David Humniski, along with his daughter Indiana, donated the eight-volume series Ice Fishing in Gimli to head librarian Valerie Eyolfson. (PHOTO JOHN COWARD)
It's not often that one finds a treasure and quickly sets out to tell the world that the treasure is here - and to come on out and experience it for yourself.
Well that's what Gimli resident David Humniski did after he stumbled across the first volume of the eight-volume set of Ice Fishing in Gimli by writer Rob Kovitz. Humniski was so enthralled by Kovitz's saga that he purchased the whole set and donated it to the Gimli Public Library.
"It was the cannibalism on Lake Winnipeg that got my attention," Humniski, a real estate agent, said.
Humniski says Ice Fishing in Gimli is a collection of stories, some fiction, but all based on a reality only found by those who have lived near the shores of Lake Winnipeg. "I've never read a book or a collection of stories like this. I found it difficult putting it down," Humniski said. "It's a real eclectic mix of stories. Just fascinating."
After reading the first of the eight volumes Humniski said a call to the local library in Gimli led to a dead end.
They didn't have a copy of the eight-volume series so he purchased the set and presented it to head librarian Valerie Eyolfson.
The gift, valued at more than $350, was a pleasant surprise for Eyolfson as well. "When David called I said it costs a lot of money and we just can't afford that," she said. "How do I justify this purchase within a limited budget?" she told Humniski.
Humniski says the books identify a lot of local figures and local history and the library should have a copy.
"I'm not going to wait until I die to donate to the library," he laughed.
Brook Ford writes in her publication "Broken Pencil": "Indeed, after reading the first volume, one begins to feel engrossed, or better, transposed by the passages compiled in Ice Fishing. In one sense, you're reading Kovitz's book, but in another, you're reading (again, or perhaps for the first time) the writings of Frederick Philip Grove, Mark Z. Danielewski, Roland Bardies, Talking Heads, The Weakerthans, David Arnason and a bit of Miguel de Cervantes - just a small chunk of the full roster. What makes Kovitz's style so unique and compelling is that the quotations are stitched together to create a singular narrative voice among all these separate narratives."
"Published by his own imprint, Treyf Books, the eight-volume bookwork is an assemblage of quotations from novels, travel brochures, philosophical writings, government papers and song lyrics as well as collages of photographs and film stills," Brook goes on to explain.
Kovitz is a Winnipeg writer whose family lives in the Gimli area and now his saga is available at the Gimli library. "I'm not sure how we're going to handle this work. We'll have to wait and see what the demand is," Eyolfson said.