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Becoming a writer

Email, the Internet, Facebook and newspapers – whether in print or online – are the enemies of writing. Reading is the enemy of writing.

Monsieur Montreal Culture: The Passion of Simon Brault

Not just Monsieur Culture Montréal, in other words, but Monsieur Montreal Culture. Brault wasn’t playing to a particularly mixed crowd. There might have been 300 of us in the audience, and I saw only a couple of other Anglos and one Spaniard; there were undoubtedly other non-Francophones I did not recognize, but there were no Anglophone media other than myself, if I can be counted a journalist. La Presse covered the event, but The Gazette did not. There are times, even today, when Montreal seems to live on one planet in English and on another one in French.

Fire Walkers, by Bethlehem Terrefe Gebreyohannes

It’s 1974, a coup has just installed a repressive military regime in Ethiopia. A family of five undertakes to escape from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, cross the brutal Danakil Desert on foot. Beth Gebreyohannes, a young girl at the time, describes that grim, perilous journey. Betrayed by guides and robbed by bandits, lost in the desert without food or water, they are rescued finally by a trading caravan of nomadic Afar tribesmen, complete strangers who feed and guide them on to Djibouti.

This excerpt from Fire Walkers appears by kind permission of Mawenzi House.

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