"I wanted to write a climate book that doesn’t overwhelm people, but makes them laugh, cry and see the world in new ways." Carrie Saxifrage
The audience certainly laughed, shed a tear and discussed strategies to fight climate change as Carrie Saxifrage read from her book, The Big Swim: Coming Ashore in a World Adrift on Tuesday, April 7th at the Bookstore. We sat in an intimate circle as Carrie answered our questions and participated in a community dialogue about how to challenge climate change at a societal, institutional and individual level.
Carrie informed us that her last name Saxifrage meant a flower that grows through rock and as the evening went on, I could see that Carrie is as full of heart and tenacity as her name-sake. In her book, Carrie shows how climate change impacts upon her life story. From her writing, we are then able to discern how it affects each and every one of us.
Thank you Carrie for your beautiful writing, and for your heart-felt dedication and contributions to making this world a better place.
We have copies of Carrie's book available at the Bookstore.
Come in and get yours!
CONGRATULATIONS TO MARGARET!
Lakehead University Names Thunder Bay Convocation’s
2015 Honorary Degree Recipients
Margaret Phillips is co-founder of the Northern Woman’s Bookstore and was a member of the Advisory Committee that created the Women’s Studies Program at Lakehead University.
Phillips is an alumni of Lakehead, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies in 1980. During most of her adult life, she has worked for social justice, particularly with feminist issues and aboriginal rights. Her early work in the recreation field was, for a young woman at that time, pioneering.
Phillips has served as a Director on the Board of Inter Pares, an international development organization seeking change in the status of women worldwide, and as a Board member of the Canadian Council on Social Development. She was also the executive director of the Lakehead Social Planning Council from 1971 to 1981.
In 2008, the Northwestern Ontario Writers’ Workshop honoured Phillips by presenting her with the Kouhi Award for her outstanding contributions to the literature of Northwestern Ontario.
Margaret will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters.
UPCOMING EVENT: CARRIE SAXIFRAGE
TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2015 6-7:30 PM
COME JOIN US!
Carrie wrote the following piece especially for her event at the Bookstore!
Feminism and Climate Activism: The Big Swim
Betsy Warland, author of Breathing the Page, wrote that my new book, The Big Swim, “inspires a refreshing sense of volition." As a feminist and climate activist, that’s what I hope for: a society in which people sense their own volition, the will and the power to make informed choices, both personally and politically.
Feminism infuses The Big Swim in how it taught me how to overcome my own fears and share an empowered perspective with others. By way of example, here are excerpts from Deep Blueberry Gestalt, the fifth chapter of The Big Swim. In the opening paragraph of that story essay, I overcome my fears.
A parade of horribles marched beside me as I walked through the forest: desperate bears, violent men, twisted ankles. The imagined dangers struck primal nerves so I reminded myself that I was safer hiking alone in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island, BC, than driving a car on a freeway. The protective measures at hand were largely ceremonial: a whistle tied to my pack and a Swiss Army knife in my right front pocket. The parade rattled alongside me until it got muffled by the peaceful emanation of the trees and wandered away. My legs sprang forward up the trail, lungs soaking in oxygen rich with green flavors: Douglas fir tree, huckleberry bush and foam flower.
Later in that chapter, on my way up Mt. Albert Edwaards, I come across a group of hikers from a girl’s school:
On a snow patch, ten young women stepped gingerly across the snow. The guide called them to one side so I could pass.
“What kind of group is this?” I asked him, looking at the stretchy pants, tight pastel shirts and clean swinging hair.
“Outward Bound. It’s a girls’ school from Toronto on a ten day trip,” he answered. “Where are you from?”
We discussed my route for a bit while the young women looked me up and down as if my shapeless clothes and leather boots made me a new third gender.
On my way down from summiting Mt. Albert Edwards, I encounter one of these young women and encourage her with the promise that her efforts will have real rewards.
Heading down, I passed one of the boarding school girls half-way up the escarpment. She panted and held her long brown hair off her neck, her white shirt stained with sweat.
“Is the top worth it?” she asked.
“Totally worth it,” I said. “You can see everything.”
We smiled at that. I looked at the rest of her group milling about at the base of the slope far below and felt proud of her.
At the end of the chapter I run into another woman who is more gender-typical than me and share a special place that will give the wilderness more meaning for her.
Back on the trail again, I met a couple heading the opposite way. The woman wore a sporty matching sweatsuit, like the ones my mom wore on informal occasions. Her smile broadcast that she was a very nice person. The man wanted to know where I’d been. I described my three days and nights alone.
The woman turned to her partner and said, “Well, if she can do all that alone, I guess I can get through this.” She indicated the empty, dangerous forest with a dismissive wave of her hand.
“I was scared the first day alone,” I told her, “but when nothing bad happened, I was just glad to be somewhere this beautiful.” I gestured toward my treasure-laden wilderness.
She considered this.
“Do you know where I can find blueberries?” she asked suddenly. “I want to pick enough to bake a tart.” She held out the Tupperware container in her hand.
I explained that if she turned left at Lake Mariwood, instead of right like most people, she’d find the high plateau of divine blueberries.
We exchanged blissful, understanding smiles.
Then she headed on her search for wild fruit, and I headed home, with clear intentions and a sense of possibility like the night sky.
I’ve turned these lessons of feminism - overcoming my fears and then sharing the range of choices it gives me with others – to climate change. Climate change touches everything and everyone, especially women. Its consequences are particularly harsh in less developed nations, the ones where women are disproportionately impoverished and struggle to source water, food and fuel. Climate change further diminishes their access to these necessities of life.
With this in mind, I wrote The Big Swim to encourage a broader spectrum of people to see their stake in a stable climate. A lot of people find climate change too overwhelming to act on. I wanted to write a climate book that doesn’t overwhelm people, but makes them laugh, cry and see the world in new ways. So The Big Swim tells stories about my own quest for the good life, how that quest gets informed by climate science, and how I let those facts guide the quest. The Big Swim is intended to inspire volition, the reader’s will and power to make informed choices, both personally and politically. Because women benefit from informed choices.
For more information, on The Big Swim and Carrie's cross country book tour by bus, visit carriesaxifrage.com
committed feminist, avid reader, loyal friend
We are deeply saddened by the death of Anna McColl, co-founder of the Northern Woman's Bookstore. A feminist visionary, Anna worked hard over the years to make the north a more supportive place for women. While Anna had experienced many health problems in recent years, her death was unexpected, leaving us shocked and grieving.
Anna loved books. She was encouraged by the abundance of feminist literature that flourished in the 1970's, and wanted Northwestern Ontario women to have access to these books. Thus, she co-founded the Northern Woman's Bookstore in 1983, co-managed the Bookstore through the 1980's, and after "retiring" remained active both as staff and volunteer. Her love of the Bookstore, and the friends she made there, continued throughout the years. Newcomers to the Bookstore delighted in meeting Anna and hearing her witty stories. Anna greatly enjoyed our literary and social events. She came out to our most recent evening event, the Bird and Girl Concert we held in Nov. 2014, and we are happy that some of Anna’s last memories of the Northern Woman’s Bookstore were filled with the sweet sound of women’s songs amidst a circle of women.
Making spaces for women’s voices and perspectives was at the heart of Anna’s feminism. Her feminist activism included being a part of our CARAL (Canadian Abortion Rights Action League) group, which gave Pro Choice talks in local schools. Anna first became involved with the feminist community in 1975. She would visit Monika McNabb, who at the time was organizing a library at the Women's Centre on Bay Street. As Monika recounts,
"Anna and I became friends on her almost daily visits to the Northern Women’s Centre. She would sit on a stool at the long lunch counter where I was clipping and cataloguing articles and entertain me with stories of her life, expound her socialist, feminist and sometimes anarchist viewpoints, and bring me into the folds of her family. Her wit and humour lifted me and I will miss her for the rest of my life."
