As the year 2022 begins, Dave Williamson, former dean of Applied Arts and Business at Red River, reaches a certain milestone. He has been writing book reviews for the Winnipeg Free Press for 50 years.
His first, on a novel called Wonderland, by prolific American writer Joyce Carol Oates, ran on January 1, 1972.
Over the years, Dave has written 10 books (including Changing People’s Lives: An Illustrated History of Red River College), four TV plays that appeared on CBC, and a stage play called Anniversary, co-written with eminent novelist Carol Shields.
Meanwhile, he’s been passing along his judgement of books in reviews that now total 893. If you add the 16 he’s written for The Globe and Mail and the 107 for Prairie Fire magazine, he has, over those 50 years, published 1,016 reviews. That doesn’t include the 80 articles and columns Dave wrote for the Free Press.
His colleagues at the College used to kid him about all the business trips he took. They will not be surprised to hear that a new short story of his, due to appear soon in Prairie Fire, is called “Reading on an Airplane.”