Carleton University Magazine

Selected Works

A round-up of door stoppers, e-tomes and children’s books written by faculty and grads

Essays Honour Art Historian

Natalie Luckyj helped launch master’s program

Written by Kim Figura, BHUM/04, MA/07

Raven Papers: Remembering Natalie Luckyj (1945-2002)Raven Papers: Remembering Natalie Luckyj (1945-2002) is a collection of essays inspired by the scholarship of an eminent art historian. Luckyj’s passion for research, her generous spirit and her innovative ideas played an integral role in the founding of Carleton’s Canadian Art History master’s program in 1992. Her death, at age 56, spurred colleagues to assemble a collection of papers written by graduates of the MA program, which was renamed Art History: Art and Its Institutions in 2004.

Each essay in Raven Papers touches on Luckyj’s foremost areas of interest: the Canadian art world and feminist studies. Art history buffs can sample essays on topics such as the meaning of the photographic album in Victorian culture, the pressure on female artists to simultaneously handle family responsibilities and their work, and the struggles of emerging female architects and art critics in the early- to mid-20th century.

Raven Papers is an accessible text for those unacquainted with issues in art history, thanks to the accompanying editorial commentaries that set up each essay. 157 pages, Penumbra Press, $24.95.

Off the Page and Onto the Screen

Hollywood version of English grad Sara Gruen’s bestseller to star Reese and Robert

Written by Nicole Findlay, BA/91

PHOTO:  Lynne Harty

This spring the circus will come to movie theatres across North America when Sara Gruen’s vision of spectacle under the big tents of yesteryear is converted into film.

Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson will star in the screen version of Water for Elephants. The book has been on The New York Times’ bestseller list for 101 weeks.

Gruen, BA/93, at right, her husband and children all have cameos in the film.

“There, laid out before me, was the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth,” said Gruen, of her first visit to the movie set in Chattanooga, Tenn. “I was nearly speechless. I remember thinking, five years ago this was all in my head, and here it is, real.”

Set in a travelling circus in the Great Depression, the poignant love story is Gruen’s third novel and one she hadn’t set out to write. She had been working on another novel when she came across an old photograph of a circus in her newspaper.

“I knew shamefully little about the Depression and even less about the circus, so I immersed myself in months of research before I ever wrote a thing.”

Once completed, the genre-defying story came close to never being sold at all. Large bookstores were reluctant to purchase or promote a book they couldn’t classify within traditional genres.

“Fortunately it was embraced by independent bookstores who hand-sold it and recommended it to book clubs, to the point that chain stores could not ignore it,” Gruen said.

They haven’t made the same mistake twice. Gruen released her fourth novel, Ape House, to critical acclaim last year.

Water for Elephants will be released in theatres in April by 20th Century Fox.

Biography and Memoir

Charlotte: The Last Suffragette
By Dave Mullington, BA/65

Mullington looks back on the colourful career of Charlotte Whitton, a leading social welfare administrator in the 1920s and 1930s who became the first woman mayor of a Canadian city when she was elected in Ottawa in 1951. 390 pages, General Store Publishing House, $30.

Business, Law and Finance

Getting the Message: Communications Workers and Global Value Chains
Edited by Catherine McKercher, BA/74, Vincent Mosco and Ursula Huws

Says Carleton journalism professor McKercher, “Regardless of where they are, knowledge workers can learn a lot from each other about how to understand—and resist—the global forces that are shaping their lives.” 148 pages, Merlin Press, $40.

Innovation Strategies for a Global Economy: Development, Implementation, Measurement and Management
By Fred Gault, BSc/64

Gault, a one-time Carleton physics major, student council president and Tory Award winner, now a professor at South Africa’s Tshwane University of Technology, examines innovation and the policies designed to foster it. 211 pages, Edward Elgar/IDRC, $112.

Is Everyone at the Table?: 18 Life Lessons About Problem Solving
By Ernie Tannis, BA/71

Ottawa solicitor and mediator Tannis uses real-life stories to show how the principles of mediation can be valuable tools in settling everyday disputes and disagreements. 180 pages, ADR Center, $24.95 softcover.

Children’s Literature

The Angry Lizard
The Butterfly Blanket
Elephant in the Room

By Lynne Steffy, MSW/06

The latest illustrated books from the Kitchener, Ont., child therapist’s eight-part “Felt Feelings” series. Each is intended to deal with a particular behavioural issue, from grief to sexual abuse. 12 pages each, General Store Publishing House, $10.95 each.

Charlie’s Socks
By Mary Anne Marston, BA/86

A boy searches for his missing socks in Marston (nee Sigler)’s first picture book for young children. 42 pages, FriesenPress, $16.95.


Journey of a Citizen: Searching for Earth’s Reality From Within the Dysfunction of Canada
By David McNicoll, BSc/66, BScH/69

McNicoll examines “the challenging mystery of our lives as we search for an appropriate personal balance and integration into the reality of the planet including its biodiversity.” 694 pages, Baico Publishing, $39.95.