Anna’s contacts with the local feminist community in the late 70s led her to become a member of The Northern Woman journal collective, which gave voice to northern women and the universal issues women face. Anna's lasting contribution to the Journal was her analysis, with her constant encouragement to include a class analysis in feminist discourse. You can read some of Anna’s critical insights in the journals that we have digitized and placed on our website (look on the link NWJ archives ). Find a poem Anna wrote, illustrated with a mirror drawn by Donna Phoenix, on the cover of NWJ vol. 6 no. 6 . Find a drawing of Anna with Margaret on the cover of vol. 8 no. 3 .
Friends from the feminist sisterhood that spans forty years will remember Anna with deep affection. Donna Phoenix relates that
"Anna was my friend and I miss her so much. She often made me laugh. She was a good listener. She never published her stories about her childhood in a tenement in Scotland, which were to be told in the voice of Dorrie, a young girl. She said she could only write scribbles. I believe The Northern Woman journal has inspired women writers, poets, and activists. Anna's legacy might be considered: 'Write your book now! Don't wait.'”
As Anna's example reminds us, women scribbling down the fragments of our lives is the core of getting our stories out.
Sara Williamson, who also was part of the collective that wrote The Northern Woman journal, shares two memories of Anna’s feminist spirit:
"In the late ‘80s, Anna went on behalf of the rest of The Northern Women’s Journal collective to visit the deathbed of Kathryn Brule, a NWJ member who had moved to the Arctic. Anna returned with a severe lingering cold and a loving story of the bedside visit and funeral in the Métis community on the Mackenzie River.
Later in life when she moved into an apartment, Anna had to down-size her large personal library but it was painful. She did so on condition that the books were offered first to people of rural and remote communities who don’t have a lot of book selection."
Anna’s legacy of sharing stories and gathering with women has a long and warm history. A gathering of friends to celebrate Anna's life is being planned to be held at the Bookstore, the place of feminism, friendship, ideas, and creativity that Anna helped create and which sustained her for so many vibrant years. Anna bore witness to the many changes that have occurred over the years at the Bookstore, and through her guiding presence, she helped the Bookstore survive for 31 years.
Anna, your presence will remain among us!
Anna at the Bird and Girl Concert in Nov. 2014
"a vision of oneness
A vision of mine"
Warm and intense are apt words to describe Carol Ann. Her face shone like a bright moon, calling you. Above, Carol Ann shares her experiences with other women, such as Julie Fells (left) and Joan Baril (in the brown vest), who were active in 70s feminism in Thunder Bay. As you can see in the photo, Carol Ann gave you her undivided attention. When she talked with you, she would focus her brown eyes intensely on you. A conversation with Carol Ann was always an engagement in the here-and-now. Carol Ann's honesty and straight-forwardness, her warm open heart, and her gift of laughter, wit, and humour endeared her to many.
Congratulations to Margaret
for winning the
Influential Women's Award for
Influential Community Trailblazer
Thunder Bay | Influential Community Trailblazer
Thunder Bay may seem an unlikely place to locate a pioneering feminist women's bookstore. But 30 years after Margaret Phillips and Anna McColl opened the Northern Women's Bookstore in the city, it's still going strong.
Amongst a healthy 1970s feminist movement in Thunder Bay, a collective of women of the Northern Woman Journal—one of the longest running feminist newspapers in Canada—saw a need for more feminist literature, but the closest feminist bookstore was 1,000 miles away.
"There was this outpouring of writing by women in that period of time," Phillips said in a video for the PARO Women's Centre for Enterprise. "We were discovering authors from years ago that had been lost. There were women writing feminist and lesbian theory, writing about issues such as violence and health concerns, as well as wonderful fiction and poetry."
"But we didn't have access to these books. We had to go to Ottawa or Toronto for the books that we wanted to read ourselves," she said. "So we felt very strongly that there should be these books available in Thunder Bay."
It started small, not more than a hole-in-the-wall, with 300 books on its shelves. But after moving several times, the store now has its own home, with room for thousands of books and space for book launches, author readings, book clubs, and writing circles.
Phillips is at the core of the bookstore's success, said Rosalind Lockyer, executive director of the PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise, in her nomination letter. She calls Phillips a "tireless advocate and educator for women's issues, particularly those specific to Aboriginal women and women of Northern Ontario."
"As the only independent bookstore in the city, they carry unique literature not found elsewhere," Lockyer said. "This includes woman-centred, First Nations and Métis literature, books by local writers, as well as those dealing with violence, lesbian issues and women's health. They host book launches, music events, book clubs, writer's circles, art installations and workshops."
Phillips hesitates to call herself a pioneer, but recognizes the role of small independent businesses in boosting the local economy.
"Certainly it's not easy for any independent business; it's a difficult task," she said. "But it's absolutely vital that we have independent businesses in our community, and it's the independent, locally owned business that is the heart of the community. It's part of the cultural fabric of the community."
She also acknowledges the benefit of a large group of volunteers that keeps the bookstore running, whether it's making major decisions for the store, or coordinating the services it offers.
Last year, Phillips was recognized by PARO as Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the Enterprising Women 2013 Awards.
PARO believes "social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields, including education, health, environment and enterprise development." Much like a business entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur "builds strong and sustainable organizations, which are either set up as not-for-profits or companies."
In Margaret Phillips, Thunder Bay has one of its strongest social entrepreneurs.
"Margaret Phillips is a model for all young social entrepreneurs who wish to make a difference in their community and world," Lockyer said. "All are welcome to drop by the Northern Women's Bookstore to see the difference it makes when a business is run with a social mission in mind."
Join us Mon. June 30, 2014
Stories and poems about appliances and other electrical, mechanical or digital machines.
Bring your own stories or poems to share! (10 min. max).
The evening kicks off with the RedShoes Writing Group
--Samantha Najarro, Michele Proulx, Katja Maki & Taina Maki Chahal--
reading their stories about washing machines.
All stories, poems, songs or rants about women and machines welcome!
Ardelle Sagutcheway, Batia Stolar,
Erin Pamela Stewart, Jayal Chung, Betty Carpick,
Soccoro Woodman, Holly Haggarty Gwen O'Reilly
Della Maki Bitove (with her ukelele)
Each poet will introduce a female poet, read a poem by her, and then
read a poem that she has written in response to that poet's inspiration.
Our inspiration for this night comes from April being poetry month and from the event What Langston Heard: Contemporary Poets Read and Respond to Langston Hughes, curated by John-Michael Albert, sponsored by Seacoast African American Cultural Center at the Kittery Community Center, Maine, held Apr. 24, 2014. John-Michael Albert generously gave us permission to use the structure of their poetry event as our structuring inspiration.
With help from the Gender Issues Centre
Waiting for signs of spring
and beautiful weather to arrive
is the ideal time to
cozy up with some soulful poems!
20% OFF on Books of Poetry
during April, the Poetry Month!
Our SECOND celebratory "30 Years on the 30th" event will be held April 30.
Join us for a "Night of Words" from 7:00-9:00 at the bookstore.
Join us for a Potluck celebration, an evening of speakers,
singers and drummers, and an open mike night on March 30!
See our Events page for more details.
