Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book News Vol. 7 No. 13


Mother's Day
Give the gift of great writing and ideas! Purchase an annual membership for your mom for just $35 and she'll receive discounts on books and Festival events, and a personal invitation to attend our Members' Reception. We'll also package her new membership in an attractive gift envelope! To purchase, call the office at 604-681-6330 x109.

If being a member of the VIWF didn't already have enough benefits, we've added an extra incentive! Every two weeks new and renewing members will have a chance to win a book by a Festival or Incite author, or tickets to our special event with Richard Ford on May 28. At the end of August we'll have a grand prize draw for a deluxe pack of Festival tickets - two tickets to any event of your choice for each day of the Festival! This week's winner Dave Reid, received a signed copy of Timothy Taylor's The Blue Light Project. On May 2 we will draw the winner of Linden MacIntyre's latest novel, Why Men Lie. Sign up now here,



At the next Incite on May 9, CBC personality Linden MacIntyre takes to the stage with Vincent Lam, the award-winning author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures. Both Scotiabank Giller Prize-winners will be reading from their latest books, Why Men Lie and The Headmaster's Wager. Details: Also appearing at Incite in the next few weeks are Richard Stursberg, Marsha Lederman, Noah Richler, and Trevor and Debbie Green.

Richard Ford
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Richard Ford comes to Vancouver on May 28 with his latest novel, Canada. A visionary novel of vast landscapes, complex identities and fragile humanity. Details:


Winnipeg author David Bergen's The Matter with Morris is one of ten books shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Bergen's novel is the only Canadian title in the running for this year's honour.

Canadian author Esi Edugyan is among six finalists for Britain's Orange Prize for fiction by women.

Gabriola Island children's author Iain Lawrence has been awarded the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature for 2011, presented by the Writers' Trust of Canada.

Andrew Nikiforuk's Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America's Great Forests is a finalist for the 2012 Alberta Literary Awards' Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction.

A biography of Malcolm X by Manning Marable has won the Pulitzer Prize for history. For the first time in 35 years, no fiction award has been granted. Other prizes are listed here:

Jurors, who read 300 books, and publishers, are furious.

Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife is among the finalists for the National Book Award.

Retired city librarian and current member of the Writers Festival board, Paul Whitney will be the recipient of this year's Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Book Publishers of B.C. He will receive the award on April 19.


Any book with a heroine called Earwig has got to be good!, writes Emily about Dianne Wynne Jones's Earwig and the Witch. "I was a bit scared but really wanted to know what was going to happen next!" writes Maisie, aged 5. Up to age 6.

Mary Kay Carson's What Sank the World's Biggest Ship? focuses on the more than 100 children on board, one of whom had two dogs in the ship's kennel, how the children entertained themselves—and their experience after the Titanic crashed into an iceberg. All ages.

Did you know you can smell an iceberg before you see it? Here are some interesting Titanic facts.

New Mexico folk artist Nicholas Herrera is known for his amazing sculptures and paintings. But readers of his memoir High Riders, Saints and Death Cars: A Life Saved by Art will learn that his path to success was a difficult one. Age 10 and up.

Iain Lawrence's The Winter Pony is about a horse named Pigg, James Pigg, that is. It's an exciting, thrilling, sometimes sad, historical novel, writes Tracy Grant, about a real-life race to be the first person to reach the South Pole. Age 9 and older.


A poet from each nation competing in the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics has been invited to Poetry Parnassus for a week of readings and workshops at the end of June. Karen Solie, winner of the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize, will represent Canada.

Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican's Biblioteca Apostolica plan to digitise 1.5 million ancient texts to make them available online to ensure researchers and the public have free access to historic and rare texts, thanks to an award from the Polonsky Foundation.

In 2008, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk published 'The Museum of Innocence'. Now he has built it.

HarperCollins has authorized the British novelist William Boyd to be the next to tackle the task of bringing James Bond to life. Boyd said he plans to set the new Bond story in 1969 and create a "classic Bond."

"All authors are welcome to the London Book Fair... as long as they don't upset the Chinese", writes Nick Cohen, adding: "To my untutored mind, the collaboration seems to breach the (British) Council's charter."

Author and notorious bank robber Roger Caron has died at age 73. Caron overcame illiteracy to become a published author, winning a Governor General's Award for non-fiction for his prison memoir Go Boy!. He wrote three more books after Go Boy!

Lynda Barry's excitable, bittersweet cartoons and collages are practically a cultural fixture, like little black dresses or "The Simpsons". writes Douglas Wolk. BLABBER BLABBER BLABBER, the first volume of a projected complete-works series called Everything, compiles Barry's early comic strips, drawn circa 1980.

After a lifetime of scribbling anecdotes, notes and lines of poetry, Gordon Pinsent has collaborated with Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and Sadies guitarist Travis Good to create an album that sets his poetry to music. Down and Out in Upalong was released this week.

Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison talks to Emma Brockes about being a single mother, the death of her son and why love doesn't last. Her latest novel Home is to be released in early May.

