Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book News Vol. 6 No. 3


On Wednesday January 26 we launch Incite@VPL, our new free bi-weekly series, in partnership with VPL. Our inaugural event features Andrew Pyper, Amber Dawn and Michael Christie. This is your personal invitation to join us for the beginning of an new venture—expect animated discussions, on-stage interviews, performances and readings.

This spring we’ll feature well known writers like Joyce Carol Oates, Bernhard Schlink, Johanna Skibsrud, Alexander MacLeod, Dianne Warren, Timothy Taylor, Madeleine Thien, Lorna Crozier and Zsuzsi Gartner, and introduce you to exciting new voices like Aurian Haller, Theodora Armstrong and Gurjinder Basran.

Please join us at the Central Library, 350 West Georgia St. at 7:30 pm and bring a friend—or your entire book club. Let us know that you’re coming, by registering here, NB Registration does not guarantee a seat. (Please note: parking may be at a premium because of a Canucks game so plan accordingly).


Jodi Picoult - March 13, 2011
The bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper will read from her new novel, Sing You Home, accompanied by guitarist Ellen Wilber. Details:

Howard Jacobson - April 13, 2011
Jacobson's Man Booker award-winning book, The Finkler Question, deals with love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today. Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Festival. Details:

Elizabeth Hay & Miriam Toews - May 5, 2011
Two of Canada's most acclaimed and beloved writers will discuss their new books, Alone in the Classroom and Irma Voth. Details:


Vancouver author Dennis Foon’s award-winning film Life, Above All has been shortlisted in the Academy Awards' Foreign Language Film category.

Doug Saunders' Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World and Shelagh Grant's Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America are shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize for the year's best English-language book on global affairs.

The British Science Fiction Association has announced the shortlist for the BSFA 2010 Awards.

The finalists for the Philip K. Dick Award have been announced.


Acclaimed New Brunswick author David Adams Richards has been named the first artist in residence at St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

Lorna Goodison, Timothy Taylor, Miriam Toews and Elizabeth Hay are four of the ten authors with upcoming new books that Vit Wagner recommends we watch for this spring.

Andrew Pyper claims that the never-ending history of the small-town haunted house is "the North American folk tale par excellence". The Guardians, says Pyper, is a "straight-ahead ghost story."

60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, Swedish author Frederik Colting’s sequel to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, is to be issued in a number of countries.

By agreement with the Salinger estate, the book is banned from being published or sold in Canada or the U.S.

So I Shot Him, one of 15 undated short stories by Dashiell Hammett found in the archives at the University of Texas at Austin, is to be released February 28 in The Strand magazine.

James Bond and Sherlock Holmes are to be resurrected for two new full-length novels being penned by authors Anthony Horowitz and Jeffrey Deaver.

A Connecticut schools superintendent is seeking to shut down a production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, because some of the teenage actors would have to utter the word "nigger". The rights-holders to the play will not allow alterations.

In a memoir to be published next week, Stieg Larsson’s partner Eva Gabrielsson reveals that Larsson had completed 200 pages in the series' fourth instalment before dying. She wants to finish the series.

Two novels published last fall—Paula Marantz Cohen’s What Alice Knew and Cynthia Ozick’s Foreign Bodies—are about or inspired by Henry James. David Lodge explores why 21st C. novelists love James.

The Montreal Gazette’s Ian Gillis interviews Lynda Barry on The Secret Power of Doodling.

Bruised egos and frayed friendships often follow the publication of a novel. But few fictional representations are so offensive to their (reputed) models that actual violence ensues. The notable exception took place 100 years ago this month.

Initially, The Tyee asked only the Vancouver Public Library what were the ten most borrowed books in 2010. Now, they have received similar lists from libraries in Fort Nelson, Port Alberni, and places in between.

Canadians read a lot of books: Canadians buy more than one million a week; urban library systems report weekly print circulation numbers in the tens or even hundreds of thousands.


The Beggar’s Garden, Michael Christie’s debut collection of linked stories, will be published this month by HarperCollins Canada. Here is an excerpt:

When Prisoner of Tehran was published in 2007, Maclean’s described it as "one of the finest (memoirs) ever written by a Canadian."

Nine years after being released from prison (aged 18), author Marina Nemat moved with her family to Canada. After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed was published last fall. Donna Bailey Nurse describes it as a "surprisingly upbeat immigrant story".

Shelagh Rogers’ interview of Nemat can be found here:

Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem: The Biography is about both Jerusalem the city and the idea. Dan Jones writes: "it's hard to imagine a more comprehensive, sensible and engaging attempt than this".

Jonathan Beckman says that the book Jerusalem has a rather old-fashioned structure, but it is a city of the imagination, an inspiration for religious sects and hundreds of artists and writers.

Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes presents his latest, Destiny and Desire, as a first-person narration delivered by a severed head. It’s a novel of violence, betrayal and irony, with Dickensian elements.

Joel Yanofsky reminds us that Henry James acquired the title The Master. Given Ozicks’ mastery of her work in Foreign Bodies, he suggests it is perhaps time to pass the title on.

Candace Fertile writes that Silence, one of the stories in The Empty Family, Colm Tóibin’s new collection, is constructed in a (Henry) Jamesian style.

"One to watch" is how the Guardian describes American author Ida Hattemer-Higgins and her debut novel The History of History: A Novel of Berlin.

Hans Werner finds Alan Taylor’s The Civil War of 1812 easily the best book he’s read on the war. It may also cause us to re-think what we believe we know about the War.

