Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book News Vol. 6 No. 43


The Scotiabank Giller Light Bash is an exciting evening where people come together to celebrate Canadian literature and raise money for Frontier College, Canada's original literacy organization. The event will feature a live digital broadcast of the award ceremony via the CBC feed from Toronto. There will be cocktails and door prizes and music and dancing. And books, of course.


An Evening with David Sedaris - 8pm, November 5, 2011
The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. Tickets: $45.00/$50.00/$57.50. Tickets now on sale at Ticketmaster. Support the Writers Festival: use the code "writers" when purchasing your ticket, a portion of the ticket proceeds will go to the VIWF and you will receive a $5 discount per ticket. Details:

Wade Davis - 7:30pm, November 10, 2011
An evening with scientist, anthropologist and bestselling author Wade Davis discussing his latest book Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest. Details:

Chuck Palahniuk - 7pm, November 30, 2011
The bestselling author of Fight Club, Choke and Snuff reads from his latest novel, Damned. Details:


The Writers' Trust of Canada has awarded Alma Lee The Writers' Trust Distinguished Contribution Award, acknowledging her work as founding Executive Director of the Writers' Trust and founding Artistic Director of the Vancouver International Writers Festival.

Canadian author Tim Wynne-Jones, winner of the 1995 Boston Globe-Horn Book award for fiction, has now won the 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book award for Blink & Caution.

IBBY Canada has announced that children's author Tim Wynne-Jones and illustrator Stéphane Jorisch are Canada's nominees for the biennial 2012 international Hans Christian Andersen Awards.

Charles Foran's Mordecai: The Life and Times has won the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Non-Fiction.

Rohinton Mistry has been named the 2012 laureate of the $50,000 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

The Amazing Absorbing Boy by Rabindranath Maharaj was this year's winner at the Toronto Book Awards ceremony. Maharaj was also the winner of the Trillium English Language Fiction Prize.

Michael Christie's collection of short stories, The Beggar's Garden, was this year's winner of the Vancouver Book Award, the 23rd year for the award.

Jack Hodgins, author of The Master of Happy Endings, is the winner of the 8th annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Kristi Bridgeman, illustrator of Uirapurú (pronounced oor-a-pur-u), was named winner of the 4th annual Bolen Books Children's Book Prize.


Must a Canadian novel be situated in Canada to be Canadian? Are Canadian novelists international in their outlook? These are two of the questions raised by John Barber in his article Are Canadian writers 'Canadian' enough?

Poet and former Arts Minister Michael D Higgins has been elected the President of Ireland. He is known to voters affectionately as simply, Michael D.

Leading Mexican poet Javier Sicilia stopped writing when his son was murdered, saying 'I have no more poetry in me'. Instead he has taken to the streets to campaign against the drug-fuelled violence spreading through his country.

Jeanette Winterson describes the circumstances that prompted her writing Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit—and her mother's response to the book.

As part of an international celebration of reading, one million books are set to be given away for free as part of the second World Book Night, on 23 April 2012. A committee headed by the author Tracy Chevalier identified 25 specially printed titles to be distributed by thousands of volunteers--to anyone they choose across the UK. Further copies will be distributed through prisons, libraries and hospitals. The US is set to host its first World Book Night the same day, replicating the UK format.

Meanwhile, Neil Gaiman starts a tradition of giving away scary books on 31 October. It's a simple concept: give someone–friend, child, random stranger–a scary book on Hallowe'en. Spread the terror, says Gaiman.

And finally, one of this year's Man Booker prize judges, Susan Hill, has come up with Not World Book Night. The novelist told The Guardian that she was "totally against" the free handouts because "one of my publishers has had to spend £40,000 on printing books to give away which is £40,000 he cannot now use to publish and promote new authors". She's thrown her support behind novelist Nicola Morgan's alternative suggestion: to buy a book and pass it on.

A three-page-long typed letter by Joseph Heller, written in 1974, and about to be auctioned off, informs us that Heller loved being in the military, found it ‘glamorous', unlike the experience of John Yossarian, the central character of Catch-22, a satire of military bureaucracy and official doublethink.

Alexandra Fuller, recently at the Festival, has identified her top 10 African memoirs, her favourite 'performances of courage and honesty' that have come out of the continent.

Rosanna Greenstreet poses a series of personal questions to Margaret Atwood, including “How do you relax?" Atwood's response is vintage Atwood.

One of Canada's largest non-fiction literary awards, the Charles Taylor Prize, has a new presenting partner, RBC Wealth Management, and a new promotion/media deal with CBC Radio and


Brian Bethune says the grace of Wade Davis's Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, has brought home anew how unbearably sad the Great War was for contemporaries. One response to the war was a series of attempts to scale Mount Everest, a peak of no practical use, making it a “vindication of the essential idealism of the human spirit," according to John Buchan, future governor general of Canada.'s-highest-peak/

Aimee Bender finds Helen Oyeyemi's Mr. Fox ‘captivating', adding that Oyeyemi has a talent for writing complex, often villainous situations without imposing judgment. Oyeyemi casts her word-spell, sentence by sentence, story by story, says Bender.

It's hard to say why a book full of mould, sodden clothing, bad weather, grizzly bears, blisters and tiny seedlings shoved into the ground should be engaging, and rewarding, but it is, writes William Bryant Logan, about Charlotte Gill's Eating Dirt.