Forty Fabulous Feminists
in Northwestern Ontario
Book Project Update
The Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre invites you to drop in for coffee, tea and cake, and for an update on the progress of our book project celebrating the rich social history of women in our region.
With researcher/writer PhebeAnn Wolframe
Northern Woman’s Bookstore, 65 Court St. South
Saturday March 15, from 4-6 pm
AND… sew a quilt square for the Community Quilt Project sponsored by LU Gender Issues Centre. Bring your own supplies to the book project gathering, or use those provided by the Women’s Centre.
DEFINITELY SUPERIOR BOOK MARKET AND LAUNCH
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21 - 7:00-10:00 PM
The Northern Woman's Bookstore will participate in the Book Market and Launch, which will include 30 vendors featuring works by local and regional writers, featuring poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction, graphic novels and more! Stop by to peruse the selection and enjoy live music and catered refreshments.
See the DEFSUP website for details.
IN HONOUR OF
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
WE ARE HAVING A
20% OFF SALE
ON BOOKS BY BLACK AUTHORS
UNTIL THE END OF FEBRUARY
DROP IN THE STORE TO CELEBRATE
AND PICK UP SOME GREAT READING
HARD-COVER BOOK SALE!
All hard-cover books in the store are 20% off
Just in time for the holiday season
The sale runs from December 18 - January 4, 2014
Drop in and peruse our great selection of titles
Looking for Gift Ideas for the 2013 Holiday Season?
Let’s start with the most exquisite book of the year, ONCE UPON A NORTHERN NIGHT, by Thunder Bay’s Jean E. Pendziwol, which will delight the adult who is reading it as much as the child being read to. A lullaby, a poem, to the wonders of our northern nature and the creatures who inhabit it.
“Once upon a northern night
sang across the sky...”
The fine illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault augment the beauty of ONCE UPON A NORTHERN NIGHT. This book is truly a treasure.
Meditating on the ordinary of every day life, Lorna Crozier has given us a little gem… THE BOOK OF MARVELS:A Compendium of Everyday Things. Crozier brings her rapt attention to the everyday things she explores (even the kitchen sink), uncovering the mystery that lies at their essence. She offers tantalizing glimpses of the household’s human inhabitants, too, probing hearts, brains, noses and navels. Reporting her findings with charm, wit and an unerring sense of metaphor and mischief, Crosier animates the panoply of wonders to be found everywhere around us..
MAKING PEACE WITH THE EARTH is a new book by renowned author Vandana Shiva. In this compelling book, Shiva takes the reader on a journey through the world’s eco-landscape; one of generic engineering, industrial development and land-grabs in Africa, Asia and South America. Revealing the devastating impact of consumerism and corporate control, she concludes that the exploitation of this order is incurring an ecological and economic debt that is unsustainable. MAKING PEACE WITH THE EARTH outlines how a paradigm shift to earth-centred politics and economics is our only chance of survival and how collective resistance to corporate exploitation can open the way to a new environmentalism.
BEYOND THE JOURNEY: Women’s Stories of Settlement and Community Building in Canada, edited by Althea Prince. BEYOND THE JOURNEY features the voices of women who have experienced the challenge of living in Canada’s immigrant communities. The contributors (from Albania, Antigua, Barbados, China, Germany, India, Iran, Jamaica and Sri Lanka) chronicle their journey of settlement in Canada through life-writing, poetry, and essays. They focus on reaching a state of belonging in Canada as they engaged in community building.
BLUE FUTURE: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever.
The global water crisis has dramatically deepened. The stage is being set for draught on an unprecedented scale, mass starvation, and the migration pf millions refugees leaving parched lands in search of water. The story does not need to end in tragedy. In BLUE FUTURE: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, Maude Barlow offers solutions to the global water crisis based on four principles. (1) Water is a Human Right; (2) Water is a Common Heritage; (3) Water Has Rights Too; and (4) Water Can Teach Us How to Live Together. BLUE FUTURE include inspiring stories of struggle and resistancefrom marginalized communities, as well as examples of government policies that work for people and the planet.
On the fiction front we suggest:
Excellent novels short listed for Canada Reads, 2014 are ANNABEL, by Kathleen Winter; HALF-BLOOD BLUES, by Esi Edugyan and THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD, by Margaret Atwood.
Eleanor Catton is an author suddenly coming in to prominence. Her novel LUMINARIES won both the Governor General’s Award and the Mann Booker Prize.
Lynn Coady is this year’s Giller Prize winner for her short story collection HELL GOING, while Lisa Moore’s CAUGHT was a finalist.
The holiday reading I plan includes new novels by Margaret Drabble THE PURE GOLD BABY; and Mary Lawson’s ROAD ENDS. A new Fannie Flagg, THE ALL-GIRL FILLING STATION’S LAST REUNION also sounds fascinating.
Of local interest are Dororthea Mitchell’s LADY LUMBERJACK, a re-issue of the orginal 1967 publication; THE FLYING FALCONES : A Novella, by Susan Payetta
(situated in the Bookstore’s neighbourhood); SABOTAGE, is the final book in Karen Autio’s trilogy, historical fiction for children about a Finnish family in early Port Arthur;
CAMPFIRE STORIES From Northwestern Ontario by Shannon L. Robertson will be enjoyed by anyone who has sat around a northern campfire.
Somewhere Else chronicles the adventures and misadventures of a young woman who must reconcile her sexuality with the Mennonite spirituality she grew up with. Along the way our protagonist leaves her prairie home in Saskatchewan and stumbles upon urban queer culture in the heart of Winnipeg. She also encounters working class ethics on Lake Winnipeg, a long-suffering Unitarian, and the heady world of academics in Ontario. What else might she find along the way?
Save the date and do consider dropping by the bookstore for this event.
SPECIAL BOOK SALE - 40% discount on IFAO books
until November 30
The 2013 International Festival of Authors was enthusiastically received by a large and appreciative audience in Thunder Bay. Thanks to Thunder Bay Public Library, especially Barb and Ruth, for their great work in making the Festival a success. We were treated to wonderful readings by Ania Szado, Robert J Sawyer and Vincent Lam. We encourage you to read these authors, and until November 30 we are offering a 40% discount on the authors' books.
Vincent Lam books
The Headmasters Wager
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
Ania Szado books
Beggining of Was
Robert J. Sawyer books
Red Planet Blues
The Terminal Experiment
Congratulations to Jean E. Pendziwol
whose new book
Once Upon a Northern Night
is a finalist for the Governor General's Award!
Congratulations to Lynn Coady
winner of the 2013 Giller Prize
for her short story collection, Hell Going!
We'Moon 2014 is In!
We'Moon is back with another amazing calendar and a fierce cover! We have day planners with the full or spiral binding, and like every year it is full of beautiful art, amazing stories and wonderful poems. Make sure to drop by the Bookstore to pick up your 2014 day planner or full sized calendar.
READ ONTARIO - 20% Discount on Eight Select Books
until November 15
READ ONTARIO is a special independent bookstore promotion, organized by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization (OBPO). The Northern Woman’s Bookstore is happy to be participating in this campaign. Ontario has many fine authors and we are pleased to recommend a number of these authors to you. Please drop by and browse our display. To encourage your readership we are offering a 20% discount on these eight new books until November 15th.
Maude Barlow’s new book BLUE FUTURE: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, offers solutions to the global water crisis, and includes inspiring stories of struggle and resistance from marginalized communities, as well as examples of government policies that work.
TWO WOMEN, by Christene A. Browne: “Two women: born on the same day, a hemisphere apart. Two women, blind, middle-aged twin sisters, their world shaped through the magic of stories. “The reader is swept along in the wake of Bernice’s stories, not knowing what is real and what is fantasy, but believeing none the less”.
