the Royal Society of Canada, is Distinguished Professor at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures of the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on Russian theatre and drama during the nineteenth century, Russian peasant literature, the Doukhobors, and the literary career of Leo Tolstoy. He received the Tolstoy Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Tolstoy Studies, awarded by the L.N. Tolstoy Museum in Moscow, in 2015.

 
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A Name Unbroken

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs


When Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, fifteen-year-old Miklos Friedman drew on his wits to survive. Recruited into forced labour, sent to a ghetto and, ultimately, to the Nazi camps of Auschwitz and Mühldorf, Miklos never stopped fighting to change his fate. After the war, he risked everything in order to leave his past behind. Decades later, a chance meeting in Toronto led Miklos, now Michael Mason, to discover the power of his new name.

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Michael Mason was born as Miklos Friedman in Beregszász, Czechoslovakia, in 1928. In 1948, to immigrate to Canada, he took on the identity of Miklos Moskovits, later changing his name to Michael Mason in response to antisemitic hiring practices. In Canada, Michael worked in a variety of businesses before becoming a denturist in 1973. Michael Mason lives in Toronto.

 
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Before All Memory is Lost

Goldberg, Myrna (Hrsg.) | The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs


In this first Azrieli Foundation anthology, twenty-five women reflect on their experiences of survival – from the heart-stopping fears of hiding to the extreme risks of “passing” as non-Jews, and from the terrors of the Nazi camps to the treacheries of the Soviet Union. This powerful collection, woven together by the common thread of resistance, features a wide variety of narrative styles, including prose, poetry and diary excerpts.

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Myrna Goldenberg is the co-editor of Different Horrors, Same Hell:Gender and the Holocaust (2013) and Experience and Expression: Women, the Nazis, and the Holocaust (2003), as well as a number of other publications. A professor emerita of Montgomery College, Maryland, Goldenberg’s research focuses on gender and the Holocaust and on teaching the Holocaust in the university and college classroom.

 
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Under the Red and Yellow Stars

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs


Under the Yellow & Red Stars is a remarkable story of survival, coming of age and homecoming after years as a stranger in a strange land. Alex Levin was only ten years old when he ran deep into the forest after the Germans invaded his hometown of Rokitno and only twelve when he emerged from hiding to find that he had neither parents nor a community to return to. A harrowing tale of escape, endurance and exceptional emotional resilience, Levin’s story also draws us into his later life as an officer and eventual outcast in the USSR, and as an immigrant who successfully built a new life in Canada. This poetically written memoir is imbued with loss and pain, but also with the optimistic spirit of a boy determined to survive.

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Alex Levin was born in 1932 in Rokitno, Poland. After the war, he was sent to the USSR and enrolled in cadet school, remaining in the Soviet army until forced out for being Jewish. Alex came to Canada in 1975 and settled in Toronto. He has spoken to many students about his experiences in the Holocaust.

 
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