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June 11, 2014
For immediate release

14 Books One Island celebrates Island authors

Tourism and Culture

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To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, the annual promotion One Book One Island is expanded to include 14 books by Island authors in 2014, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.

“14 Books One Island is not only a great way to inspire a love of reading, but this year in particular it will shine a spotlight on 14 Island books and the incredibly talented authors who wrote them,” said Minister Henderson. “Our partnership with PEI 2014 will help expose Islanders and visitors alike to those talents, and will give readers plenty to choose from for their summer reading.”

Early in the year, the Public Library Service formed a 14 Book One Island selection committee. Members of the committee included library staff and members of the public with a broad background and knowledge of Island literature and history. The aim of the committee was to select a set of titles that represented a wide range of Island publications.

All 14 authors will perform readings as part of their inclusion in the promotion, including at the Celebration Zone on the Charlottetown waterfront and at local public libraries over the summer. Each author will receive a $1,000 honorarium for being part of the promotion.

“14 Books One Island is a tremendous addition to the 2014 celebrations, and we are proud to partner with the Public Library Service on this promotion,” said Penny Walsh-McGuire, Executive Director of PEI 2014 Inc. “Part of the mandate of the 2014 celebrations is to highlight the Island’s unique culture. By expanding One Book One Island to feature 14 celebrated Island books, readers will be exposed to a diverse cross-section of writing styles and authors.”

For more information on 14 Books One Island, visit


14 Books One Island

Shannon Murray

Shannon Murray is an English professor at the University of Prince Edward Island where she teaches Renaissance Literature, Drama and Children’s Literature. As past director of UPEI’s Teaching Centre, she was awarded the prestigious 3M Teaching Fellow in 2001. Shannon grew up in Halifax and now lives in Prince Edward Island. Shannon Murray’s first book, Bounce and Beans and Burn, was written for her own son who has ADHD. The story won the Lucy Maud Montgomery PEI Children’s Literature Award in the Prince Edward Island Literary Awards.

Bounce and Beans and Burn follows a young boy named Sam through an ordinary day of extraordinary adventure. In order to deal with his explosive energy and excitement, Sam explores the outdoors. Little does his family know that when he is out in the garden he is transformed into a slick Samurai who takes on adventure with Jack and the Beanstalk and faces a fire-breathing dragon.

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown is a Fine Arts graduate of Concordia University, Montreal. She taught art for 30 years, developing her love of children’s creativity and children’s literature. She has since made a home of Prince Edward Island, where she creates handmade books and explores a wide range of media in her studio.

Tallulah the Theatre Cat is her first children’s book. It won the L.M. Montgomery Award for Children’s Literature. It follows the story of the village cat, which is passionately drawn to the theatre in Victoria-by-the-Sea. Tallulah’s rise from being most unwelcome to greatly appreciated is a story of the values of persistence, loyalty and following one’s bliss.

Patti Larsen

Patti Larsen is an award-winning middle grade and young adult author with fervor for the paranormal. In the past, she has been involved in a number of disciplines ranging from improv theatre to filmmaking and writing TV shows, singing in an all-girl band to running her own hair salon. She currently resides in Prince Edward Island with her husband and four cats.

Her book Run, Book 1 of the series The Hunted follows the story of a teenage boy who finds himself fighting for life in an unrecognizable forest of merciless hunters. His swift legs and quick thinking make him a prominent leader to the other children found scattered and scared in the woods. The book weaves a riveting tale that tests the characters sanity, survival skills and loyalty.

If you can’t get enough of this book, then continue The Hunted series or try Larsen’s other series: The Hayle Coven Series, The Hayle Coven Histories, The Diamond City Trilogy, or the upcoming Clone Chronicles.

Orysia Dawydiak

Orysia Dawydiak is a first generation Ukrainian from Sudbury, Ontario. Two of her passions from an early age were animals and books. She eventually became a medical technologist at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island. She now resides in PEI where she lives on a farm, raises sheep and livestock guardians, and writes books about these unique working dogs. She also writes stories and novels for children and adults, her two passions fully realized.

In her book, Kira’s Secret, Kira is an avid swimmer but her parents, who adopted her as a baby, have forbidden her to go near the sea where they live on the north Atlantic coast. Frustrated by their rules, Kira decides to rebel and jumps into the icy waters. She is shocked by what she learns about herself. With the help of her friend Cody, Kira begins the search for her original family and soon discovers why her adoptive parents were afraid to let her go into the sea.

Orysia is also the author of adult fiction title, House of Bears, and non-fiction title, Livestock Protection Dogs: Selection, Care and Training.