47 SORROWS. A Thaddeus Lewis Mystery, by Janet Kellough, is the latest in Kellough’s fine historical mystery series. “Lewis and his son Luke find themselves caught up in a mystery rooted deep in the (1847) Irish tragedy; a series of seemingly unconnected deaths linked by two green ribbons; and a common history of prejudice, violence and deadly cycles of retribution.”
FLEE, FLY, FLOWN, by Janet Hepburn. “When Lillian and Audrey hatch a plot to escape from Tranquil Meadows Nursing Home, ‘borrow’ a car, and spend their hastily planned vacation time driving to destinations west, they aren’t fully aware of the challenges they will face.” Not simply humorous, this story has a surprising complexity.
NO ANGEL by Annie McLung. In an interview about her first book, visual artist Annie McLung says “NO ANGEL is creative prose. The story takes place deep in Prince Edward County. A city woman buys a beautiful wreck of a house, takes it apart board by board, then hires tradesmen to help her put it together again. By then she is broke. The acre and a half is a mess. Fallen trees, broken trees, poison ivy, piles of debris. She has no idea how to deal with the trees. A man comes to help in exchange for the wood. This is the story of the following five years.”
UNLIKELY RADICALS: The Story of the Adams Mine Dump War by Charlie Angus. A plan to dump millions of tonnes of waste into the fractured pits of the Adams Mine prompted five separate civil resistance campaigns in Northern Ontario. This book traces the compelling history of the First Nations people and farmers, environmentalists and miners, retirees and volunteers, Anglophones and Francophones who stood side by side to defend their community with mass demonstrations, blockades, and non-violent resistance.
MARGARET ATWOOD AND THE LABOUR OF LITERARY CELEBRITY. This timely and thoughtful book internationally renowned writer Margaret Atwood and the active agents working in concert with her, including her assistants and office staff, her publicists, her literary agents, and her editors. Making extensive use of unpublished material in the Margaret Atwood Papers at the University of Toronto, Lorraine York demonstrates the extent to which celebrity writers must embrace and protect themselves from the demands of the literary world.
The Northern Woman Journal -- one of Canada's longest-running feminist journals -- is now online! Please click on the "NWJ archives" link at the bottom of the menu on the left, or click here to access over 20 years of journal archives.
We are thrilled to digitally preserve this remarkable feminist periodical for future generations.
Upcoming Event: October 26
This Saturday, October 26 at 5:00 pm The Northern Woman's Bookstore will celebrate the Northern Woman Journal, with a potluck dinner.
The Northern Woman Journal started out as a newsletter which would serve as a bulletin board to keep local women up to date on feminist events in the region. What it became was one of the longest running feminist journals in Canada.
Volunteers at The Northern Woman's Bookstore worked hard to digitize the entire collection of the Northern Woman Journal in order to preserve this remarkable periodical for future generations. We will be celebrating the creation of the Northern Woman Journal forty years ago, and launching its new online presence on The Northern Woman's Bookstore website.
October is Women's History Month. Come celebrate the history of women in Northern Ontario at the Bookstore on October 26th at The Northern Woman's Bookstore. We will be hosting a potluck, so bring your favourite food and join us for a great night
Upcoming Event: Sept. 17:
will read from her collection of short stories
Northern Woman’s Bookstore (across from Lot 66)
Tuesday September 17, 7:30 pm
65 S. Court St.
“The short stories basically explore close encounters, human relationships under a variety of circumstances. Some of the stories are humorous and some are serious.” ~ Sharon Irvine
Sharon Irvine is a converted northerner from southern Ontario, passionate about living on the shield among its lakes and forests, and much of her work reflects this passion. She has published a book of poetry, Watching The Parade, as well as the collaborative anthology of poems, Core Samples. Her work has been included in Paradise Frost and Northern Nurses, NOWW Newsletter,807 Magazine, Random Acts of Poetry, Core, Whiskey Jack and Squeeze. She has read at countless venues, including the Thunder Bay Public Library, the Nipigon Public Library, at several book clubs, Definitely Superior Art Gallery, Northern Woman's Book Store and at various events for the literacy outreach program, Random Acts of Poetry. The author has also read her work over the radio, both on a national scale (CBC) and locally (LU Radio). Sharon belongs to the literary groups NOWW, Writers Northwest and Para-Tactics. She won first prize for memoir in NOWW’s 2008 Literary Awards contest and placed third in the same category the following year. Sharon Irvine is a retired school teacher, who continues to influence and inspire local high school students, to whom she teaches creative writing on a volunteer basis.
Come enjoy the pleasure of hearing this wonderful local author!
Annual Fiction Sale!
It's that time of year again, when we have our annual fiction sale.
Everything in our fiction section, old and new, is 20% off.
On top of that we also have a number of books 40% and even 50% off in our special sale corner. There you can find incredible works from Jane Urquhart, Toni Morrison, Johanna Skibsrud, and Marjorie Celona to name a few.
Make sure you drop by the bookstore to pick up great fiction for summer reading.
Our fiction sale runs from July 13 - 20. Happy reading!
Upcoming Event: Rethinking Unequal Exchange
We are very excited about an upcoming book event at the Northern Woman's Bookstore. Salima Valiani's newest book, "Rethinking Unequal Exchange: the global integration of nursing labour markets" is an engaging study of international politics and women's labour in a globalized world.
Saturday, May 18
65 South Court Street
Sweet Seas: Portraits of the Great Lakes
As residents of Thunder Bay, we feel we know the Great Lakes pretty well since we are fortunate enough to have the largest and most beautiful of the five, Lake Superior, on our doorstep.
But Mark Schacter's wonderful new book Sweet Seas is filled with photographs from travels around all five Great Lakes which may surprise you. Mark has not only been able to capture the natural beauty and splendor, but he also includes photographs of the human side of life on the Great Lakes. And despite the human impact on the environment, as Mark says through his photography: "if you see the Lakes in the right place and at the right time, they still give the impression of being untouched and unchangeable".
The Northern Woman's Bookstore has been lucky enough to have Mark stop by the store after last night's reading at Waverly Library to sign copies of this beautiful book. We have a number for sale at the store, but only two signed copies, so make sure to stop by the store to grab one before we run out!
Richard Wagamese's "Indian Horse" has arrived!
We are excited to say that after a great deal of waiting, we received our shipment at the bookstore. Make sure you drop by to pick up a copy of a true Canadian novel.
We'Moon 2013 Day Planners for SALE
We are having a sale on We'Moon 2013: Gaia rhythms for Womyn day planners! These beautiful day planners are full of original art, poems, and stories. So come by the store to grab your copy of We'Moon at 25% off, and enjoy some lovely art as you keep yourself organized throughout 2013.
Thunder Pride Young Adult Writing Competition
As one of the official sponsors of this amazing literary event which is part of Thunder Pride Week, we have just received a press release about this exciting competition for youth. Below is the press release we received from Thunder Pride. Give it a read and share it with your friends!
Thunder Pride launches writing contest for LGBTTSQQ+ youth
Winners of contests for queer youth and their allies will read at Thunder Pride's annual literary evening, June 11, 2013
Thunder Pride, Northwestern Ontario's annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirited, queer and questioning (LGBTTQQ) diversity rights, is delighted to announce a writing contest for the region's queer youth and their allies!
Now in its third year, Thunder Pride has hosted a very popular literary evening since its inception.
