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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Writing Life to Feature Poems about the Brontes

A new book about Canadian writers will feature poems by Jane Urquhart about the Bronte sisters:

Urquhart offers are poem about the Bronte sisters, who have influenced her writing -- especially her second novel Changing Heaven.

The book is a collection of pieces written by prominent Canadian authors about the act of writing. The list of authors is impressive indeed, including many of Canada's most celebrated authors of all time: Margaret Atwood, Russell Banks, John Berger, George Bowering, Dionne Brand, Austin Clarke, Lynn Coady, Michael Crummey, Bernice Eisenstein, Camilla Gibb, Charlotte Gray, Elizabeth Hay, Michael Helm, Sheila Heti, Wayne Johnston, Annabel Lyon, Alberto Manguel, Anne Michaels, Rohinton Mistry, Lisa Moore, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Eden Robinson, Marilynne Robinson, Peter Robinson, John Ralston, Saul Shyam Selvadurai, Russell Smith, Rosemary Sullivan, Susan Swan, Madeleine Thien, Jane Urquhart, M.G. Vassanji, Alistair McLeod, and David Young.

WRITING LIFE, edited by Constance Rooke (McClelland and Stewart, 450 pages, $24.99).

Changing Heaven is described thus: Two worlds are intertwined in this hauntingly beautiful story as it moves from Toronto to the English moors and to Venice, Italy. The time frame shifts between present and past, linking the lives of a young Brontë scholar (a woman in the throes of a troubled love affair), a turn-of-the-century female balloonist, and an elusive explorer with the ghost – or the memory – of Emily Brontë. Urquhart reveals something about the act of artistic creation, the ways in which stories enter our lives, and about the cyclical nature of love throughout time. This is a novel of darkness and light, of intense weather and inner calm.

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