Ravvin, Norman 1963-

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RAVVIN, Norman 1963-

PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced like "raven;" born August 26, 1963, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; son of Albert (in business) and Nan (Eisenstein) Ravvin; married Shelley Butler, September 3, 1995. Education: University of British Columbia, B.A. (with honors), 1985, M.A., 1986; University of Toronto, Ph.D., 1993. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Cycling, travel, gardening, old cars.

ADDRESSES: Office—Institute of Canadian Jewish Studies, Department of Religion, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Screenwriter and freelance journalist in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1987-89; Toronto Computes, Toronto, staff writer, 1990; teacher of literature, beginning 1989; University of Toronto, Toronto, sessional lecturer in literature and creative writing, 1994-97; University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, assistant professor of literature and creative writing, 1997-99; Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, began as assistant professor, became professor and chair of Canadian Jewish Studies, 1999—. Red Deer Press, general editor of Hungry I Books, 2000—.

MEMBER: Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, Modern Language Association of America, Writers Guild of Alberta.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grant from Ontario Arts Council, 1989; Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism New Fiction Award, 1990, for Café des Westens; Morris Winemaker Prize for literary criticism; grants from Toronto Arts Council and Canada Council.

WRITINGS:

Café des Westens (novel), Red Deer Press (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada), 1991.

A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity, and Memory, McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1997.

Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish: Stories, Paperplates Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.

(Editor) Great Stories of the Sea, Red Deer Press (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada), 1999.

(Editor) Hidden Canada: An Intimate Travelogue, Red Deer Press (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada), 2001.

(Editor and contributor) Not Quite Mainstream: Canadian Jewish Short Stories, Red Deer Press (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada), 2002.

Lola by Night, Paperplates Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

The Canadian Jewish Reader, edited by Richard Menkis, Red Deer Press (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada), 2004.

Also author of Lend Me Your Ear (screenplay), 1988. Work represented in anthologies, including Fresh Blood: New Canadian Gothic Fiction. Contributor of articles and short stories to periodicals, including Prism International, Wascana Review, Prairie Fire, Mosaic, Parchment, Western Living, West Coast Review, and English Studies in Canada. Associate editor, Books in Canada.

SIDELIGHTS: Norman Ravvin once told CA: "Café des Westens is influenced by such central European fabulists as Kafka and Schulz, as well as by the writing of [folksinger] Leonard Cohen and the Beats. It is a portrait of generational conflict, set against the boom- and-bust backdrop of Calgary, Alberta. Jewish life in Canada and the local history of such western cities as Calgary and Vancouver are important in my fiction."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Books in Canada, February, 1992, review of Café des Westens, p. 55; December, 1997, review of Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish: Stories, p. 10; May, 2002, Michael Greenstein, review of Not Quite Mainstream: Canadian Jewish Short Stories, pp. 21-22.

Bookwatch, October, 2001, review of Hidden Canada: An Intimate Travelogue, p. 4.

Canadian Book Review Annual, 1997, review of Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish, p. 212; 1997, review of A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity, and Memory, p. 276; 2000, review of Great Stories of the Sea, p. 232.

Canadian Literature, autumn, 1992, review of Café des Westens, p. 158; summer, 1999, review of A House of Words, p. 235.

Canadian Materials for Young People, March, 1992, review of Café des Westens, p. 105.

Choice, April, 1998, review of A House of Words, p. 1373.

Essays on Canadian Writing, fall, 1998, review of A House of Words, p. 193.

Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), April 11, 1992, p. C7.

Quill and Quire, December, 1991, review of Café des Westens, p. 17; April, 1997, review of Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish, p. 30.

ONLINE

Canadian Jewish News: Internet Edition,http://www.cjnews.com/ (February 28, 2002), review of Not Quite Mainstream.*