Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book News Vol. 6 No. 12


Incite @ VPL

The next installment of Incite ( will feature a multimedia presentation by bestselling author Timothy Taylor, and novelists Gurjinder Basran and Rupinder Gill in conversation with Hal Wake.

7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 6
Admission is free
Alice MacKay room, Central Library

Let us know you're coming by registering here, Please note that registration is so that we know how many people to expect. Admission on the night is always on a first-come-first-served basis.


Howard Jacobson - April 13, 2011
(2010 Man Booker award winner)
The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best. Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Festival. Details:

Simon Winchester - April 18, 2011
The bestselling author of Krakatoa, returns to the natural world with his epic new book, a "biography" of the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories.

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:

A Dram Come True - May 13, 2011
Presenting the ninth annual single malt scotch whisky sampling. Details:


The CBC Literary Award winners are announced and include Salt Spring Islander Brian Brett for his poem To Your Scattered Bodies Go.

Chinese author Bi Feiyu has won the $30,000 US Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel Three Sisters, set during the Cultural Revolution.

Peter Forbes has won the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing for Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage. The Warwick Prize for Writing is a biennial award open to any genre on a given theme. This year's chosen subject was colour.


The Tyee, by special arrangement with Vancouver Magazine, includes Blood Brothers, a true story in two parts, by Timothy Taylor. Part 1 is here:

Part 2 is here:

Jean Hannah Edelstein has never been a huge fan of the Orange Prize. In fact, she has agreed with A.S. Byatt that it’s sexist. This year, she changed her mind.

The Age of Miracles, a debut by American Karen Thompson Walker, is eerily prescient of the Japanese disaster. The book will be published in 2012.

The new Granta stokes the Roberto Bolano mystique, writes Ian McGillis.

Ian McEwan has an idiosyncratic literary voice, writes Nigel Frandale in his interview of McEwan about aging, writing and friendship.

Google's controversial plans to create the world's biggest online library have been shelved by a US judge.

What does "lending" an e-book mean? Librarians want to know.

It's small, light and portable—and it doesn't need charging. So could the new 'flipback' book be the next big thing in publishing?

Dan Savage, who launched It Gets Better—a series of videos—for gay youth, has now released a book of essays and stories, also called It Gets Better.


Dwight Garner writes that Doug Saunders’s first book Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History Is Reshaping Our World feels as important in its way as was Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities.

In her review of Joyce Carol Oates’s A Widow’s Story: A Memoir, Janet Todd asks: is Joyce Carol Oates’s memoir of bereavement too raw?

Julian Barnes reminds us that "for sorrow there is no remedy".

Sandra Kasturi finds The Woefield Poultry Collective, Susan Juby's first adult novel, to be charming, funny and heartwarming.

A number of works have either been inspired or enlivened by the misdeeds of Kim Philby, John Cairncross, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt. Charles Cumming’s The Trinity Six posits that there was a sixth double agent.

A chance encounter led Lisa Napoli to Bhutan, the remote Himalayan kingdom situated between India and China. Monique Polak writes that readers who lacked patience for Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love will prefer Napoli's book.

Like James Frey’s novel on the second coming, British author John Niven's novel The Second Coming features Christ returning to earth in contemporary New York—this time, as a struggling musician.

ScotlandonSunday’s interview with John Niven is here:

John Kalbfleisch was hooked on the first page of Sara Wheeler's latest book, The Magnetic North, as Wheeler takes readers on a circumpolar tour.

When the Killing's Done, TC Boyle's hectic novel of humans versus nature leaves the reader breathless, writes Ursula K. Le Guin.

The dynamic between men and women is played out repeatedly in Lorna Goodison’s new collection By Love Possessed. Men can't be trusted and women can't be trusted to remember this fact.

Sylvia Tyson, one of the strongest female voices in the country, chooses six male protagonists to narrate several sections of Joyner’s Dream. What makes this debut novel soar is her ear, writes T. F. Rigerhof.

John Barber’s interview of Tyson informs us that several original tunes were written, “music that would naturally occur in the narrative”.

Gail Jones' Five Bells is a subtle homage to Virginia Woolf, writes Jem Poster.

On August 5, 2010, Chile’s San Jose copper mine collapsed, trapping 33 men underground. James M. Tabor writes that Jonathan Franklin’s 33 Men is rich with revelations.

The grimy streets of Glasgow just after World War II prove fertile ground for crime fiction, not least for Gordon Ferris's The Hanging Shed, the latest addition to Scotland's tradition of fictional sleuths.

The Troubled Man will be Kurt Wallander’s final investigation, says Henning Mankell James Urquhart comments that the quiet inner turmoil that drives the procedurals closes the hugely absorbing Wallander casefile.

Mankell tells Jon Henley why he is happy to say farewell.

A second career is nearly always necessary for those who write books. Ben Ryder Howe chose to open a convenience store. Christine Sismondo describes My Korean Deli as a walk-a-mile-in-another-man’s shoes experiment.

Katy Guest describes Camilla Gibbs’s The Beauty of Humanity Movement as a “delicious little novel (with) a lot packed into this carefully balanced, delicately spiced novel”.

