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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Tonight! mRb Fall Launch Party

Join us tonight, Saturday, November 15 at 7 p.m. to celebrate the fall issue of the Montreal Review of Books!

Expect readings by Bill Brownstein, who helped finish John Dunning's You're Not Dead Until You're Forgotten (MQUP); Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind (Allen Lane); and Kim Thùy, author of Mãn, which was recently translated into English from the original French. Books will be available for sale and signing! Refreshments, too!

Much to his chagrin, John Dunning was born into the movie business. But once he came to accept his career fate, he developed a great passion for making movies, and ultimately became Canada's pre-eminent B-movie producer, with a knack for developing young talent.

In You’re Not Dead until You’re Forgotten, Dunning, in forthright and charming fashion, recounts his rough-and-tumble upbringing in the Montreal suburb of Verdun in the 1930s, his modest start in the film industry behind the candy counter of his family's movie theatre, and later, his ventures into film distribution and production. In the 1960s Dunning, along with financial wizard André Link, founded Cinepix, which eventually merged into the Lionsgate Entertainment film colossus. Specializing in such exploitation genres as raucous comedy, groundbreaking Québécois "maple syrup porn" and horror films, Cinepix churned out cult classics like Valérie, Shivers, Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, and Meatballs. Dunning's detailed recollections of making these movies provide a rare, candid, and witty take on how the film industry really works. Driven to succeed in the face of arbitrary censors, parochial Canadian critics, and controlling government funding agencies, Dunning and Link developed a formula for producing controversial, moneymaking movies, and helped launch the careers of such luminaries-to-be as David Cronenberg, Ivan Reitman, and Don Carmody.

The information age is drowning us in an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average person reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use these methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and lives.

With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to gambling in Las Vegas, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to daily life. His practical suggestions call for relatively minor changes that require little effort but will have remarkable long-term benefits for mental and physical health, productivity, and creativity.

Mãn has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Mãn a husband--a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal.

Thrown into a new world, Mãn discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears. Mãn is a mystery--her name means "perfect fulfillment," yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Mãn discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair.

Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Mãn is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.

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