Standing-room-only audiences have enjoyed a lively lineup of local queer writers, with headline
performances by well-known Canadian guest writers. Vancouver-based storyteller Ivan Coyote and
Toronto's Zoe Whittall delighted audiences in 2011 and 2012, respectively. This June, Thunder Pride will host Toronto-based writer Farzana Doctor, author of Stealing Nasreen and Six Metres of Pavement.
In 2012, members of the LGBTTQQ youth group The Other 10% contributed their voices to the literary conversation, with two members reading their work. "The audience was just so touched and happy to listen to these two young people's voices," says local writer Susan Goldberg, who is chairing the 2013 Thunder Pride Literary Evening. "It became clear pretty much immediately that we needed to include the talents of the younger members of our community in future events."
With that in mind, the Thunder Pride Young Adult Writing Competition has been created to inspire
Northwestern Ontario's LGBTTQQ youth to submit and share their writing with their larger community.
Youth aged 12-19 have until April 15, 2013, to submit their original, unpublished short stories, essays, monologues, poetry and comics for a chance to win cash prizes and read at the 2013 literary evening.
Full contest rules can be found at the Thunder Pride homepage: www.thunderpride.ca.
"This contest is a way of reaching out to Northwestern Ontario's queer youth and their allies to let them know that they have an important voice and role in our community," says Goldberg. "We hope that it will inspire teens to think creatively about issues of diversity and sexuality, to develop their creative writing skills, to build community, and - hopefully! - to have some fun in the process."
For more information and interviews, please contact Susan Goldberg: email@example.com
Canada Reads 2013: Turf Wars
With the start of a new year, CBC has begun a new Canada Reads battle royale. Just as
we have seen in previous years, the selection includes amazing works by wonderful
The Thunder Bay Public Library is hosting an exciting event with two of this year's authors,
Jane Urquhart and Richard Wagamese. This event takes place
at the Waverly Resource Library Auditorium on
Thursday, January 24 at 7:00 pm.
Tickets are free and available at all Library locations.
The Northern Woman's Bookstore has some wonderful books to help make the long winter months more enjoyable.It's a new year and we are looking forward to a bright and happy January. Now that the holiday season is behind us, the long winter months may seem to drag on. Especially for all of us living in the Canadian North!
We have so many fantastic novels that are perfect for curling up to read through the extended winter evenings. From recent award winners like Bring Up the Bodies by Hiliary Mantel, to novels about life during Canadian winters like The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart and February by Lisa Moore, we have lots of choices.
Kids getting cabin fever? Snow Daze by Marcia Arpin and Get Outside: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors by Jane Drake and Ann Love, are full of plenty of ideas and activities to keep the little ones busy.
GIFT IDEAS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON!
COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
WOMEN WHO LIGHT THE DARK: Beautiful photography by Paola Gianturco, with stories from women from fifteen countries about their lives and their activism on behalf of women.
Artists who like to experiment would enjoy HOT TOPICS: PORTRAITS OF 20TH CENTURY FEMINISTS, painting by Kirsten McCrea, text by Misty Ericson.
VIVA: Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas, Deborah Barndt, editor,… a great collection of inspiring case studies from community arts projects in five countries, beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred colour photographs and includes a DVD.
QUETICO: Into the Wild..adventure photo-journalists Gary and Joanie McGuffin guide us by canoe and snowshoe through the four seasons of Quetico’s wilderness.
HARK! A VAGRANT… an uproarious romp through history and literature seen through the sharp, contemporary lens of New Yorker cartoonist and comics sensation Kate Beaton.
MY INVENTED COUNTRY: A Nostalgic Journey ThroughChile, by Isabel Allende. In MY INVENTED COUNTRY, Allende explores “the role of memory and nostalgia in shaping her life, her books, and the most intimate connection to her place of origin.”
EATING DIRT: Deep Forests, Big timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe, by Charlotte Gill. “EATING DIRT celebrates the priceless value of forests, the ever-changing relationship between humans and trees, and perhaps most os all the joys of planting trees, one of the world’s most ancient ecological pursuits”.
A THOUSAND FAREWELLS: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring, by Nahlah Ayed is the heartfelt and personal chronicle of a journalist who has devoted her career to covering one of the world’s most volatile regions.
SOMETHING FIERCE: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter is Carmen Aguirre’s memoir of her time with the Chilean resistance, from the age of eleven years until she was twenty-one. This reader was totally captivated by this memoir, which won Canada Reads 2012.
FALLING BACKWARDS, a memoir, by Jann Arden.. “will capture yur heart – and keep you in stitiches – with her powerful stories about coming of age as an artist and as a human being”
SOME WONDERFUL BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
KISS ME! (I’m a Prince) by Heather McLeod
A FLOCK OF SHOES, Story by Sarah Tsiang, art by Qin Leng
BIRTHDAY SUIT, by Olive Senior
GIRAFFE AND BIRD, by Rebecca Bender
MUSIC FROM THE SKY, by Denise Gillard, pictures by Stephen Taylor
AND TANGO MAKES THREE, by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
GET OUTSIDE: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors, by Jane Drake and Ann Love, illlustrated by Heather Collins
SEVEN GIFTS FOR CEDAR, by Cherie Dimaline, ill. Grant Nicholson
TALKING TAILS: The Incredible Connnection Between People and Their Pets, by Ann Love andn Jane Drake, illustrated by Bill Slavin
NEW AND RECENT BOOKS BY NWO AUTHORS
THE BARN’S ON FIRE and KAY’S DOWN THE WELL: The Special Barrick Edition, by Joan Skelton, Christine Barrick, Wendy Barrick Rhead
KEEPING THE LAND: KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB INNINUWUG, RECONCILATION AND CANADIAN LAW, by Rachel Ariss with John Cutfett
ROCK & ROLL, CRASH & BURN: THE DRIVER STORY, a memoir, by Maureen Croissant Prairie
FRAGMENTS de TEMPS Suzette Heber-Downey, by Marlene Belanger
LIFE’S WAY: Reflections of Hospice Voluntters inNorthwestern Ontario
WITH LOVE, LYDIA: The Story of Canada’s First Ordained Minister, by Patricia Wotton
THE HUNT FOR MOBY DICK, by Brian G. Spare PhD
THE CALLING: Beyond the Elder Stars, by John Peace
Still can’t decide? We do have gift certificates!
Now in Stock: We'Moon 2013
Newly arrived to the Bookstore are We'Moon date books and calendars. We are happy to offer "the iconic feminist datebook, astrological moon calendar, earth-spirited handbook in natural rhythms, and visionary collection of women's creative work". Filled with astrological information and beautiful artwork, it really is a great gift to treasure in the new year.
Women's Literature Night
Coming up this Friday, November 30th starting at 7:00 pm we are holding an open house to celebrate feminist book stores and women's literature.
November 30th marks the closing of the Toronto Women's Bookstore which makes the Northern Woman's Bookstore the last of its kind in Canada. We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many great spaces across the country and our event on Friday will be a celebration of feminist book stores and our relationships to the spaces, books, and people connected to women's literature.
So many amazing women have agreed to participate in the evening, and we will have a number of authors reading their own writing and poetry, as well as musical performances to close out the night.
Make sure to stop by Friday evening to catch performances from wonderful local authors and musicians, sample some treats, and check out our books as we celebrate women's literature.
NORTHERN WOMAN'S BOOKSTORE
WINS BUSINESS AWARD
At a ceremony held recently at City Hall, the Mayor's Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards were presented. The Northern Woman’s Bookstore was honoured that evening as we received the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Business Award. The citation of our award explained that "the Business Award is presented to the Northern Woman's Bookstore for being an advocate and educator to empower women on issues of social justice and discrimination."