Janet Maslin writes that, in Anne Roiphe’s latest memoir Art and Madness, she explores her compulsion as a young woman in the 1950s to be a muse to male writers.

In The Information, James Gleick writes: “Information is what our world runs on: the blood and the fuel, the vital principle.” Reviewer Alex Good adds: “Information...may be fate, but the Internet is not our destiny.”

An excerpt is here:

If the true purpose of literary memoirs is to settle scores and put the record straight, Linda Leith’s Writing in the Time of Nationalism, From Two Solitudes to Blue Metropolis is as true as they come, writes Marianne Ackerman.


Meet and discuss Boneshaker, author Cherie Priest's story of zombies, adventure, and alternate history. Thursday, March 24 at 7:00pm. The Grind & Gallery (4124 Main). More information at

Readings by Suzanne Buffam and Derek Lundy. Thursday, March 24 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Library/Bookstore at Robson Square, Plaza Level, 800 Robson St. More information at

UFV Writer in Residence Elizabeth Bachinsky is pleased to host authors Deborah Campbell and Andreas Schroeder at the University of the Fraser Valley. Thursday, March 24 at 7:00pm, free. Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies/University House, room F125, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford.

British writer and filmmaker reads from his work. Thursday, March 24 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $8 (sliding scale). Spartacus Books, 684 E. Hastings. More information at

Douglas College's Creative Writing Department is pleased to launch the 30th issue of Pearls, a yearly student anthology. Friday, March 25 at 7:00pm. Studio Theatre, Room 4140, Douglas College, New Westminster.

Meet and support local authors as they read from and sign their books. Features live music. Sunday, March 27 at 6:30pm, free. Tanglewood Books, 1553 W. Broadway.

Readings by poets from Denver and Vancouver, including Sommer Browning, Brad Cran, Noah Eli Gordon, Ray Hsu, Christine Leclerc, Nikki Reimer, and Broc Russell, with emcee Jen Currin. Sunday, March 27 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds). W2 Storyeum, 151 W. Cordova. More information at

Readings and discussions by Kouri T. Keenan and Joan Brockman, authors of Mr. Big: Exposing Undercover Investigations in Canada, and Rebecca Haskell and Brian Burtch, authors of Get That Freak: Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools. Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00pm, free. Ardea Books & Art, 2025 4th Ave. W. More information at


Author reads from his book Provence Je T'Aime. Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00pm, free. West Point Grey Branch, VPL, 4480 10th Ave. W. For more information, phone 604-665-3982.

Award-winning author reads from Wonder, his final installment of his WWW trilogy. Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3603.

New books of poetry presented by Cathy Ford, bill bissett and Mona Fertig. Saturday, April 9 at 3:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. For more information please contact VPL - Literature and Social Science at 604-331-3738.

Readings by Ryan Knighton and Ed Macdonald. Thursday, April 7 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Library/Bookstore at Robson Square, Plaza Level, 800 Robson St. More information at

Come join Susan Boyd, Donald MacPherson and Bud Osborn discuss their book Raise Shit! Social Action Saving Lives, which explores the community activism in Vancouver's DTES that led to the opening of the first safe injection site. Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. For more information please contact VPL - Literature and Social Science at 604-331-3738.

Celebrate National Poetry Month with an evening of poetry and spoken-word readings featuring Bonnie Nish, Daniela Elza, Ashok Bhargava, Franci Louann and Warren Dean Fulton. Thursday, April 14 at 6:30pm, free. Renfrew Public Library, 2969 22nd Ave. E.. More information at 604-441-0169.

Reading by the author of Henry Pepper. Friday, April 15 at 8:00pm, free. People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive. More information at

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:

Author reads from her short story collection I'm a Registered Nurse Not a Whore. Saturday, April 16 at 6:00pm, free. Ardea Books & Art, 2025 4th Ave. W. More information at

Poetry and prose reading featuring Walk Myself Home: An Anthology to End Violence Against Women, with Janet Marie Rogers, Arleen Paré, Rhonda Ganz and other contributors to the book. Monday, April 18 at 7:30pm. Cost: $3. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria.

Launch of new titles from Kristen den Hartog, Michael Murphy, and Ian Williams. Thursday, April 21 at 7:00pm, free. Ardea Books & Art, 2025 4th Ave. W. More information at

Readings by Jacob McArthur Mooney, Susan Musgrave and Matt Rader. Thursday, April 21 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Library/Bookstore at Robson Square, Plaza Level, 800 Robson St. More information at

The inaugural Vancouver International Poetry Festival will harness the diversity of spoken word in Canada and beyond to present a world-class spoken word festival that showcases the best that Canada has to offer, as well as exploring and expanding the boundaries of contemporary spoken word. April 18-23, 2011. For complete details, visit

Writers' event features mini-manuscript consultations, roundtable discussions, professional skills workshops, and guest author readings by Brian Payton, Evelyn Lau, and Gregory Scofield. Friday, April 29. From 10am to 830pm. Free admission. Carnegie Community Centre, 401 Main Street. More information at

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