Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book News Vol. 5 No. 31


Virtual Festival
The ninth recording in our recently launched series of archived events from Festivals-past features Dennis Bock. The celebrated author of the Ash Garden reads a selection from The Communist's Daughter, a novel based on the legendary Dr. Norman Bethune.

Special Event

Alexander McCall Smith

The Cellist of Sarajevo author Steven Galloway talks with Alexander McCall Smith, bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency about his forthcoming book, Corduroy Mansions. Complete details on our website,

Visit Alexander McCall Smith's new website at


American authors dominate the short list for the Frank O'Connor award, the richest short story prize in the world.

Paolo Bacigalupi's first novel has won both the Nebula Award—given by the Science Fiction Writers of America for best novel of the year—and the Locus Magazine Award for best first novel. In his review, “A writer to watch”, says Michael Dirda in his review.


The Canada Council for the Arts has announced that the federal government has launched a fund of $4.25 million for English and French translation of books over the next three years.

The unexpurgated autobiography of Mark Twain shows that he was more pointedly political and willing to play the role of the angry prophet than his droll and cantankerous earlier writing suggested.

Stieg Larsson's fourth manuscript is clouded in mystery.

An email the late Swedish author sent to a friend reveals the unpublished work was set in a remote part of northern Canada.

A graphic novel based on Anne Frank's diaries was released last week in The Netherlands. An English version will be released in North America in September.

William Gibson wrote a literary riff based on an ashtray. Does narrative transform insignificant objects into significant ones?

Michael Holroyd has written an appreciation of his hero, Beryl Bainbridge.

Robert McCrum suggests the possibility that we have lost our cultural way.

The Shirley Jackson Awards for excellence in "literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic" were awarded over the weekend, and yet, writes Laura Miller, the author of The Lottery is still not getting the respect she deserves.


Maggie de Vries has written an engrossing and often suspenseful tale of a bear whose life is intertwined with the Chinook salmon. The Globe and Mail review of this new children's book—Fraser Bear: A Cub's Life—reports that the full-colour illustrations are an important addition to the story.

Kathleen Winter's debut novel Annabel refers to a murder, but no one is killed. Nor is this a murder mystery. The Ottawa Citizen review focuses on a metaphor of bridge as a path to understanding and the images of masculine and feminine at war and in balance.

Readers of G.W. Bernard's Fatal Attractions will find that it demolishes many of the statements that we are accustomed to taking as fact about the life of Anne Boleyn, statements that are, he claims, based on gossip and speculation.,0,3157261.story

Donna Bailey Nurse finds Moon Over Marrakesh and The Butterfly Mosque, two memoirs by women who embrace love and Islam in North Africa, to be captivating.

Todd Hirsch reviews two unusual books about "Big Oil". The first, Why We Hate the Oil Companies, is by a former president of Houston-based Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, who is critical of the industry. Oil: Money, Politics and Power in the 21st Century, by British journalist and historian Tom Bower, takes an investigative and narrative approach.


Eighth annual event featuring Brian Brett, Des Kennedy, Nancy Turner, Jan Zwicky and more. Hosted by Bill Richardson. July 12 to 18, 2010. Denman Island, BC. For complete details, visit

The Thursdays Writing Collective launchs its 4th chapbook. Thursday, July 15 at 8:00pm, free or by donation at the door. The Brickhouse, 730 Main Street. For more information, visit

Poetry reading by the author of What Is Venice?. Friday, July 16 at 8:00pm. Admission: $3-$5 sliding scale. W2 Storyeum, 151 West Cordova.

Author launches her new book Three Blocks West of Wonderland. Saturday, July 17. W2 Media Arts Centre. More information at

Join critically acclaimed BC poets Garry Gottfriedson, Rita Wong, and Joanne Arnott for a poetry reading to celebrate the release of Garry Gottfriedson's new collection. Thursday, July 22 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, VPL Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. For more information, phone 604.331.3691 or email

Anvil Press presents the launch of Jenn Farrell's second collection of short fiction. Thursday, July 22 at 7:00pm, free. Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir). More information at

Author reads from his book, Morris as Elvis: Take a Chance on Life. Friday, July 23 at 6:00pm, free. Carnegie Theatre, Carnegie Branch, 401 Main Street. For more information, please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Relaunch of one cool word magazine. Features Parlour Steps, Elephant Train, Wilderness Years and more. Tickets $15 and include magazine and subscription. Friday, July 23. Rickshaw Theatre.


Vancouver Public Library and BC BookWorld are pleased to present the sixteenth George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia to acclaimed writer Anne Cameron. Thursday, July 29 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. For more information please contact the VPL at 604-331-3603.

Join Canada's longest-running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, featuring established literary stars and exciting new voices, with opportunities for writers and readers to mingle amidst Rockwood's heritage gardens. August 12-15, 2010. Tickets are now on sale by phoning 1-800-565-9631 or 604-885-9631. Details at

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