Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book News Vol. 5 No. 45


Festival Wrap-Up
The Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival wrapped up this week, with 60 per cent of events at near capacity and more than 13,000 people attending over the six days of the Festival. Events with David Mitchell, Ali Smith, David Grossman, Andrea Levy, Lynda Barry and many others were sell outs. "People want to see and hear the world’s best writers—and the world’s best writers want to come to Vancouver’s literary festival,” says Hal Wake, the Festival’s artistic director.

One hundred national and international authors appeared, coming to Vancouver from Canada, the US, the UK, Italy, France, Ireland, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. The Festival attracted nominees and winners of all the major literary prizes, including the Man Booker, the Giller Prize, the Rogers Trust Prize and the Governor General’s literary awards.

Check our Festival blog to see what our bloggers had to say about events with Andrea Levy and David Mitchell and many others.

Last chance to get your ticket for the Festival art raffle! Enter the draw to win a exquisite painting by Vancouver artist Jamie Evrard and support the Festival. Tickets are $20 (only 300 printed). The draw takes place Friday October 29 at noon so call now: 604 681 6330 ext 109.

Festival Lost and Found
Two scarves, two umbrellas, jacket, t-shirt, keychain, two Festival books, reading glass case, water bottle, earring, cellphone pouch, purple grocery bag. Call the office to identify.

Special Events

Sara Gruen
The Vancouver International Writers Festival and Random House Canada present the author of Water for Elephants reading from her new book Ape House. Details here,

"The bonobo apes demonstrate more humanity than many of the humans in Sara Gruen's new novel Ape House", writes Monique Polak in the Montreal Gazette.

Gary Shteyngart
Vancouver International Writers Festival and the Cherie Smith JCGV Jewish Book Festival present the author of Super Sad True Love Story in conversation with Eleanor Wachtel. Details here,


Miguel Syjuco's Ilustrado has been nominated for Quebec's Hugh MacLennan Prize for fiction, Erin Moure’s O Resplandor for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry.

Retired TV writer, producer and host John Leigh Walters has won the $10,000 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for A Very Capable Life: The Autobiography of Zarah Petri, a retelling of his mother's immigration from Hungary to Canada.

Mark Sinnett’s The Carnivore, a novel set at the time of Hurricane Hazel, is the winner of the $15,000 Toronto Book Award.

J.K. Rowling has won the inaugural Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize, a prize created to honour children's authors who write in the spirit of Andersen.

Visions of British Columbia, edited by Bruce Grenville and Scott Steedman, has won the 2010 Vancouver Book Award.

Three authors have been awarded ReLit Awards for literature: Michael Kenyon for the novel The Beautiful Children, Stuart Ross, for his short story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog and Gillian Jerome, for her poetry collection Red Nest.

Sandra Birdsell, Alice Kuipers (twice) and Yann Martel are among the authors shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book Awards. David Baudemont and Martine Noël-Maw (who have participated in La Joie de Lire) are shortlisted for the Prix du Livre Français category.

Turkish publisher Irfan Sanci, currently being prosecuted for publishing a translation of Apollinaire's 1911 novel Les exploits d'un jeune Don Juan (The Exploits of a Young Don Juan) has been recognized with a special Freedom to Publish award.

Books by Kathleen Winter, Michael Winter, Trevor Cole, Emma Donoghue, and Michael Helm have been nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. The Globe and Mail online offers readers excerpts from each book and the opportunity to vote.


Stuart Jeffries interviews Howard Jacobson on the experience of winning the 2010 Man Booker Prize.

The comic novel is not a genre, Jacobson tells Boyd Tonkin.

Meanwhile, Bloomsbury has printed an additional 150,000 copies of Jacobson's book.

Laura Miller describes why Salon believes the Booker is the best of the annual literary awards.

As part of as yet undisclosed 'bigger plans', Orange, sponsor of the Orange prize for fiction has dropped the debut authors' prize, in favour of year-round online promotion.

At 89, Farley Mowat says his new book, Eastern Passage, is his last. He says that his typewriters are all broken and he's become a house painter.

Nineteen years after the publication of Such a Long Journey, Rohinton Mistry finds himself mounting a vigorous defence of his book and of freedom of speech after the novel was dropped from a Mumbai University curriculum and copies burned by ultra-nationalists.