Patrick Ledwell

Raised on PEI, and then returning to it, Patrick Ledwell draws on his experiences growing up in an Island family as well as the trials of staying true to his roots. Patrick’s smart, quick-witted comedy has brought him national recognition with multiple appearances on CBC Radio’s “The Debaters.” He has performed at the East Coast Music Awards and the Halifax Comedy Festival. His comic monologues have been a regular CBC Radio feature all across the country. Patrick has co-created several original stage shows. He hosted and wrote all comedy material for the hit Charlottetown Festival show, “Come All Ye.” He also appeared with poet and musician Tanya Davis in two productions of “The New Potato-Time Review.”

In the collection I Am an Islander, Patrick Ledwell explores the hilarity of life viewed from the country’s crumbling Eastern edge. Raised in a big family, the Island comedian looks back at his rural roots and exposes the hilarity of everyday Island life. I Am an Islander is a funny and heartfelt stockpile of standup, sketches and rants, banked up to defend your good humor against everything that might erode it.

Marian Bruce

Marian Bruce has worked as a writer and editor on magazines and newspapers in cities across Canada. She currently lives on her family’s farm in High Bank, Prince Edward Island. She has written, edited and/or collaborated on a number of books including Pets, Professors, and Politicians: The Founding and Early Years of the Atlantic Veterinary College; A Century of Excellence: Prince of Wales College, 1860-1969; Pride of Place: The Story of the Rural Beautification Society of Prince Edward Island; Working Together: Two Centuries of Co-operation on Prince Edward Island; and Making It Home: Memoirs of J. Angus MacLean.

A book of stories and vintage photos, Remembering Old Dan depicts the golden age of horses on the Island, the period from the early 1800s to the mid-1900s. In addition to historical information, the book includes anecdotes from Islanders who grew up with and/or worked with horses, as well as dozens of photos from family albums. The name of the book comes from Marian’s family horse.

Julie Pellissier-Lush

Julie Pellissier-Lush graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2000 with a double major in Business Administration and Psychology. Upon graduation, she was hired by the Centre of Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc. in Winnipeg, Manitoba as an Employment Officer. Julie is the Vice President of the Aboriginal Women’s Association of Prince Edward Island and fills her spare time with presentations on Aboriginal Culture and traditions and taking pictures of the people, places and events around her. Now, as well as working on the Kwimu Messenger, Julie works as Special Projects and Administrative Support.

My Mi’kmaq Mother is a flavourful account of a young Mi’kmaq girl’s life without her Mi’kmaq mother. Searching for the essence of a mother she barely had a chance to know, the reader is drawn into the world of the Mi’kmaq people. Written about the past with a modern sensibility, the writer’s unique approach brings meaning, warmth and even humour to her challenges and joys of everyday life.

Michael Hennessey

Born in Charlottetown, Michael Hennessey has published a novel, two non-fiction books and two collections of short stories. He has also had twelve plays produced, some of which have been performed across Canada. Michael’s poetry and short fiction have been published in several Canadian magazines, and his stories and plays have been produced on CBC Radio. He served seven years with the Royal Canadian Navy, and worked as the Registrar and Secretary at the University of Prince Edward Island.

His book, The Betrayer, was inspired by the last murder in Prince Edward Island for which capital punishment was exacted and the theory that a third man was involved in the crime. The Betrayer conjures the fictional life of this “third man” in an intimate psychological profile of a man who, quite literally, gets away with murder. With a deft hand, Hennessey takes us down the darker streets of mid-20th-century Charlottetown, capturing the city’s gritty west end with the brush strokes of someone who has lived it. He also takes us down into the darkest recesses of the human spirit, into the mind and soul of a murderer.

Michael has also published two books of short stories: My Broken Hero and Other Stories and An Arch for the King and Other Stories. He has also written two non-fiction titles: The Catholic Church on Prince Edward Island 1720-1979 and Salt in Their Blood.

Ed MacDonald

Ed grew up in Newport, PEI beginning his education in a one-room schoolhouse and moving his way up to earn a Ph.D. in History from Queen’s University. As an associate professor of history at UPEI, Ed MacDonald’s teaching duties largely encompass Canadian history, broadly speaking: Canadian political history, Atlantic Canada and Prince Edward Island. He is also becoming interested in Island tourism and the subject of cultural transference within immigrant groups coming to Atlantic Canada in the 18th and 19th century.

His latest book, If You’re Stronghearted: Prince Edward Island in the 20th Century, gives the big picture of the history of PEI in the 20th century. Drawing on a rich blend of sources, this title tackles the complex interplay of people, events and powerful forces that have shaped Island life over the last century. Appealing to both general readers and professional historians, this narrative exposes the dramatic and irreversible change in the province’s cultural, physical and economic landscape.