It is indeed gratifying to have our work recognized. We are very pleased to receive this award and we thank the Awards Committee; our nominator; and the sponsor of the Business Award - BrookMcIlrory. The ceremony was a wonderful celebration of the work of diverse organizations and individuals. It was most encouraging to be among young (and some older) activists that are working to strenghten our community.
Other award recipients were:Media Award: Biindigaate Indigenous Film Festival (Michelle Desrosiers);
Education Award: The Other 10% (Julie Macarthur);
Youth Leadership Award: Renee Legarde;
Enforcement Professional Award: Constable Julie Tilbury.
Outstanding Community Project Awards were given to Community Coalition United for the Protection of our Children (CCUPCY) and to Community Action Group.
Fittingly, the Community Hero Award was presented to Sharon Johnson, founder and key organizer of the Full Moon Memory Walk, for her dedication to honour the memory of missing and murdered Anishinaabe and Metis women. We congratulate all recipients - you inspire us! Your efforts will ensure a more inclusive and just community.
For more information about the Mayor's Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards click here.
Take Back the Night
Starting at 5:30pm At the Spirit Garden in the Marina Park
Make sure to mark your calendars and join us for this event organized by the GIC.
The walk route has been planned for the Port Arthur downtown core, with an after party to take place at The Foundry.
Make sure to come out and support Take Back The Night!
International Festival of Authors
Last year's IFOA event was a packed event, with a huge audience turning out to hear the readings from 3 amazing authors.
This year we are looking forward to joining 3 wonderful authors, Rawi Hage, Helen Humphreys and Madeleine Thien, as they share readings from their latest works.
Tickets are on sale at the Northern Woman's Bookstore.
Make sure to stop by to pick up your tickets before they sell out!
Author Reading - Keeping the Land
We are very excited to announce this upcoming event. Please join us for an evening with the authors of Keeping the Land: Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Reconciliation and Canadian Law.
September 2012 - New Nonfiction
KEEPING THE LAND: Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Reconciliation and Canadian Law, by Rachel Ariss with John Cutfeet. “When the Kitchenuhnaykoosib Inninusug’s tradtional territory was threatened by mining exploration in 2006, they followed their traditional duty to protect the land and asked the mining exploration company, Platinex, to leave. Platinex left -then sued the remote First Nation for $10 billion. The ensuing legal dispute lasted two years and eventually resulted in the jailing of community leaders. Ariss argues that though this jailing was extraordinarily punitive and is indictive of continuing colonialism within the legal system, some aspects of the case demonstrate the potential of Canadian law to understand, include and reflect Aboriginal perspectives. Connecting scholarship in Aboriginal rights and Canadian law, traditional Aboriginal law, social change and community activism, KEEPING THE LAND explores the twists and turns of this legal dispute in order to gain a deeper understanding of the law’s contributions to and detractions from the process of reconciliation.” Rachel Ariss, a former LU faculty member, is presently an assistant professor in legal studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
ROCK AND ROLL, CRASH AND BURN: THE DRIVER STORY, a memoir, by Maureen Croissant Prairie.Joining the band DRIVER as keyboardist in 1973 was a dream come true for fifteen year old Maureen , allowing her to escape an unhealthy home environment and create “family” with the other band members. Equally based in Thunder Bay in winter months and London, Ontario in the summers, Maureen spent three years with DRIVER until a tragic car accident killed three band members and DRIVER disbanded. The dream quickly became a nightmare as the band manager (an older man) manipulated and traumatized all the band members with utterly horrendous abuse… sometimes at gunpoint.. forced drug use, beatings, torture, rape, . Attempts to fire the manager resulted in forced overdosing of one or another of the members. Time and again the young people were manipulated into silence. Why did they endure it? Prairie suggests the Stockholm Syndrome phenonemen , but what the story reveals is that they were protecting one another. Following the demise of the band Prairie spent time in Europe, returned to Thunder Bay and created a new life for herself… silencing the DRIVER story for more than thirty years until a chance encounter with a former colleague opened the flood of memories that needed to be told. With grace and great courage Prairie has given us the DRIVER story which I will long remember.
VIVA!: Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas, edited by Deborah Barndt with VIVA! Project Partners. “This compelling collection of inspiring case studies from community arts projects in five countries will inform and inspire students, artists, and activists. VIVA! Is the product of a five year transnational research project that integrates place, politics, passion and praxis. Framed by postcolonial theories of decolonization, the pedagody of the oppressed…and the burgeoning field of community arts, this collection not only analyzes the dynamic integration of the critical and the creative, it embodies such a praxis. Beautifully illustrated with more than 100 photographs, the book also includes a DVD with videos that bring the project to life.”
RECONSIDERING KNOWLEDGE: FEMINISM AND THE ACADEMY, edited by Meg Luxton and Mary Jane Mossman, examines current ideas about feminism in relation to knowledge, education and teaching in the university context. Connecting early stories of women who defied their exclusion from knowledge creation to contemporary challenges for feminism in universities, this collection assesses how feminist knowledge has influenced dominant thinking and transformed teaching and learning. It also focuses on the challenges for feminism as corporatization redefines the role of universities in a global world.
MOTHER-TALK: Conversations with Mothers of Lesbian Daughters and FTM Transgender Children, by Sarah F. Pearman. A collection of stories of twenty-four mothers – twelve who found out a daughter was a lesbian and twelve who learned that a child, once a biological female, was planning to transition to male, MOTHER-TALK captures the complexity of coming to terms with the loss of a daughter who has changed sex, or an anticipated relationship with a daughter, now a lesbian, who lives in a different world and will lead a different life. This groundbreaking book will help other mothers as well as lesbian daughters and FTM transgender children to understand their own mothers, their changed lives, and their determination to remain connected.”
Margie Taylor Book Launch: 60 IS THE NEW 20
On June 28 we are excited to host the launch of Margie's Taylor's newest publication; 60 Is the New 20: A Boomer's Guide to Aging with Grace, Dignity, and What's Left of Your Self-Respect. Margie Taylor's latest book has been described as “a light-hearted tongue-in-cheek look at boomers by one of their own”. As Margie herself explained in the preface, she wrote 60 is the New 20 in response to the Freedom 55 ideal of the current boomer lifestyle; that “life for the boomers is just getting better and better - we’re not growing old, we’re growing fitter, and richer, and having more sex”.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
65 South Court Street
Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome, and we hope you can make it to this wonderful event.
An Overflowing Crowd
In the beautiful surroundings of the new Mary J.L. Black Library, more than 100 avid story listeners gathered for the Thunder Pride Literary and Story-Telling evening. We were thrilled and awed by the great stories by our local authors, and we enthusiastically welcomed guest author Zoe Whittall. Thanks to Shannon for her great efforts in organizing this event.
The Northern Woman's Bookstore wants to continue the celebration so until June 30th all LGBTW books will be 20% off.
Authors included: Ivan E. Coyote, Zoe Whittall, Jeannette Winterson, Audre Lorde, Katherine Forrest, elana dykewomon, Farsana Doctor, Dione Brandi, Anne Cameron, Susan Goldberg, Jane Rule, Leslie Feinberg and many more!
Thunder Bay's 2nd Annual Pride Week
June 10th - 16th, 2012
Thunder Bay will celebrate Pride Week this year with a number of exciting events including an Anti-Homophobia Awareness Breakfast, Drag Show, Pub Crawl, and a Walk of Healing.