Fiction Uncovered is the title of a new promotion next year intended to identify eight talented British authors who haven't had the exposure they deserve.

For 50 years, historians have assumed the Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial could hardly have been more entertaining than it actually was. Now there are some additional details discovered in letters and papers in the Penguin archive at Bristol University. A 50th anniversary edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover is forthcoming.


Charles Foran's new biography, Mordecai: The Life and Times, fills a significant void in Richler scholarship, writes Howard Heft. "The new biography is a fitting tribute to Mordecai Richler."

Hans Keilson, a former German resistance fighter who wrote a novel 63 years ago is to see Comedy in a Minor Key published in Britain for the first time. Rave US reviews have given the unknown author belated recognition among "the world's very greatest writers".

Player One, Douglas Coupland’s tale of four strangers holed up in an airport cocktail lounge while the world around them crumbles, has an odd tenderness, says Stephanie Merritt.

Catherine Bush adds that this is a novel obsessed with time, and with the breakdown of storytelling as a way of making meaning.

Hugo Hamilton admires Bernhard Schlink's The Weekend, a novel that proceeds almost like a stage play.

Donna Rifkind suggests that the notion of literature as echo is useful for readers of David Grossman's To the End of the Land, which seeks to escape the entrenched ways of thinking about what Israelis call "the situation."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince has been re-interpreted as a graphic novel by Joann Sfar. The LA Times calls it "a beautiful and well-rendered tribute to the original".,0,4401253.story

In Zero History, William Gibson imagines the links between the billion-dollar fashion industry and the military. Jason Anderson spoke to Gibson about clothes, old-time westerns and how he goes about "executing" his novels.


Featuring poets and essayists George McWhirter, Trevor Carolan, Judith Copithorne, Susan McCaslin, and Colin James Sanders. Thursday, October 28 at 7:30pm, free. Café Montmartre (4362 Main Street). More information at

BC author Robert C. Belyk's collection of true ghost stories will be presented as a dramatic reading. Friday, October 29 at 6:45pm and 8:00pm. Inlet Theatre, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody. More information at

Poetry book launch and concert featuring author Dalannah Gail Bowen and keyboardist Michael Creber. Thursday, October 28 at 8:00pm, free. Centre A (2 W. Hastings). More information at

Enjoy a double bill of District 9 and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Friday, October 29 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, lower level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. More information at

Keith Billington will be signing books. Saturday, October 30 at 1:30pm. Black Bond Books, Royal City Centre (102 -610 Sixth Street, New Westminster). For more information please contact 604-528-6226.

Host of CBC Radio 3 Podcast with Grant Lawrence presents a slideshow and book signing for Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nudist Potluck, and Other Stories from Desolation Sound. Monday, November 1 at 7:00pm, free. Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch (350 W. Georgia). More information at 604-331-3603.

A humorous and informative story of a summer in Provence, France by the author of Provence, je t'aime. Wednesday, November 3 at 6:30pm, free. Kitsilano Branch, 2425 Macdonald Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Author of The Historian reads from her new novel about art and obsession, The Swan Thieves. Wednesday, November 3 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at

Reading by the author of The Golden Mean. Thursday, November 4 at 1:00pm, free.Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Room 301 Point Grey Campus, 1961 East Mall. More information at

Author reads from her book Everything Was Good-Bye, winner of the Search for the Great B.C. Novel contest, chosen from 64 manuscripts by Jack Hodgins. Thursday, November 4 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, VPL, 350 West Georgia Street. More information at

Alan Twigg discusses his book, a guide to writing and writers that have shaped our literary landscape. Monday, November 8 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia. More information at


Reading by the author of Sects, Love, and Rock & Roll. Wednesday, November 10 at 7:00pm. The Wired Monk, 2610 4th Ave. W. More information at

Singer/songwriter, rancher and grassland conservationist Ian Tyson will be here with his new memoir The Long Trail: My Life in the West. Ian reflects on how his love for the West started in Victoria, nurtured and inspired his musical talent, taught him life lessons in the saddle, and has saved his soul. Sunday, November 14. Enter to win free tickets at

Visible Verse's 10th anniversary celebration and festival. November 19-20, 2010. Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street. For complete program details, visit

Readings by Judy Halebsky and Sandy Shreve. Thursday, November 25 at 7:30pm, free. People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive.

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