Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book News Vol. 5 No.21


A Dram Come True
The Vancouver International Writers Festival presents the eighth annual Single Malt Scotch Whisky Sampling. Enjoy the superb, complex flavours of a variety of rare and distinguished single malts. Scotch experts will be on hand to enhance the experience. Rare malts and other select items will also be available at auction. Details and photos from last year here:

Join us!
Our membership drive continues with exciting new incentives to join, as well as the benefits of membership:...discounts, earlybird tickets, we could go on... Click for more information,

Every two weeks we will draw the name of a new member to win an exciting prize. The prize for May 14: A lifetime subscription to Geist. Note: subscription is non-transferable and must be sent to a Canadian mailing address.

Special Events

Peter Carey
Tickets are still available for our event featuring Peter Carey in conversation with Hal Wake at the Frederic Wood Theatre. Details here:

The Washington Post is thrilled that, in Parrot & Olivier in America, Peter Carey has, at last, through Alexis De Tocqueville, located a book in his adopted home.

Peter Carey talks with the Georgia Straight about how a travelogue by a French aristocrat, written in 1835, finally enabled the transplanted Australian to write about America and address the dumbing-down of North American culture today.

Alexander McCall Smith
The Vancouver International Writers Festival and Random House Canada present the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series who will talk about his forthcoming book, The Charming Quirks of Others. Complete details on our website,

Check out this interview in Macleans.


Dalhousie University professor Brian Bow has won the $35,000 Donner Prize for his book A Thousand Dreams.

Solar, by Ian McEwan, has been shortlisted for the Wodehouse comic novel prize.

Many, including McEwan, are amused by this since he has said he hates comic novels.

Louise Penny of Quebec has won the 2009 Agatha award for best novel for The Brutal Telling, her third Agatha in a row. Alan Bradley won for best first novel.

Will Ferguson has won his third Stephen Leacock Award for Humour.

Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky's has won the And/or Book Award for photography.

Debut novels by Jennifer Cowan and Anna Kerz have been nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards. Winners will be chosen by young readers.

The City of Vancouver invites publishers and authors to submit entries for the annual City of Vancouver Book Award. Deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 26, 2010. An independent panel of judges will choose the winner.

The Jewish Book Awards will honour Howard Engel with a Special Achievement Award as part of their ceremony honouring authors of books in a variety of categories.


"There’s nothing more interesting or more hopeful about America than its poetry" writes Charles Simic, as he reflects on what it meant to be Poet Laureate of the United States.

On the other hand, publishing of poetry is hitting hard times.

Writing about people you know, whether in Guatemala or ones brother, is a tricky business, as novelist Michael Helm has discovered.

People who read fiction read in a variety of ways and the Atlantic has discovered there is no wholesale desire to read on iPads or Kindle.

Google is creating an online bookstore to rival Apple and Amazon and invites smaller bookstores to join the online store.


Philippines-born Montrealer Miguel Syjuco's debut novel Ilustrado won the Man Asian Prize and the Palanca Award (the Pulitzer of the Philippines) in 2008, two years before it was published. Reviews will appear this month.

Anne Carson's Nox, an elegy for her brother, arrives as a single accordioned sheet, folded into a handsome clamshell box.

Reviews of Isabel Allende's latest book suggests a change in direction for the author. Island Beneath the Sea tells a slave's story with women at the forefront.

Thirty-five years after the end of fighting in Vietnam comes Karl Marlantes's "exceptional war novel" Matterhorn.

Thd Sunday Times (UK) describes David Remnick's The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama as a judicious biography with surprising insights.

Many Canadians have heard Gaza physician Izzeldin Abuelaish on CBC radio; now a "hard to put down" autobiography has been published.


Reading by poets Chris Nealon and Hannah Calder. Friday, May 7 at 8:00pm. W2 Storyeum, 151 West Cordova Street. More information at

Author signs his new book Script Tease. Saturday, May 8 at 1:00pm, free. Hager Books, 2176 41st Ave.

Poets Jamie Reid, Kim Goldberg, and Peter Trower read from their works at an event that includes music by guitarist Craig McCaul and drummer Niko Friesen. Saturday, May 8 at 8:00pm, free. W2 Storyeum (151 W. Cordova). More information at

Book signing by the author of It Never Stays in Vegas. Sunday, May 9 at 10:00am. Dundarave Starbucks, 2416 Marine Drive, West Vancouver.

Author reads from his critically acclaimed memoir C'mon Papa, Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark. Sunday, May 9 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $10/$12. Capilano Performing Arts Theatre, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver.

Some of Canada's best writers address their own losses in The Heart Does Break: Canadian Writers on Grief and Mourning. Featuring Jean Baird and George Bowering. Monday, May 10 at 7:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Author introduces her new novel The Find. Monday, May 10 at 7:30pm, free. ArtSpring Theatre, Salt Spring Island.

Join Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle for a launch of his new book The Dead Republic. Tuesday, May 11 at 7:00pm. Chapters Robson, 788 Robson.

Saskatchewan author reads from her new book This Hot Place. Tuesday, May 11 at 7:30pm, free. People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive.

Readings by poets Christian Bok and Lisa Robertson and the launch of Soma Feldmar's Other and TCR's Poet's Theatre issue. Tuesday, May 11 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $9/7/5. The Cultch, 1895 Venables. More information at

Part fictional memoir, part social history, Bruce Hunter's new novel In The Bear's House is a coming of age story about a deaf child who is sent to live in the wilderness on historic Kootenay Plains in west central Alberta. Wednesday, May 12 at 12:15pm, free. Britannia Branch, 1661 Napier Street.

Group discussion of The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00pm. The Grind & Gallery, 4124 Main Street. More information at

Knopf Canada presents a celebration of the publication of Ryan Knighton's new memoir C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark. Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00pm. Shebeen Whiskey House (behind 212 Carrall). More information at

Author launches his novel Woodstock Rising. Wednesday, May 12 at 7:30pm, free. Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, Peter Kaye Room, Lower Level, 350 West Georgia Street.

Readings by David Derry, Jon Paul Fiorentino, and Matthew Hooton. Thursday, May 13 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore Library, Robson Square, 800 Robson Street.

Launch of Lydia Kwa's new novel. Sunday, May 16 at 6:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway. More information at

Visit the intimate living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House for a series of small salon evenings with five writers who use literature to call for social change and justice and as a tool for social transformation. The third writer in the series, Steven Galloway will read from and sign his works. Monday, May 17 at 7:30pm, admission by donation. Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 64th Ave. W. More information here:


Features three days of poetry performances, conversations, interviews, workshops, films, feasting, singing, strumming and storytelling in La Conner, Washington. May 20-22, 2010. For full details, visit

Early-bird registration is now being accepted for the 3rd annual Write on Bowen Festival for Writers and Readers. July 2-4, 2010. For the full Festival line-up and registration details, visit

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