In The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz, Sherlock Holmes returns in the first new adventure to be officially approved by the Conan Doyle estate. Horowitz is the anointed successor, writes Ian Sansom, adding "This is a no-shit Sherlock."

Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People consists of seven short tales of intense irony and weirdness from the imagination of prolific and bestselling Douglas Coupland, with marvellous and moody sketches and drawings from artist and illustrator Graham Roumieu, writes Michel Basilieres.

Douglas Gibson's Stories About Storytellers makes his life in publishing sound like great fun, writes Linda Leith.

Excerpts are here:

Richard Rayner finds Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs mesmerizing. Jobs was a visionary as ruthless and driven as any of the great first-generation American capitalists. His story already strikes us as a modern-day fable, writes Rayner.,0,365536.story

The Steve Jobs book reveals a genius, says Guy Adams.

In The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern wrote a story that first she wanted to read, then hoped it might appeal to others. Magic is the key ingredient here, writes Sarah Weinman.


Meet the author of the popular series Ranger's Apprentice. Thursday, November 3 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $5. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Gymnasium, 2550 Camosun Street. More information and tickets at

The author reads from and signs her new YA book Dark Inside. Thursday, November 3 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore Robson Square, Plaza level, 800 Robson Street. More information at

Heather Haley and Pacific Cinémathèque present two days of poetry On Screen and On Stage. This year's wide-ranging program
showcases more than 35 short films and videos from Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Asia. November 4-5, 2011. For complete details, visit

Metis poet launches his new book, Louis: The Heritic Poems. Saturday, November 5 at 6:30pm. Cafe Montmartre, 4362 Main Street.

CBC journalist Matthew Lazin-Ryder hosts a reading, book signing, and discussion with the Canadian author. Also includes appearances by actor-writer Tetsuro Shigematsu and fashion designer David Wilkes. Tuesday, November 8 at 7pm, free. Chapters Granville, 2505 Granville St. More information at

Kidsbooks is hosting an evening presentation with two-time Caldecott Medal-winner. Wednesday, November 9 at 7pm. Tickets are $30.00 which includes the new hardcover book The Chronicles of Harris Burdick. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Gymnasium, 2550 Camosun Street, Vancouver.

Launch of an anthology of Canadian creative nonfiction. Wednesday, November 9 at 7pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 250-223-8203.

Ami McKay presents her second novel, The Virgin Cure, along with BC author Frances Greenslade, who will read from her first novel, Shelter. Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30pm, Alice MacKay Room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.

Reading by Michael V. Smith, author of Cumberland. Thursday, November 10 at 2:00pm. Rm 301, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC, Vancouver.

The Writer's Studio Reading Series continues on November 11th at Take 5 Caf, 429 Granville St. (at West Hastings), 7-9 pm, with readings of poetry, fiction and nonfiction.This month's guest author is Cathy Stonehouse, who has just published a collection of poetry, Grace Shiver(Inanna Publications).

Bestselling author signs his newest book in the Mistborn series, Alloy of Law. Saturday, November 12 at 2:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway. More information at 604-431-0463.


Author Carmen Rodríguez launches her debut novel Retribution. Books will be available for purchase, courtesy of the People's Co-op Bookstore. Tuesday, November 15 at 7pm, free. SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings. More information at

Play Chthonics presents local writers Daphne Marlatt and Meredith Quartermain. Wednesday, November 16 at 5:00pm, free. Graham House at Green College, 6201 Cecil Green Park Road. More information at

Kidsbooks is hosting Judy Collins, one of America's greatest folk/rock performers, at the West Broadway store on Friday, November 18, 6:30 to 8pm. Two free, timed tickets for the signing line are available with each purchase (by November 17) of either book--When You Wish Upon a Star or Over the Rainbow.

Freehand Books and Little Sisters present a special evening of literature and conversation with a reading by Stephen Gauer from his new novel. Facilitated discussion and reception to follow. Thursday, November 17 at 7:00pm, free. Little Sisters, 1238 Davie Street.

Newly revived series featuring poetry by Thomas Hardy, Cesar Vallejo, Marianne Bluger, Ron Johnson and Frank Stanford, read by David Zieroth, Fiona Lam, Russell Thornton,Sonnet L'Abbé and Raoul Fernandes. Sunday, November 20 at 3:00pm. Admission by donation. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street. More information at

Join author Roberta Rich for a discussion about her novel The Midwife of Venice. Part book club, part literary reading, the event also includes wine and light refreshments. Thursday, November 24 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $20. Christianne's Lyceum, 3696 8th Ave. W. More information is available at Call 604.733.1356 or email to register.

Evening of fiction, remembrance, and intercultural dialogue features authors Rebecca Lau, Chad Reimer, and Larry Wong. Also includes a Q&A session, light refreshments, and a reception. Thursday, November 24 at 7pm. Tickets: $12/members get in for free. Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street. More information at

Authors from across Canada, the U.S., and Israel participate in the six-day event that includes meet-the-author opportunities, literary readings and panel discussions, a literary cocktail evening, a book-club event, writing and self-publishing workshops, children's authors, film screenings, and bookstores. November 26-December 1, 2011. Jewish Community Centre, 950 41st Ave. W. More information at

Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter signs her new biography Falling Backwards and her new album Uncover Me 2. Monday, November 28 at 12:30pm at Chapters Robson, 788 Robson Street. Also at 7:00pm at Chapters Metrotown. More information at

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