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Books and recommendations by faculty, alumni,
En Blanc et Noir
Duo-pianists and husband and wife Charles Foreman and Kathleen van Mourik perform as a team across the province, and the pair has released their first CD. En blanc et noir is the title track and only major work composer Claude Debussy wrote for two pianos. Two other composers are featured, each of which again only created a single piece to be played by two pianos alone. Foreman and van Mourik have included Camille Saint-Saens’s “Variations on a Theme by Beethoven” and Francis Poulenc’s “Sonata for Two Pianos.”
Foreman, a professor in the Department of Music, and van Mourik also organize the Mountain View International Festival of Song—the country’s only summer music festival devoted to art song and chamber music with voice.
Eileen Coughlan, MA’94, draws on her background in psychology and her love of research to develop the plots and characters in her mystery novels. With her second book, Grizzly Lies, (Sumach Press), she was able to include her passion for hiking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains as the tale is set in Banff.
In the novel, a young woman retreats to the idyllic town from Toronto. But not long after her arrival, her landlord turns up dead and her neighbour disappears. Is she next? Small-town legend mixed with dark secrets and the conflicting worlds of conservation and big-game hunting make this a true western Canadian mystery.
Coughlan lives in Calgary. She has been a writing instructor, communications consultant, and freelance writer.
Shelter from the Storm
Most Albertans have seen a storm roll in over the prairies at one point, so they can appreciate the cover image from Shelter from the Storm: The Photographs of Kirk Gittings (Ethel Hess). Gittings, MFA’83, has called New Mexico home for more than 45 years and has released a stunning collection of images taken from across his state. Filled with photos in colour and black and white, the book explores the landscape and architecture of the ‘land of enchantment.’
Calgary’s Grand Story
Two of Calgary’s most prominent landmarks, the Grand Theatre and the Lougheed Building, are at the centre of the story of Calgary’s history, according to professor Donald Smith. Smith mixes the city’s business and cultural history to sketch the urban biography of Calgary from 1912 to the province’s centennial year. (University of Calgary Press)
Best books I’ve read in the last while:
A book that’s currently fresh in my mind and that I’ve read most recently—and one that I certainly recommend without reservation—is Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road. It’s a World War I epic that beautifully ties together a narrative of modern warfare with one of Ojibwa spirituality, driven by interesting characters and evocative writing that brilliantly captures the horrors of war and its aftermath. A fantastic read.
Volumes 1 and 2 of Darwyn Cooke’s The New Frontier invites readers to be nostalgic about the future we once envisioned. Set in the immediate postwar years, Cook leads some of America’s iconic heroes (including Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash) through a Cold War tale that re-images the sense of wonder and endless possibility of an earlier age.