In an interview with fellow South African novelist Nadine Gordimer, Justin Cartwright suggests No Time Like the Present is closely entwined with current issues in South Africa. Nobel laureate Gordimer dismisses the notion that her novels are closely concerned with politics.

Children's literature is renowned for its simple morals and admirable heroes and heroines, but British publishers have expressed outrage at the widespread "looting" from their stands by adults attending the world's leading children's book exhibition in Bologna.

The City of Vancouver is seeking submissions of books that help people to appreciate and understand Vancouver's history and the achievements of its residents. The winning book can be of any genre, must be published in 2011 or 2012, and will demonstrate excellence in content, illustration, design, and/or format. Deadline for entries is May 23. More information at

April is National Poetry Month and CBC Reads is having a contest. Inform them of your favourite collection of poetry and why, and you could win one of four prizes. Deadline for entry is Sunday, April 29, at midnight ET. Complete rules and regulations are here:

The Canada Writes Poetry Prize competition is open. Deadline for entries of original poetry is May 1 at 11:59 pm ET. More information at:

Geist has announced the Second Annual Geist Erasure Poetry Contest. Writers are asked to create their own poetic masterpiece from an excerpt of How Should a Person Be? a creative non-fiction novel by celebrated author Sheila Heti. Visit for more details and to read the excerpt.

The Aspiring Poets Contest is for unpublished Canadian poets, and begins in April, national poetry month. Vancouver's Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau is the honorary patron. Submissions will be accepted, beginning April 1. More information at:


Binyavanga Wainaina's One Day I Will Write About This Place is a raw, honest piece of memoir, of and about Africa, that doesn't stoop to reshape itself into a form that might be more accessible to the West, writes Stephanie Nolen.

Hilary Mantel's Fludd is a dark fable of lost faith, mysterious omens and awakening love set among the priests and nuns of a surreal English town. Fludd is a brilliant gem of a book, and one of Hilary Mantel's most original works, writes R042.

Marilynne Robinson describes her collection, When I Was a Child I Read Books, as "an archeology of [her] own thinking." Lauren Groff describes it as "A privileged tour of an author's wondrous brain".

Blaine Harden‘s Escape From Camp 14 is an account of one man's escape from the North Korean gulag, the only person born in the gulag to have escaped, writes Andrew Anthony, a testament to the plight of a terrorised people.

We open our email and there is an "offer of a lifetime" from someone in Nigeria, pleading for help. Collectively the scams are known as 419 (a former section of the Nigerian Criminal Code). It's also the title of Will Ferguson's intricate, scary thriller, writes Jennifer Hunter.

John Barber interviews Ferguson on this latest book.

Pharmageddon is the latest book by psychiatrist David Healy, one of pharma's most articulate critics. Healy believes modern health care is on a slow boat to hell and he doesn't know how to stop it, much less turn it around, writes Dr. Brian Goldman.

In her interview with M.A.C. Farrant, Tracy Sherlock describes Farrant's The Strange Truth About Us as "a non-linear novel about a dystopian world, which may or may not take place at some point in the future".

Timothy Mo's Pure is a delightful confection of fundamentalism, espionage and academia, writes Leo Robson, mutating the novel into a spy thriller, with all the necessary code-names, passwords and double-crosses–and a novel of ideas.

D'Arcy Island, the setting for the title story of Yasuko Thanh's Floating Like the Dead, is based on a documented visit by Victoria's medical officer and a journalist in 1894. It also introduces a theme woven through the collection's remaining eight stories.

Imagine sharing your dreams, desires and memories with an identical twin brother you don't know you have, and is a psychopath. That's the premise behind Blue Monday by the husband-and-wife writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, known collectively as Nicci French.

After Faulks-does-Fleming, Horowitz-does-Holmes, and PD James-whodunnits-Jane Austen, Andrew Motion does Robert Louis Stevenson, writes Ian Sansom. Treasure Island was all about the pursuit of riches: Motion's Silver: Return to Treasure Island discovers treasure still lies buried on the island.

In 1877, Harriet Staunton's husband and three others were accused of starving her to death. The Penge Mystery, a bestselling novel about the affair–written in 1934, now republished–proves as gripping today, says Rachel Cooke.

Billeh Nickerson's IMPACT: The Titanic Poems maintains a focus on fleeting poignant moments and individual perspective, writes Brett Josef Grubisic. Once associating the Titanic with Americans and Brits, it seems appropriate that Nickerson's poems link back to his native Halifax.


Launch of Megaphone's second-annual literary issue features readings of poetry and prose from marginalized writers and artists from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and inner city. Thursday, April 19, doors at 6pm. Tickets: $10 suggested donation. Waldorf Hotel, 1489 E. Hastings.

The Canadian-born author presents the launch of his latest book of poetry A Brief History of the Short-Lived. Thursday, April 19 at 7:00pm, free. Montmartre, Cafe, 4362 Main Street. More information at

BC members of Crime Writers of Canada will present a lively panel discussion about Canadian crime writing, followed by announcement of nominees for this years Arthur Ellis Awards. Thursday, April 19 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3691.

