When she’s not working as a Communications Coordinator for the Faculty of Science at UBC, you can find Silvia Moreno-Garcia writing, whether its writing book reviews for NPR or her column with The Washington Post or working on material of her own. The UBC alumnus’ fourth novel, Gods of Jade and Shadow, was published by Penguin Random House in August 2019 and was named one the best books of 2019 by NPR, The New York Public LibraryBookRiot and Tordotcom. In this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore, the Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey.

We spoke with Silvia about her new book, how she approaches her research and her love of interlibrary loans!

Tell us about Gods of Jade and Shadow and how it came about.

Gods of Jade and Shadow is a fantasy novel that takes place in Mexico in the 1920s. A young woman releases a Maya god of death from his prison and must help him retake his throne. It’s a quest story that took a long time to gestate and it’s my fourth novel.

Can you shed some light on your writing process? Do you do your research first, then write?

Generally, yes, because I’m doing a lot of historical research – at least that’s been the case with the last couple of books I’ve worked on. So I’ll have to page through books and papers for a few months before I can feel confident enough to start writing. But things always change. There’s a skeletal frame and I may fill some holes while I’m doing the work. Research might not end until the first draft is done and run in parallel if I need it.  

How did you do research for the book? Did UBC Library’s resources inform your work in any way?

I use UBC Library’s InterLibrary Loan service quite a bit. Often the Mexican books I need are not here but they can be obtained by getting them from universities in California that have extensive Mexican and Latin American collections. I also use the online databases frequently to look at journal articles, anything from codices to Mayan glyphs. The hardest thing to find are newspaper articles from certain time periods, pre-internet. It’s relatively easy to get newspaper stories from the 20s and 30s – you can look at the archives of the New York Times, for example – but for Mexican newspapers it can be nearly impossible. The 60s-70s is like a black hole.

I also like finding weird books at random. You never quite know what might be on the shelves of a library, especially when it comes to really old books.

What are you reading right now?

That changes like the tide because I review books for NPR and have a column with The Washington Post. So the thing I’m reading for review right now is Labyrinth by Burhan Sönmez, translated by Umit Hussein, which is about a musician who loses his memory and which the publisher calls “Borgesian.” For my own pleasure I’m reading James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss, a 1970s  hard-boiled noir about a private investigator trying to find a missing man and going from seedy location to seedy location in his quest.

Follow Silvia’s writing on her website.

 

 

Introduced as a new service to help UBC Vancouver faculty meet Canadian copyright law and Fair Dealing Requirements, the syllabus service provides them with the ability to upload their course readings/syllabi directly into the Library Online Course Reserves system (LOCR), part of the Canvas Learning Management Platform at UBC. It ensures that course materials uphold Canadian copyright law and UBC license agreements and policies.

Copyright infringement, through the distribution of published works to students, unfortunately exposes the University and its faculty to legal jeopardy thus the Library is making copyright compliance as feasible and streamlined as possible for UBC faculty and students.

“We continue to take every possible step to support faculty in their teaching efforts, and ensure they remain knowledgeable and compliant with Canadian copyright law,” says Allan Bell, Associate University Librarian, Digital Programs and Services.

 

Read the full Library announcement

 

Explore Copyright Requirements for UBC Faculty and Staff

 

Discover Mediated Course Reserves at UBCO

 

Learn more about Scholarly Communications @ UBC

 

 

 

 

UBC Library’s Scholarly Communications & Copyright office is now offering a new service to help UBC Vancouver instructors clear copyrighted course and teaching materials quickly and easily.

The syllabus service allows for instructors to upload course readings/syllabi directly into the Library Online Course Reserves system (LOCR) which is integrated with the Canvas Learning Management Platform and ensures that materials conform with Canadian copyright law and existing UBC license agreements and policies.

The service was introduced to help UBC Vancouver faculty meet Canadian copyright law and Fair Dealing Requirements. Any distribution of published works to students that infringes on copyright can expose both faculty and the University to legal jeopardy. The library’s goal is to make copyright compliance as streamlined and easy for UBC faculty as possible.

“We continue to take every possible step to support faculty in their teaching efforts, and ensure they remain knowledgeable and compliant with Canadian copyright law,” says Allan Bell, Associate University Librarian, Digital Programs and Services.

The service, which launched in August 2019, is already seeing significant use. “I believe this service will be very useful for everyone teaching courses at UBC,” says Christina Hendricks, Academic Director at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, “It is an incredibly convenient way to ensure students get easy access to course materials available through the Library.”

A similar service, Mediated Course Reserves at UBCO, has been available to Faculty at UBCO since April 2018. The service connects faculty directly with librarians on the Okanagan campus, enabling them to submit class reading lists through a simple online form. “This service is really about helping faculty get this part of their teaching streamlined, says Kim Buschert, Faculty of Management Librarian at UBCO, “We see a lot of benefit there.”  Faculty at UBCO will soon be able to upload course readings/syllabi directly into the Library Online Course Reserves system (LOCR) integrated with Canvas.

Learn more about the Syllabus Service and processing timelines at UBC Vancouver.

Questions? Contact permissions.office@ubc.ca.

Learn more about Mediated Couse Reserves at UBCO.

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