Coming in Spring 2023 from McFarland & Company
With a writer who had never written a play, an actress who had never taken the stage alone, and a director who had never headed a live performance, The Belle of Amherst managed to become an American theater classic. Despite being savaged by critics attending its opening night in April 1976, the play, which details the life of Emily Dickinson, survived its baptism by fire and went on to appear in theaters across the world.
This is the remarkable untold story of “the little play that could.” Covering the play’s humble beginnings as well as its pioneers—like writer William Luce, director Charles Nelson Reilly and actress Julie Harris—this work also documents the modern efforts to keep the play alive in the time of COVID-19. Exploring the show’s enduring dramatic power, this book ultimately pays respect to the one-woman show that has triumphed for decades.
The Life and Afterlife of a Canadian Canine War Hero
By Grant Hayter-Menzies
Foreword by Mark Zuehlke
Softcover | Publication Date: September 21, 2021
The unusual and moving tale of Muggins, a famed fundraising dog who became a mascot of the Canadian Red Cross during the First World War.
Born in 1913 in the home of a millionaire philanthropist, Muggins was a purebred Spitz, a sharp-eared, sharp-nosed, fluffy-tailed sort of dog most often seen in the lap of a lady of leisure. But Muggins defied the odds, rising to unlikely fame during the First World War, when he became Victoria, BC’s most diminutive fundraiser. He was taught to wander through downtown during the war with two change donation boxes tied to his back, and ultimately collected the equivalent of $400,000 for charities and causes including the Red Cross, the Blue Cross, food for poor children and prisoners of war, victims of Jewish pogroms, to name a few.
During his short life, Muggins visited ferries and freight liners stopping in Victoria. He appeared in photos with the Prince of Wales and with famous Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie, among other celebrated admirers. He was also a favourite of the rank and file, helping cheer up wounded soldiers at Esquimalt Military Hospital. Muggins was made an honourary first lieutenant by the United States military for his service raising funds in Seattle. And he was so loved by departing soldiers he was more than once nearly taken along to the theatre of war.
Based on valuable documents, memorabilia, newspaper and newsreel accounts of Muggins’s brief but brilliant career, this book tackles the difficult question of human use of animals in war, at home and on the battlefield. It explores how crucial animals, specifically dogs, have been to wounded veterans recovering from physical and emotional damage—both in Muggins’s lifetime and now.
To see a newsreel clip of Muggins in action, circa 1917, check out this link.
Press on Muggins
"Sidney author fills in the story of of famous local dog Muggins" - Oak Bay News
"Muggins, the island's canine war hero," MicCHECK with Joe Perkins
"How a local Victoria dog became a hero of the First World War", Capital Daily
"How Victoria's society women defied norms to raise funds for war effort ... with a little canine help," Times Colonist
"Muggins: The Life And Afterlife Of A Canadian Canine War Hero with Grant Hayter-Menzies", OTD In Canadian History
"Remembering Muggins, Victoria’s four-legged war hero", Joe Perkins, CHEK News
"Remembering Muggins, Victoria's Legendary Four-Legged Wartime Fundraiser', John Ackermann, City News
"The story of Muggins: the Oak Bay dog who became a famous fundraiser for the Canadian Red Cross," Robyn Burns, All Points West on CBC Radio
ActiveHistory.ca - History Slam 201: A Canadian Canine War Hero, by Sean Graham
Order from the publisher, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com or your local bookstore.
Woo, The Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr:
by Grant Hayter-Menzies
Foreword by Anita Kunz, OC
Introduction by Andrew Westoll
'Woo', by Pockets Warhol, 2017.
Author's collection. All rights reserved.
Click on image to be taken to Pockets' web site.
A lyrical biography of Emily Carr’s beloved and enigmatic pet monkey, Woo.
Published by Douglas & McIntyre (Canada)
The author will donate 40% of royalties to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario.
Press on Woo
The Writer's Pet: Grant Hayter-Menzies and Woo: Dr Zazie Todd, Companion Animal Psychology
Lynn Pickering of The County Writes...The County Reads, 99.3 FM Prince Edward County, ON, with author Grant Hayter-Menzies and actor Joan McBride
"Portrait of Pockets", a CBC Short Docs documentary about Pockets Warhol, the sanctuary that rescued him, and the art that rescues all, directed by Brina Romanek - CBCDocs
"Victoria author pens biography of Emily Carr's monkey, Woo" - Victoria News
"Emily Carr's monkey takes centre stage in new book" - Vancouver Sun
"Book explores complicated story of Emily Carr and her captive monkey" - CBC British Columbia
CBC Radio North By Northwest with Sheryl MacKay (at 1:46:09)
"Animal Magic" - Montecristo Magazine
Afternoons with Mark Brennae, CFAX1070: Grant Hayter-Menzies and Charmaine Quinn with Mark Brennae.
Featured in the book is the life story of Pockets Warhol, a white capped capuchin monkey at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary who began creating paintings in 2011 and whose works are now in the collections of animal welfare pioneer Dr Jane Goodall, among others. Sales benefit the Sanctuary, and Pockets' paintings are beautiful. Click on the image at left to purchase your own Pockets painting today!
“This is an extraordinary, profound, poignant and true story, brilliantly and fascinatingly told.”
—Virginia McKenna, actor, author and co-founder of the Born Free Foundation
“Woo, the Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr will certainly provoke reflections about our own animal companions: how we live with them, how they live with us.”
—Randy Malamud, author author of Poetic Animals and Animal Souls and Reading Zoos
“What animates this tale with force and purpose is the author’s profound respect for animals. ... readers are brought face to face with what it means to be a human guardian to an animal, wild or domesticated, and how tragically such a loving relationship can end.”