Neal Cassady was the hard-living, fast-driving, pill-popping womanizer immortalized in Jack Kerouac's On the Road. His wife Carolyn Cassady explodes a few myths in Off the Road: Twenty Years with Cassady, Kerouac and Ginsberg.


Reading by Elizabeth Bachinsky, the author of three collections of poetry: Curio, Home of Sudden Service, and God of Missed Connections. Thursday, January 20 at 7:00pm, free. SB406, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island.

Discussion of author James Blish's sci-fi odyssey Black Easter. Thursday, January 20 at 7:00pm, free. The Grind & Gallery (4124 Main). More information at

Share in an evening of literary surprises featuring Dennis E. Bolen and Soressa Gardner. Thursday, January 20 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation: $5 at the door. The Prophouse Cafe, 1636 Venables Street. More information at

Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, co-authors of the book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti host a community knit-in. Yarn and needles provided along with refreshments. Sunday, January 23 at 2:00pm. Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 64th Ave. W. Complete details and additional dates here,

Seventh annual gala, celebrating Robbie Burns Day and Chinese New Year. A celebration of Chinese and Scottish traditions with a distinctly Canadian twist! Monday, January 24 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street.

Financial guru, host of television's 'Til Debt Do Us Part and Princess as well as author of Debt-Free Forever, discusses and signs her new book, Never Too Late. Tuesday, January 25 at 7:00pm. Chapters Broadway and Granville, 2505 Granville Street. More information at 604-731-7822.

Author will read from his latest novel Zero History. Thursday, January 27 at 7:00pm, free. Ardea Books & Art, 2025 4th Ave. W. More information at

Reading by Gurjinder Basran, Jack Hodgins and Drew Hayden Taylor. Thursday, January 27 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Library Bookstore, Robson Square, plaza level, 800 Robson Street. More information at

Reading by Fiona Lam, author of Intimate Distances and Double Lives. Thursday, January 27 at 7:00pm, free. SB406, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island.

Featuring RC Weslowski, Pam Bentley, Daniela Elza, Jillian Christmas, Sean McGarragle, Kyle Hawke, Daniel Zomparelli, Scruffmouth, Janet Rogers, Kyle Mallinson, Jeremy Loveday. Hendrix Cover Band 3rd Stone From the Sun playing the entire album. Each poet has been given a song from the album as a prompt to create a new piece of work to be performed at the show. Thursday, January 27 at 8:00pm. $5-$10 sliding scale. Cottage Bistro (4468 Main Street).

Award winning photographer Gabor Gasztonyi presents A Room in the City (Anvil Press), his five-year project of photographing the residents of the Cobalt, Balmoral, Regent and Sunrise Hotels in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Monday, January 31 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.


Actor Lorne Cardinal is defending Carol Shields' Unless in this year's Canada Reads on CBC Radio! Join Sheryl Mackay in the CBC Studio One Book Club with Lorne and one of Carol's best friends, Shelagh Rogers, as they pay tribute with stories, memories and readings of the beloved Ms. Shields! Come share your own love of her work on Tuesday February 1 in the CBC Broadcast Centre. For free tickets go to

One of Canada's finest writers, Steven Heighton reads from Every Lost Country. Wednesday, February 2 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Writers' Trust co-founder Margaret Atwood will narrate a theatrical performance based on her best-selling novel, The Year of the Flood at a Writers' Trust of Canada fundraiser on February 3. Tickets and more information here,

Launch of the author's debut collection The Beggar's Garden. Friday, February 4 at 7:00pm, free. Ardea Books & Art, 2025 4th Ave. W. More information at

Readings and excerpts by Canada's top aboriginal writers and songwriters in one of the Drives' newest tapas bars. Featuring Joanne Arnott, Janet Rogers, Lee Maracle, Garry Gottfriedson, Wil George, Michelle Sylliboy and Wanda John. With musical performances by Russell Wallace as well as Greg Coyes. Monday, February 7 at 7:00pm. Pay-what-you-can. The Pond, 1441 Commercial Drive. More information at

Authors read from their respective novels, Sweet England and More House. Monday, February 7 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information here:

Author and journalist reads from the 20th anniversary edition of his bestselling classic, What the Buddha Never Taught. Thursday, February 10 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Reading by Governor General's Award nominated poet Erin Moure. Thursday, February 10 at 7:00pm, free. ECU Library, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island.

Submissions are being accepted until February 14, 2011 for the Writers' Union of Canada's 12th annual Postcard Story Competition. The winning entry will receive $500 and will be published in Write, the magazine of The Writers' Union of Canada. Submission details here:

Author reads from her new novel, The Ghost Brush, the story of Oie, daughter of 19th century Japanese printmaker Hokusai. Tuesday, February 15 at 7:00pm, free Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level Central Library 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Reading by Aaron Peck, author of The Bewilderments of Bernard Willis. Thursday, February 17 at 7:00pm, free. SB406, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island.

Readings by the authors of Living Under Plastic (Lau) and Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon (Hsu). Thursday, February 24 at 1:00pm. Dodson Room (level 3), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC. More information at

Discussion with Dr. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, author of Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness, hosted by Neil Boyd. Monday, February 28 at 7:30pm. Tickets $28/$22. Capilano University Performing Arts Theatre, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver. Details here:

EVENT is both a literary journal showcasing fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction and a sponsor of an annual non-fiction contest. The deadline for submissions to the 2011 EVENT Non-Fiction Contest is April 15, 2011. Three winners will each receive $500 (plus publication payment). Publication in EVENT 40/3 (December 2011). Submission details here:

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