There is so much going on during Pride Week, and the Northern Woman's Bookstore will be participating at the Night of Literature and Story-Telling on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at Mary J. L. Black Library from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
For more information about the Night of Literature and Story-Telling check out our Events page , and for to find out more about all the great events going on during Pride Week just click on this link .
Congratulations to Heather McLeod, whose wonderful children's book KISS ME (I'm a Prince!) was chosen as HONOUR BOOK in the recent Blue Spruce competition.
Heather was one of the seven award-winning authors who participated in the Festival of Trees, held recently in Thunder Bay. Attended by 1200 local elementary school students, the Festival of Trees was a truly inspiring event, involving workshops, readings, author autographing, games and other events to encourage literacy and literature. For those of us who love books it was most gratifying to witness the children's joy, excitement and awe as they engaged with the authors. A resounding thank-you to the local committee who organized this wondrous festival.
Please join us for an exciting event, "Overflow", an evening of readings about the vulnerable, with three Thunder Bay writers:
Sunday, April 22 - 7:00pm at the Northern Woman's Bookstore
This evening will also serve as the launch of the anthology Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage (Seal Press, 2012), edited by Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort. Copies of the anthology - which includes an essay by Susan Goldberg, excerpted in the current issue of Ms. magazine - will be available for sale and signing.
Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome, so come out and enjoy a wonderful evening!
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO JOINED US TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!!
What a wonderful party we had to celebrate! Everyone was into the "Retro 70s" theme ... with food, dress, decor and memories. Joan read her marvelous story about the 1970s abortion caravan's visit to Thunder Bay, which stimulated an important discussion. Then we talked about books from the 70s (our display is still up -- come and browse!).
It was suggested that we provide a list of these books, so for starters, here are some titles and authors (in no particular order) that were really important. If you have any other favourites, please let us know.
- SEXUAL POLITICS (Kate Millett)
- AGAINST OUR WILL: MEN, WOMEN AND RAPE (Susan Brownmiller)
- SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL (Robin Morgan)
- THE FEMALE EUNUCH (Germaine Greer)
- THE LACE GHETTO (Maxine Numes & Deanna White)
- WOMAN IN SEXIST SOCIETY (Vivian Gormick & Barbara Moran)
- RADICAL FEMINISM (Anne Koedt, Ellen Levine, Anita Rapone)
- WOMEN, RESISTANCE AND REVOLUTION (Sheila Rowbotham)
- AMAZON ODYSSEY (Ti-Grace Atkinson)
- THE POLITICS OF RAPE (Diane E. Russell)
- WOMEN AND NATURE (Susan Griffin)
- PORNOGRAPHY AND SILENCE (Susan Griffin)
- LESBIAN NATION (Jill Johnston)
- WOMEN IN CANADA (Marilee Stephenson)
- MOTHER WAS NOT A PERSON (Marguerite Anderson)
- THE TRAUMA OF INCEST (Sandra Butler)
- OF WOMAN BORN (Adrienne Rich)
- PORNOGRAPHY: MEN POSSESSING WOMEN (Andrea Dworkin)
- THE DIALETIC OF SEX (Shulamith Firestone)
Another book published in the 70s that is of tremendous importance is Maria Campbell's HALF BREED. This was the first book by an Aboriginal woman published in Canada in more than 50 years (since Pauline Johnson's poetry in the early 1900s). With the publication of HALF BREED, Maria Campbell gave voice to Aboriginal women and became (and still is) a mentor to young writers who are now publishing important books (theory, memoir and fiction).
We'd like to recommend two recent books that provide a wonderful history of the feminist movement in Canada from the 1960s to the 1990s: TEN THOUSAND ROSES by Judy Rebick, and WRITING THE REVOLUTION by Michele Landsberg.
First Black Woman elected to a Canadian Provincial Legislature (1972)
International Women’s Day
celebration & potluck
Date: Sat. March 10, 2012
Time: 5 – 7 pm
Place: Northern Woman’s Bookstore, 65 S. Court St.
Women have won many struggles, which is good cause for celebration. Yet neo-liberalism, racism, homophobia, ageism and other injustices continue, so we have many more difficulties to overcome. The history of women’s accomplishments, local, regional, national and global, can inspire us to action and hope.
1970: Abortion Caravan crosses Canada, stops in Ottawa, and 30 women chain themselves to the parliamentary gallery in the House of Commons, closing the Canadian parliament for the first time in its history.
Join us at the Northern Woman’s Bookstore Sat. March 10th to celebrate the gains of women. Our event is focused on the 1970s so dress up in your retro fashion, bring along a snippet of a ‘70s milestone of women, some women's history, politics, or social and cultural issue, or other woman-centered 70s information. You might want to read a short poem or quotation by your favorite 70s writer: Audre Lorde, Maria Campbell, Marge Piercy , Sonia Sanchez , or ? What were you (or your female relatives) doing in the 70s? There will be a 70s timeline of women’s local and regional firsts, which you can add to, and we'll be playing a soundtrack of 70s music!
If you can, please bring some food for the potluck. Maybe a 70s style casserole?
Return of "Colouring Books Sisterhood Book Club"
We are excited to announce the return of the Colouring Books Sisterhood Book Club with a new book, Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin, and a new meeting date, February 23 at 7:30 pm here at the bookstore. Everyone is welcome to stop by the bookstore and join the discussion about this wonderful book. Check out our Colouring Books page for more information about the Colouring Books Sisterhood Book Club and past books.
Halfbreed (1973). Maria Campbell
In recent years the most positive occurrence in Canadian publishing is the growth of writing by Aboriginal authors. When we opened the Bookstore 25+ years ago we had two books by Aboriginal authors: Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed and Beatrice Culleton Mosionier’s In Search of April Raintree. Now we have hundreds of books, with new ones appearing every month.
As well as the growing number of Aboriginal authors there are four Aboriginal presses to ensure Aboriginal voices are being published. Our 2011 best seller non-fiction and children’s lists reflect the growing interest in Aboriginal writing. We were privileged to launch books by Rachel Mishenene and Kim Anderson in 2011. We look forward to many new thoughtful and inspiring Aboriginal writers in 2012 and encourage readers to read their important books.
Holiday Gift Ideas
Here are some books that we recommend as great presents and stocking stuffers. For starters:
A wonderful coffee table book WOMEN WHO LIGHT THE DARK, by photo-journalist Paola Gianturco provides magnificent photos and thoughtful stories of women across the world who are working for change in their communities and countries and whose “imaginations light the dark” A beautiful and inspiring book.
HOT TOPIC: Portraits of 20th Century Feminists, a series of paintings by Kirsten McCrea, is an artistic tribute to the feminist heroes of the song HOT TOPIC. Will appeal to artists, musicians and activists.
More activists on your list… we suggest SOMETHING FIERCE: Memoirs of a Revoluntionary Daugher, by Carmen Aguirre which is one of this year’s Canada Reads picks. Carmen Aguirre offers a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life in South America, written with passion and remarkable candor this is a stunning book.
Learn more about social justice and activism in Canada with ACTIVISM THAT WORKS, edited by Elizabeth Whitmore, Maureen G. Wilson and Avery Calhoun. ACTIVISM THAT WORKS details stories from over 86 Canadian activists as they discuss “doing” activism and social justice and what it really means to struggle against injustice.
There must be at least one “boomer” on your list so be sure to give them 60 IS THE NEW 20: A boomer’s guide to aging with grace, dignity, and what’s left of your self-respect, by our own Margie Taylor… refreshing, humourous, thought-provoking.