—Lorna Crozier, author of The Wild In You and God of Shadows
Truthful and tender, a meticulously researched and fine reflection on the connection between art and animals.
—Anny Scoones, author of Island Home
February 9, 2020 - 2-4 pm: Book talk at Sooke Region Museum
March 7, 8:15-10 pm: 'In Search of Emily Carr’s Woo: Monkey, Muse, Mystery' at the Vancouver Institute, Vancouver BC
March 7, 7-9 pm: Launch, reading and signing at Massy Books in Vancouver
March 12, 7-9 pm: Reading and signing at Bolen Books in Victoria
March 16, 1-4 pm: Reading and signing at Indigo in Mayfair Mall in Victoria
June 1-8, 11 am-4 pm: Reading and signing at Emily Carr House in Victoria, in tandem with the west coast debut of Pockets Warhol. He has created twelve new paintings, each using colours from a famous Emily Carr landscape. All sales benefit Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary.
The Lost War Horses of Cairo: The Passion of Dorothy Brooke
by Grant Hayter-Menzies
Foreword by Monty Roberts
Introduction by Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter
The tragic, inspiring true story of an Englishwoman's lifelong effort to save British warhorses abandoned in Egypt after 1918.
The author donates 40% of his royalties off sales back to Mrs Brooke's charity for working equines.
“A tribute to a courageous woman who worked to reduce suffering.”
—Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human
“This book is a superb tribute to Dorothy Brooke and to her belief that such a charitable venture would form ‘a fitting part of a War Memorial.’ . . . Utterly compelling.”
—Joanna Lumley, actress and advocate for human rights and animal welfare
The Duchess of Cornwall reads from The Lost War Horses of Cairo
'A moving tribute to Dorothy Brooke's passion' (Horse & Hound)
'Dorothy Brooke spent her life saving war horses' (Daily Mail)
Interview on Horses in the Morning on Horse Radio Network (starts at 00:15:00)
Published in the US by Potomac Books in November 2017 - in the UK by Allen & Unwin in February 2018, and now available in paperback!
Available through Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, or through any on line or neighbourhood bookseller.
Click image for my blog post in honor of
National Dog Week,
Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press
"The Dog Who Had a Soul", by Minna Irving (1865-1940) Video designed by Matthew Scheller and Sean Menzies. Voice-over by Grant Hayter-Menzies. Photos courtesy of Jay and Judy Butkus and the Hon. Raymond G. H. Seitz.
From Stray Dog to World War I Hero
The Paris Terrier Who Joined the First Division
by Grant Hayter-Menzies
Published November 2015
On the streets of Paris one day in July 1918, an American doughboy, Sgt. Jimmy Donovan, befriended a stray dog that he named Rags. No longer an unwanted street mutt, Rags became the mascot to the entire First Division of the American Expeditionary Force and a friend to the American troops who had crossed the Atlantic to fight.
Rags was more than a scruffy face and a wagging tail, however. The little terrier mix was with the division at the crucial battle of Soissons, at the Saint-Mihiel offensive, and finally in the blood-and-mud bath of the Meuse-Argonne, during which he and his guardian were wounded. Despite being surrounded by distraction and danger, Rags learned to carry messages through gunfire, locate broken communications wire for the Signal Corps to repair, and alert soldiers to incoming shells, saving the lives of hundreds of American soldiers.
Through it all, he brought inspiration to men with little to hope for, especially in the bitter last days of the war.
From Stray Dog to World War I Hero covers Rags’s entire life story, from the bomb-filled years of war through his secret journey to the United States that began his second life, one just as filled with drama and heartache. In years of peace, Rags served as a reminder to human survivors of what held men together when pushed past their limits by the horrors of battle.
The author donates 40% of his royalties off sales to Nowzad Dogs!
The Animals That Helped Win World War I - Jennifer Nalewicki
"Rags, the WWI hero dog, is featured in BC biographer's new book" - Sheryl MacKay and Gavin Fisher, CBC
"Rags: World War I Dog Hero" - Kate Kelly, America Comes Alive
Click the image above for
some observations on my Remembrance Day book signing in Sidney, British Columbia.
Advance praise for From Stray Dog to World War I Hero...
“A vivid, riveting, true tale of courage and compassion. . . . I fell in love with Rags, and I’ll be first in line for the movie!”—Maria Goodavage, author of Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca
“Simply brilliant. An inspired storyteller. . . . Those who consider themselves dog lovers should read this book.”—Mary Elizabeth Thurston, author of The Lost History of the Canine Race
“Utterly charming, and if you love dogs, this will prove irresistible!”
—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of Dogs Never Lie About Love
Written with the cooperation of President Jimmy Carter and his family, this book provides an intimate glimpse inside the life of the woman who—as nurse, mother and social justice activist in segregated southwest Georgia—made a lifelong habit of breaking the rules defining a woman’s place in and out of the home and the status of blacks in society. As the only white nurse in her rural community who cared for black families, as a 68-year-old Peace Corps Volunteer in 1960s India, as a fearless supporter of civil rights and as a First Mother unlike any other, Lillian Carter showed how individual courage, conviction and compassion can make a difference.
Drawing on interviews with friends and colleagues, members of the Plains, Georgia, black community, Peace Corps Volunteers who trained with her, White House insiders and key players in the civil rights movement, as well as letters, documents and photographs never before made public, this book captures the essence of the woman the press dubbed “Rose Kennedy without the hair dye” and “First Mother of the world.”
See the author talk about Lillian Carter and his book on C-SPAN 3