Special Places in Canada, 2010
By Gray Merriam

Ecologist Merriam, a Carleton professor emeritus, demonstrates through essays and photos how natural processes maintain various Canadian ecosystems, from the Bay of Fundy to the Peace-Athabaska Delta, and how people fit into the process. 166 MB, available free at


By Kathleen Winter, BJ/81

A hermaphrodite struggles for identity in the hyper-male culture of Labrador and Newfoundland. The novel, Winter’s first, was shortlisted for the 2010 Giller Prize, a Writers’ Trust Prize and a Governor General’s Award. 464 pages, Anansi, $32.95.

The Book of Love: Guidance in Affairs of the Heart
By Barbara J. Sibbald, BJ/84

Sibbald, an Ottawa journalist, combines fiction and self-help in this tale of three thirtysomething women grappling with the vagaries of relationships. 226 pages, General Store Publishing House, $19.95.

The Cube People
By Christian McPherson, BA/95

McPherson’s debut novel pokes fun at federal cubicle culture through the life and times of his anti-hero, a struggling computer programmer and wannabe novelist. “Definitely worth picking up,” says The Charlatan. 272 pages, Nightwood Editions, $21.95.

A Fortune in Fabric
By C. Roy Fortune, MA/85, MA/99

Will Fortune, a 17-year-old tailor’s apprentice based on the author’s great-great-grandfather, is accused of stealing a load of fabric from his employer in 1815 Scotland. 1.2 MB,, $39.99.

Learning to Swim
By Sara J. Henry, MJ/95

In an act of courage that triggers an unsettling chain of events, a freelance writer rescues a mysterious little boy from the frigid waters of Lake Champlain. 304 pages, Crown Books, $27.

Six Metres of Pavement
By Farzana Doctor, MSW/93

Doctor’s second novel explores the grief of a man trying to cope with the memory of the baby daughter he accidentally left in the back seat of a car some 20 years previously. 340 pages, Dundurn Group, $22.95.

This Innocent Corner
By Peggy Herring, BJ/86

Herring’s debut novel follows 50-year-old Salt Spring Islander Robin Rowe to Bangladesh, which she has not visited since she was an exchange student there in the 1970s. 296 pages, Oolichan Books, $19.95.

By R.M. Doyon, BJ/78

Veteran political reporter, speechwriter and PR executive Doyon tells the story of a political aide to a New York governor who confronts some troubling family secrets during a visit to her old hometown. 390 pages, Open Kimono Books, $16.95.

History and Economics

The Communist Manifesto: Historical Materialism
By George S. Rigakos

The first of a four-volume comic book adaptation of the Marx-Engels classic by Rigakos, an associate professor of law, criminology and political economy at Carleton. The graphic novel treatment, says The Charlatan, “works extraordinarily well.” 32 pages, Red Quill Books, $19.

The Oxford Companion to Canadian Military History
By J.L. Granatstein and Dean F. Oliver

Historian Granatstein teams up with Oliver, director of research and exhibitions at the Canadian War Museum and an adjunct research professor at Carleton, to examine the nation’s military history from James Wolfe to Rick Hillier. 528 pages, Oxford University Press, $70.

Journalism and Mass Media

“Dorothy Livesay and CBC Radio: The Politics of Modernist Aesthetics, Gender, and Regionalism”
By Peggy Lynn Kelly, BA/92, MA/93

Kelly’s essay appears in the anthology Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry, ed. by Barbara Godard and Di Brandt. 424 pages, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, $42.95.


Innerviews: Music Without Borders: Extraordinary Conversations With Extraordinary Musicians
By Anil Prasad, BA/93, MJ/97

Prasad talks to 24 well-known musicians—among them Björk, Chuck D, Stanley Clarke, Béla Fleck, John McLaughlin and McCoy Tyner—about the creative process. “Essential reading for thinking fans,” says Guitar Player magazine. 315 pages, Abstract Logix, $17.95.

Let’s Put the Beatles Back Together Again 1970-2010: How to Assemble & Appreciate the 2nd Half of the Beatles’ Legacy
By Jeff Walker, BA/74

Walker, a former Ravens hockey netminder, devotes 543 pages to imagining what might have been had the Fab Four kept pumping out the hits. SomethingNow, $28.95.


Lilacs and Tributes—A Book of Spiritual Poetry.
By Monica (Mark) Gorman, BA/77

A second chapbook from the Ottawa poet. River Bones Press, $15.

Politics and Current Affairs

Russia: The Challenges of Transformation
Ed. by Piotr Dutkiewicz and Dmitri Trenin

The 12th volume of scholarship on modern Russia and Eastern Europe edited or co-edited by Dutkiewicz, director of Carleton’s Centre for Governance and Public Management and recent recipient of Russia’s Order of Friendship. 352 pages, NYU Press, $45.


Frommer’s Ottawa, 5th Edition
By James Hale, BA/77

The latest capital compendium from the popular series of travel books. 240 pages, John Wiley and Sons, $19.95.

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