Several literary works to recommend:
THE JUDY GRAHN READER contains work from every phase of Judy Grahn’s career, including poetry, essays, fiction and drama. Grahn is an exceptional poet as well as mentor/leader in lesbian/feminist communities. REREADING WOMEN: Thirty Years of Exploring Our Literary Traditions is a wonderful collection of essays from esteemed literary critic Sandra M. Gilbert. Renowned Canadian poet Lorna Crozier charts the geography that shaped her character and her understanding of the world in SMALL BENEATH THE SKY.
If there are any foodies or environmental activists on your list, Sarah Elton’s LOCAVORE will surely delight them. Sarah writes about her journey through contemporary Canadian food culture, as she explores the challenges and triumphs of eating a local diet in Canada. Named a David Suzuki Foundation Book Club Pick, this engaging book is an important edition to add to anyone’s collection.
For those who love short stories: TOUCHY SUBJECTS by Emma Donaghue: a sparkling collection of nineteen contemporary stories “Fizzes with affection, fun, fecundity” (Globe and Mail) BETTER LIVING THROUGH PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES is Zsuzsi Gartner’s eagerly anticipated depth charge of deadly satire and trademark dark humour.
The hottest title in Canadian fiction this year is HALF-BLOOD BLUES by Esi Edugyan, this year’s Giller Prize winner. HALF-BLOOD BLUES is a beautifully written novel about one man’s experiences of jazz, love, and race against the backdrop of Germany and Paris in the 1940s.
For historical fiction fans: Set in lower Manhattan in 1871, THE VIRGIN CURE, by Ami McKay (author of the esteemed THE BIRTH HOUSE) brings us the story of twelve year old Moth, whose family’s betrayals lead her to the murky world of thieves, beggars, prostitutes and strange characters – yet her dreams of independence remain foremost. An engrossing story with wonderful prose.
“Beautifully written, intricately plotted, humourous and earthy”; “illuminating and heartbreaking”: “wickedly funny”; capitivating”; “mishievious and optimistic” are the words of praise for Andrea Levy’s THE LONG SONG, a story set in 19th century Jamaica in the turbulent years before and just after the abolition of slavery. You will love July, the storyteller of this extraordinary novel.
An author whose work I greatly admire and who I feel is seriously underrecognized is Nancy Huston. Her newest work INFRARED is a novel of great depth. Reading it I loved it, hated it and loved it again, but it a story that will remain with me. I’m interested in other people’s opinions. See WHAT’S NEW for more fiction ideas.
Two wonderful baby books are I SEE ME BY Margaret Manuel which shows baby in a variety of activities. Great for bilingual familes as each depiction provides space to include the new word in a second language. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is a book of photographs of babies with their “best friend” .. dogs, cats or fish. Lovely.
For pre-schoolers there is KISS ME! (I’m a Prince) by Thunder Bay’s Heather McLeod.. This is a delightfully unconvential fairy tale … with a twist. THE RABBIT’S RACE, by Deborah L. Delaronde is a tale of new friendships and valuable lessons. Beautiful photographs by Jason Stemple augment Jane Yolen WATER MUSIC: Poems for Children.
Older children will enjoy YENY AND THE CHILDREN FOR PEACE, by Michelle Mulder, a book inspired by the Colombian Children;s Movement for Peace. An instructive, historical story FACTORY GIRL , by Barbara Greenwood, tells of the plight of children working in North American cities in the early 1900s. A book to inspire the young writer in your family is RIP THE PAGE: Adventures in Creative Writing, by Karen Benke.
Finally, some recent books by NWO authors (see BUY BOOKS for more titles). CORE SAMPLES: Poems from Northwestern Ontario, by Sharon Irvine, Sue Blott, Sherri Lankinen, Cathy Carroll, Mary Frost ; FIRST VOICES: an Aboriginal Women’s Reader, edited by Patricia A. Monture and Patricia D. McGuire; AND BABY MAKES MORE: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families; edited by Susan Goldberg and Chloe Brushwood Rose, offers insights into how queer families are being reconceived to include new roles, new rules, and kinship ties that transcend biology. .Nominated for several prestigeous awards THE BEGGAR’S GARDEN, by Michael Christie is a fine collection of stories: EYE LAKE, is a great novel by Atikokan’s Tristan Hughes. Take a trip into the past with James R. Stevens exceptional WILD ON THE SUPERIOR FRONTIER:A Romance of Settler’s Lives Lake Superior 1845-1900.
We have a great selection of calendars and engagement books which always make nice gifts. Come browse the Bookstore and if you still can’t decide we always have gift certificates. Happy Reading!
Galvanize Your Mind
Check out the Northern Woman's Bookstore new book club on our "Book Club" page.
October 4th, 2011: Kim Anderson Author Reading
Kim Anderson, author of A Recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood, will be hosting an author reading at the Northern Woman's Bookstore. Kim will be reading from her newest publication, Life Stages and Native Woman: Memory, Teachings and Story Medicine.
Kim Anderson is a Cree/Metis educator and co-editor of Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival. When Kim was in Thunder Bay in 2005 to celebrate the week of International Women's Day with her book A Recognition of Being, she attracted a full house. We encourage folks to come a bit early on Tuesday to get a good seat!
Doors open at 7pm and the event will start at 7:30 at the Northern Woman's Bookstore.
Here are a few additional words about Kim's new book:
A rare and inspiring guide to the health and well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities.
The process of "digging up medicines" - of rediscovering the stories of the past - serves as a powerful healing force in the decolonization and recovery of Aboriginal communities. In Life Stages and Native Women, Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Metis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders relate stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women's roles in managing death. Through these teachings, we learn how evolving responsibilities from infancy to adulthood shaped women's identities and place within Indigenous society, and were integral to the health and well-being of their communities. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Anderson explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.
July 2011: Book Signing by Rachel Mishenene
Rachel Mishenene (Thunder Bay) recently launched the book STRENGTH AND STRUGGLE: Perspectives from First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples in Canada at the Northern Woman’s Bookstore in June, to a standing room only crowd. Congratulations Rachel!
On Wednesday, July 6th, from 4:45 – 5.30 p.m. Rachel will be signing her book at the Bookstore for anyone who missed her at the launch.
The book is a rich array of short stories, poetry, music lyrics, graphic art, articles, essays and other pieces that will have you laughing, talking and thinking. Although designed as an educational resource for high-school use, the essays and stories deserve a much broader readership that will benefit everyone. Many of the over thirty contributors are from Northwestern Ontario.
May 2011: Welcome to our new website!
Welcome to The Northern Woman’s Bookstore’s new website!
We are a feminist bookstore in Thunder Bay, Ontario dedicated to helping spread the written words of women in all our diversities. We stock books by First Nations, Metis, lesbian, Queer, women of colour, local, Canadian and international writers, among others.
Both in our physical place on 65 South Court St. and in our online space right here, we work to keep women’s voices and feminisms a strong presence in Northwestern Ontario.
We carry both fiction and non-fiction, from novels, poetry, and magazines to books on history, biography, health, theory, violence, global issues, self-help, writing, and spirituality. We also carry books for girls and children, many by First Nation and Metis writers.
We are currently constructing our website. We hope to have a complete listing of the books we carry posted on our website soon. You will find upcoming events at The Northern Woman’s Bookstore and in the community posted on our website.
You will also find book reviews and staff picks, along with pages on our history, our bookclub, The Colouring Books Sisterhood, and our writing group, RedShoes on Court.
We are also beginning to archive our past events, photos of our gatherings, such as book launches and readings, and the writings of women who have contributed to making feminism a force in Northwestern Ontario. This will include archiving past issues of The Northern Woman Journal.
Come back and visit us soon!