Ed MacDonald has also published the historical non-fiction titles Cradling Confederation: The Founding of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and The History of St. Dunstan’s University, 1855-1956.

Margie Carmichael

Margie Carmichael has written over a hundred original songs and has performed many of these herself, but her works have also traveled with other artists across North America and the United Kingdom. Her work is rich in local folklore and tradition and her writing extends to poetry, plays and short stories. Margie currently resides in the Mt. Stewart area.

And my Name is…Stories from the Quilt is her first collection of short stories detailing how ordinary women have extraordinary skills, gifts and strengths; they are women who live next door or in the distance, shadowed by fear or absence of recognition. Age, race, and culture connect in the timeless fabric of the quilt, with craft, patience and faith connecting the women through the threads of their diversity.

William Andrews

William Andrews was born and raised during the forties and fifties on a mixed farm in Freetown, PEI. He left home young, shifted around a lot, and tried many new things. He marched in regular peace time army, fished gill net on Lake Erie, sang gospel in Maritime penal institutions, carved wood in Japan and worked various labour jobs in various places. He was encouraged to write while at UPEI in 1970-71 and started writing in 1995.

William Andrews’ first novel The Grand Change examines life in a small PEI community in the 1940s and 50s as changes, so common in the rest of the world, begin to take hold. Using a road as an allegory, he weaves a lyrical tale of simple country people, their struggles and their joys. The story is told through the eyes of a boy called Jake; he is the witness to life on the Hook Road and the events that change that life forever.

Georges Arsenault (French title)

Georges Arsenault est écrivain, folkloriste et historien d’Abram Village, Î.-P.-É. et travaille avec passion depuis des années 1970 à recueillir et à documenter les traditions acadiennes. Il a reçu des prix Champlain et France-Acadie.

Les Acadiens de Summerside présente l’histoire des Acadiens de la ville de Summerside de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard. De l’origine à nos jours, la recherche est accompagnée de photos qui complémentent le texte. La présence des Acadiens sur l’Î.-P.-É. a contribué depuis leur arrivée à l’activité économique et culturelle insulaire.

Parmi les articles et livres sur l’histoire des Acadiennes et des Acadiens de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard qu’il a publiés, retenons quelques titres : Contes, légendes et chansons de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard; Par un dimanche au soir, Leah Maddix, chanteuse et conteuse acadienne; Courir la mi-Carême, qui lui a valu le Prix du livre de l’Île en 2008.

Georges Arsenault is a local historian, folklorist and writer born in Abram-Village, PEI. Georges has been collecting songs and stories from Acadian Prince Edward Island since his student days in the 1970s and has been the recipient of both the Champlain and France-Acadie prizes.

Les Acadiens de Summerside explores Acadian associations, community involvement, French-language education, sports and more, all of which now have been brought forth so that the Acadian influence in Summerside’s history can be recognized and appreciated.

Georges has also published L’agriculture chez les Acadiens de l’île-du-Prince-Édouard 1720-1980; La Roche & Grand Ruisseau, une histoire illustrée de Baie-Egmont et de Mont-Carmel; La chandeleur en Acadie, La mi-carême en Acadie; and Noël en Acadie to name a few.

Brent MacLaine

Brent MacLaine is an English professor and a 3M Teaching Fellow at the University of Prince Edward Island where he teaches twentieth-century literature. He was born and grew up in the rural community of Rice Point, PEI, to which he returned after teaching at universities in Vancouver, Edmonton, China and Singapore. In addition to numerous articles on modern literature and the literature of Atlantic Canada, he has published two volumes of poetry, Wind and Root and These Fields Were Rivers. Brent has also crafted a collection of monologues titled Athena Becomes A Swallow: And Other Voices of the Odyssey.

It has been said that there are more than twenty-three shades of green in a Prince Edward Island landscape. Brent MacLaine’s latest collection of poetry Shades of Green registers these modulations of tone and hue with an intense visual sensibility.

Hugh MacDonald

Hugh MacDonald is a retired school teacher and is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Cold Against the Heart. He lives in Brudenell, near Montague, PEI.

Cold Against the Heart sings of the Maritimes and what it was like to grow up by the sea. The collection delves into the memories of a grandfather, walking in the woods with him, feeling safe, and carrying the axes, buck saws and hard-boiled eggs.

If you enjoy this selection you may be interested in This is a Love Song or Looking for Mother, two more of Hugh’s poetry collections. He has also published a variety of materials for different audiences such as the classic children’s titles I is for Island, Chung Lee Loves Lobsters, and Crosby and Me.

Media Contact: Andrew Sprague