Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book News Vol. 6 No. 13


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 David Cohen Prize for Literature 2011 has been awarded to the English writer Julian Barnes for his lifetime's achievement in literature.

Egyptian writer Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building and On the State of Egypt has won this year's Arab Prize from Montreal's Blue Metropolis international literary festival.

Russell Wangersky's The Glass Harmonica has won this year's BMO Winterset award. The prize honours the best writing in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thirty books have been shortlisted for the Atlantic Book Awards. Five are double nominees, including Alexander MacLeod's compilation of short fiction, Light Lifting. Awards will be announced mid-May.

The shortlist for this year's Donner Prize, which recognizes the best book on Canadian public policy, was revealed on Tuesday. The winner will be announced at the end of April.

The Australian author-illustrator, Shaun Tan, has won the Astrid Lindgren prize, the world's richest children's literature award.

The Montreal International Poetry Prize, a new $50,000 prize, aims to shine a light on English-language poets around the globe. Former British poet laureate Andrew Motion will judge the inaugural edition of the competition.

Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, an award given once every two years.

The Alcuin Society has announced the winners of its annual Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada.


British thriller writer John Le Carré has requested that his name be withdrawn from the shortlist for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, an unprecedented act, leaving judges stumped about what to do.

The panel of judges have refused Le Carré’s request to have his name formally withdrawn from the competition.

Children's author Julia Donaldson has vetoed an ebook version of her most famous title, The Gruffalo. Interactive book apps for children keep children from the written word, she says.

Maurice Sendak aficionados will be thrilled to learn that this fall, Maurice Sendak will unveil Bumble-Ardy, the first book he's both written and illustrated in nearly 30 years.

Is there a link between journalism and poetry? Olivia O'Leary believes that there was a strong relationship between the two in the context of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Author Siri Hustvedt speaks with Hadley Freeman about two public expectations: that her novels should be seen through the prism of autobiography, and she herself, through the prism of her husband, novelist Paul Auster.

Annemarie Richmond, who works with people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder plans to publish the Moonkissed series of three graphic novels to help readers understand this invisible disorder. Meet Evalena will be out at the end of April.

Henning Mankell speaks with Alison Gzowski about murder, mystery and growing old with Wallander.


A 2010 New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellowship enabled David Bezmozgis to write The Free World at the library. The plot and conflicts are familiar: an excellent and largely unpredictable read.

Provoked by memories of his father's descent into dementia, Wallender writes down his own version of the story we have just read in The Troubled Man. But Henning Mankell has reached no endpoint for his writing.

The latest additions to Penguin's Extraordinary Canadians series are biographies of Wilfrid Laurier, Canada's first francophone prime minister, Tommy Douglas, and Maurice Richard. Each is eminently worthy of the appellation "extraordinary," writes Tod Hoffman.

Stephen Kelman's first novel Pigeon English deserves its early buzz, writes Emily Donaldson.

Ruth Brandon's Ugly Beauty explores what the development of cosmetics at L'Oréal and at Helena Rubinstein tells us about the social constructions of beauty. Sometimes beauty is just business.

David Finkel's The Good Soldier succeeds by focusing on individuals – just a few likeable, believable men, who seem increasingly baffled by the war they have been asked to fight, writes Judith Rice.

Irene Gammel writes that The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg provides fascinating insight into Luxemburg's courageous and unconventional life. Her (and her comrade's) assassinations symbolized the doom of German's young democracy.

What most people know about the Mahatma is from Ben Kingsley's screen portrayal, says Geoffrey C. Ward. Joseph Lelyveld's Great Soul is not a full-scale biography of Ghandi, but a noteworthy, clear-eyed and nuanced book.

The state assembly of Gujarat, where Gandhi was born, has voted to ban the book. Other Indian states are considering a ban.

Mandela is South Africa's Gandhi. Peter Harris's A Just Defiance tells the true story of four ANC fighters and how he, a white human-rights lawyer inspired by Mandela, came to their defence.

In his book about the Alice behind the Wonderland, Simon Winchester tells us a good deal about photographic process, Dodgson's family life, and even the rather sad tale of Alice Liddell's later life. But Mark Kingswell wants more.

Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, inspired by the Hemingway memoir A Moveable Feast, focuses on the famous author's courtship, marriage, life in Paris with, and eventual divorce from, Hadley Richardson. McLain's success is reminiscent of Hemingway's early success.

It is not quite the novel we might have hoped for. Hemingway was a great writer, a lousy husband, says Julie Keller.,0,5581971.column

A writer, a psychologist and a survivor read Tiger, Tiger, Margaux Fragoso's memoir of abuse, and asked: What is the point of reading this memoir of abuse?

In May, New Directions will publish Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches (1998–2003) by Roberto Bolaño. The latest issue of the New York Review of Books has a preview: an excerpt of one of those essays.

Carolyn Burke's biography of Edith Piaf, No Regrets, is a vivid and thorough portrait of the life of the French icon.

In her latest novel, Into the Heart of the Country, Pauline Holdstock explores the relationship between the English fur traders in Churchill, Manitoba, and the native women on whom they relied for their survival.


Enjoy a vertiginous display of verbal virtuosity in a daisy-chain translation game penned by poets. Featuring Karen Houle, Fiona Tinwei Lam, George McWhirter, Gary Thomas Morse, Andreas Schroeder, Nilofar Shidmehr and Rhea Tregebov. Saturday, April 2 at 4:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. 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.

Meet the finalist authors and have books signed by them, bid on items in the live auction, and celebrate the launch of the 2011 Author Tour program. Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00pm, free. The Listel Hotel, 1300 Robson Street. More information at

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.

As part of the Distinguished Visitors Series, the African-Canadian author and poet will give a reading entitled Love and Politics, History and Poetry: An Afternoon Delight. Thursday, April 7 at 3:00pm. Room 130, Fairleight Dickinson University, 842 Cambie. More information or to reserve a spot, visit

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

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.

The Friends of the VPL invite all who would like to know more about their work to a reception with current and prospective Friends volunteers, the sitting Friends Board, City Librarian and the manager of bookmark, the Library store. Monday, April 11 at 5:30pm. VPL board room. level 7, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. To RSVP, phone 604-331-4049 or email


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

Spoken word performances and slam poetry for all ages. Features C.R. Avery. Friday, April 15 at 8:30pm. The Back Room of the Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street, New Westminster.

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

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

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

To combat the image of poets as sedentary word-hermits, Ray Hsu, Kim Fu, Kevin Spenst and Andrea Bennett are going to jog through 125 different readings venues in one day. Thursday, April 21 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

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

Join the author for a discussion about his novel The Man Game. Thursday, April 21 at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20, call 604-733-1356 or email to register. Christianne's Lyceum, 3696 8th Ave. W.

Bestselling author reads from her new novel The Truth About Delilah Blue. Tuesday, April 26 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kay rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Crime Writers of Canada announce the short lists for the Arthur Ellis Award for Canadian Crime Writing, including Best Novel and Best First Novel. Thursday, April 28 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. For more information please contact VPL - Popular Reading Library at 604-331-3691.

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

Readings by Lee Maracle and Wayde Compton. Friday, April 29 at 7:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway. More information at

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