Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Westminster Public Library Reading

I'm so pleased to be reading from The Golden Mean at the New Westminster Public Library on Tuesday, March 2 from 7:00-9:00PM. Please pre-register by phoning 604-527-4667. There will be books for sale on-site courtesy of Black Bond Books. For more information, please click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Commonwealth Writers' Prize

Hurray! The Golden Mean has been short listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in the Caribbean and Canada region. The other short listed titles are:

The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels (Canada)
February by Lisa Moore (Canada)
Euphoria by Connie Gault (Canada)
Goya's Dog by Damian Tarnopolsky (Canada)
Galore by Michael Crummey (Canada)

The Golden Mean will now go through to the next phase of the competition, where the Caribbean and Canada region regional judging panel will meet to decide the two regional Commonwealth winners for Best Book and Best First Book. The regional winners will be announced at an event on 11 March in Granada, West Indies. The overall winners will be announced in Delhi, India, on April 12.

For more information, please click here.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Find a link to a podcast of my recent book club visit in Whistler at bookbuffet.com.

•PART I: I give a synopsis of Aristotle's life and read from The Golden Mean
•PART II: I discuss my hypotheses that Aristotle was bipolar and Alexander suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome
•PART III: I talk about my upcoming book-the sequel to The Golden Mean

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Word of the Day

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a satrap is a governor of a province in ancient Persia. The etymology is Middle English, from Latin satrapes, from Greek satrapēs, from Old Persian khshathrapāvan; literally, protector of the dominion.

In Aristotle's time, a number of Greek colonies existed along the coast of Asia Minor (contemporary Turkey). Aristotle himself was for a time a guest of a satrap named Hermias of Atarneus, and established a school in the city of Assos. Aristotle married Hermias's niece (or daughter or ward or concubine, it's not known for sure), a woman named Pythias. After Aristotle had left Assos, Hermias was captured by the Persian forces, tortured, and crucified. His last words were supposedly to assure his friends that he had "done nothing unworthy of philosophy". After his death, Aristotle wrote a hymn to virtue in his honour.

Here's a photograph of the remains of the Temple of Athena, in Assos:

Temple of Athena (Assos)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ancient Bling

Bracelet of rock crystal with gold rams heads Greek part of the Ganymede Jewelry collection 330-300 BCE

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Greek and Roman collection:

"The pieces in this group are said to have been found together in Macedonia, near Thessaloniki, before 1913. The assemblage forms an impressive parure (matched set) - earrings, necklace, fibulae (pins), bracelets, and a ring - but it is not certain that they belong together, for the pieces do not show a clear uniformity of style....

The rock-crystal hoops of the bracelets (ca. 330-300 B.C.) have been carefully cut, carved, and polished to produce a twisted appearance, highlighted by wire bindings fitted into the valleys. The rams' heads emerge from long elaborate collars decorated with three friezes enclosed within bands of darts and bordered by plain beaded wire. The upper frieze, an ivy chain on a vine, is tied at the center with a Herakles knot and bears four bunches of grapes; the middle frieze has palmettes with pointed leaves; the third frieze, a palmette complex."

For more images and information, please click ganymede jewelry.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mary Renault on "Lost Booker" Longlist!

Great news! Mary Renault's fabulous 1970 novel Fire From Heaven , about Alexander the Great's early years, has been longlisted for the so-called "Lost Booker". According to the Man Booker Prize website:

"In 1971, just two years after it began, the Booker Prize ceased to be awarded retrospectively and became, as it is today, a prize for the best novel in the year of publication. At the same time, the date on which the award was given moved from April to November. As a result of these changes, there was whole year's gap when a wealth of fiction, published in 1970, fell through the net. These books were simply never considered for the prize.

Now, 40 years on, a panel of three judges - all of whom were born in or around 1970 - has been appointed to select a shortlist of six novels from those books. They are journalist and critic, Rachel Cooke, ITN newsreader, Katie Derham and poet and novelist, Tobias Hill."

For more information, please click here.