Two appearances by the author of Box of Shocks. Friday, April 20 at 10:00am at Semiahmoo Library, 1815 152 Street, Surrey. More information at 604-592-6900. Also Friday, April 20 at 1:00pm at Fleetwood Library, 15996 84 Ave. Surrey. To register, call 604-598-7340. More information at

The Canadian actor, director, educator, and author reads from his new book Up In Smoke Memoirs of a Cigarette Smoking Man. Includes a Q&A session. Friday, April 20 at 7:00pm, free. Nightwatch Video, 4428 Dunbar. More information at

Queer writers read their best works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Friday, April 20 at 8:00pm. $5-$10 sliding scale. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway.

Book launch for Teresa McWhirter's new novel Five Little Bitches includes music, reading, and burlesque. Friday, April 20 at 8:30pm, free. Pat's Pub, 403 E. Hastings. More information at

13th annual festival of writers and readers, this year featuring Marina Endicott, Anita Rau Badami and Daniel Kalla. Saturday, April 21, free. From 11:30am to 8:30pm. West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. Complete details at

the weight of dew
Launch of Daniele Elza's new book. Saturday, April 21 at 4:00pm. Mother Tongue Publishing Letterpress Studio and The Porch Gallery, 290 Fulford-Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island.

Reading by the author of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter Scaling Back in the 21st Century. Sunday, April 22 at 7:00pm, free. Community Hall, Hornby Island.

Second annual festival and poetry slam championship. April 23-28, 2012. Registration deadlines and complete details here:

The West Coast Book Prize Society hosts the 9th annual celebration of all the nominated authors for the 2012 BC Book Prizes as well as the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. Tuesday, April 24 at 6:00pm. By donation. SFU Woodwards, World Art Studio, 149 W. Hastings Street. More information at

Meet the author of the children's books The Mystery of the Frozen Brains and Barnabas Bigfoot. Two appearances on Wednesday, April 25: 10:00am at Guilford Library, Surrey; and 1:15pm at Port Kells Library. Details and registration at

Reading by the author of Stanley Park and The Blue Light Project. Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00pm, free. Chilliwack Library, 45860 First Avenue Chilliwack. More information at

Book launch of the author's latest novel, Darkest Light. Thursday, April 26 at 7:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway.

John Gold discusses his novel Seven Good Reasons Not To Be Good. Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 PM. Christianne's Lyceum. 3696 W. 8th Ave. $20 (includes refreshments). To reserve your space call 604.733.1356 or email More information at

Food and lifestyle writer Christina Symons and professional horticulturalist and landscaper John Gillespie for a demonstration and book signing, featuring a project from their new book. Saturday, April 28 at 3:00pm, free. Cedar Rim Nursery, 7024 Glover Road, Langley. For information, visit

Launch of Alex Leslie's new collection of stories, with story-inspired menu by Michael Speier. Special guests Daniel Zomparelli and Dina Del Bucchia. Saturday, April 28 at 8:00pm, free. Project Space, 222 E. Georgia Street, Vancouver.


Showcase of work by Diana Hayes (This is the Moon's Work) and Daniela Elza (The Weight of Dew). Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3716.

Readings by Stephanie Bolster (A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth) and Theresa Kishkan (Mnemonic: A Book of Trees). Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at

Author presents his latest book, The Serpent's Shadow. Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $25 (includes book). Hellenic Centre, 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. For complete details and to purchase tickets, visit

Annual festival of children's literature intended to promote literacy, celebrate language arts and cultivate creative thought in West Vancouver. May 4-31, 2012. Complete details at

Meet Canadian children's authors and illustrators for a fun-filled and entertaining day with writers such as Michael Kusugak, Julie Flett and Paul Yee. Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Nanaimo, BC. Cost: $10 per child or $25 per family; ticket sales start March 26. Details here:

Author of the popular Mysterious Benedict Society series presents his newest book in the series, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict. Saturday, May 5 at 2:00pm. Tickets: $21 (includes book). West Point Grey United Church Sanctuary, 4595 8th Ave. W. Details and ticket purchase here,

Reading by the author of Passing Through Missing Pages, a chronicle of the life of Annie Foster Hanley. Monday, May 7 at 7:00pm, free but registration required. White Rock library, 15342 Buena Vista, White Rock. More information at 604-541-2201.

Reading by the documentary photographer and writer Gabor Gasztonyi from his new book. Wednesday, May 9 at 7:00pm, free but please register by phoning 604-937-4155. Board room, Poirier branch, Coquitlam Public Library, 575 Poirier Street.

Reading by the author of Falling in Time. Thursday, May 10 at 2:00pm, free. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Point Grey Campus, 1961 East Mall. More information at

Meet bestselling medical thriller author with his novel, The Far Side of the Sky: a novel of love and death in Shanghai. Thursday, May 10 at 7:00pm, free but register at 604-598-7426. Meeting room 120, City Centre Library, 10350 University Drive. More information at

Three days of poetry, song and storytelling featuring Carolyn Forche', Tony Hoagland and many others. May 17-20, 2012. La Conner, WA. Complete information at

The author will talk about his new novel In One Person on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts. Capilano University, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver. Ticket price of $30 includes a copy of the new novel available for pick up at the event. More information at 604.990.7810 or

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