Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book News Vol. 8 No. 4


Incite: Our free, bi-weekly reading series continues!

Join us on Wednesday, March 13 for an evening for poetry lovers, with John Barton, Nicole Brossard, and Catherine Owen. Details: Register here:

Interviewing Nicole Brossard, Ian McGillis learns that "We translate all the time". "Even when two people are speaking the same language, each person is always wondering what the other person meant."

Presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library. Incite is sponsored by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association and supported by the R.J. Nelson Family Foundation.


Sally Armstrong in conversation with Kathryn Gretsinger
An empowering evening with Sally Armstrong, "the war correspondent for the world's women." As editor-in-chief of Homemaker Magazine, Armstrong's unflinching editorial accounts of the atrocities experienced by women from around the world mobilized her readers to become involved in global issues. In her new book, Ascent of Women, the award-winning journalist, author, and human rights activist comments on recent studies by economists and social scientists that claim women hold the key to economic justice and the end to violence in developing countries. Click here to get your tickets today,

Listen to Sally Armstrong's inspiring interview on CBC Radio's The Current,

The Vancouver Writers Fest presents its first special event of 2013, an evening with award-winning Canadian author, journalist and human rights activist Sally Armstrong. Armstrong is the author of three previous books, Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan, The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor and Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan's Women. Her new book is Ascent of Women. Details:

Monday, March 25 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Burrard at Nelson

Sayed Kashua in conversation with Marsha Lederman
Our friends at the Jewish Book Festival present hugely popular, award-winning Arab Israeli writer, Sayed Kashua, who brings us a fresh voice and perspective from Israel. Using humour and satire, Kashua tackles the often conflicting, interconnecting worlds of Arabs and Jews living in Israel. Details:

Saturday, March 9 at 8:00pm (note new date!)
Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre


Tickets are on sale now for our popular single malt tasting A Dram Come True. Join us at Hycroft, the elegant Shaughnessy mansion, for an evening of great fun and good spirits. Enjoy the superb, complex flavours of a variety of rare and distinguished single malts, a premium silent auction, Cuban cigars and great company. A Dram Comes True is a fundraiser for the Writers Fest. Event details:


Three Canadian book designers—Elizabeth Beaudoin, (Montreal); George Walker, (Toronto); and Leigh-Anne Mullock (Vancouver)—are among the 2013 award-winners selected by The Stiftung Buchkunst in an international competition in February. The awards will be presented at the Leipzig Book Fair in March.

Miss Lora, from the 2012 collection This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz, is on the short list for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank short story award, along with Sarah Hall, Toby Litt, Ali Smith, Mark Haddon, and Cynan Jones. The lucrative British prize has yet to be bestowed upon a Briton.,0,7972901.story

The finalists for the 33rd L.A. Times Book Prizes include Margaret Atwood and Kevin Starr who will receive special recognition. For her efforts to push narrative form, Atwood will receive the Times' Innovator's Award. Starr will receive the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.,0,2764278.story

Ontario-born historian Andrew Preston has captured the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for his book Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy. This year's other finalists were: Carol Bishop-Gwyn, Tim Cook, Sandra Djwa, and Ross King.

The short listed titles for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award have been announced. This award recognizes an illustrator of a noteworthy Canadian book that appeals to children up to the age of 12 years.

Shalom Auslander accepted his first literary prize with his trademark ambivalence. The Guardian muses on the ways in which authors accept awards, or not.


Seven intense story lines stretch from the near future to the distant past, together forming a story of love, sacrifice and blood in Marcus Sedgwick's Midwinterblood. Ages 13 to 18.

Angry Birds, the Book includes both trivia and stunning photographs: e.g., the hummingbird has to eat almost constantly or it will die; the northern fulmar kills by means of "deadly barf." Boys will embrace this book with enthusiasm, writes Bernie Goedhart. Ages 8 to 12.

A lab assistant to a scientist; a sidekick of an Indian magician; and a samurai-trained Japanese refugee meet when they encounter a decapitated body on a foggy street. Anyone longing for a refreshing, inspiring cast of female heroes will find them in The Friday Society, writes Laura Godfrey. Age 12 and up.


Apple has rejected a book of vintage gay erotic drawings. Ironically, Vancouver's Arsenal Pulp Press received the news during Freedom to Read Week. Robert Ballantyne said this is the first time they have experienced this and that Lust Unearthed—the book under discussion--is currently listed as available in digital or print versions from Chapters, Indigo and Amazon.

Canada has fallen to 20th place on Reporters' Without Borders' international Press Freedom Index. In a country where government scientists are prohibited from speaking about climate change, democracy is something we musn't take for granted, says Elizabeth Warkentin, who plans to read East of Eden, while enjoying her right to read freely. Freedom to Read Week began March 2.

Chekhov's love life was complicated and very busy; he had no wish to settle down. William Boyd believes one short story reveals much about the Russian's sexual liaisons, and wrote the play Longing based on it, leaving us with as full a sense of his amorous life as can be realistically quantified.

Headlining this week's pick of Guardian readers are Life of Pi and Ian McEwan's Enduring Love.

An epic story of men, gods, lost tribes, battles and kingdoms, loaded with ancient and modern religious philosophy, has won its author a million-dollar advance from an Indian publisher. The work is a trilogy that Amish Tripathi, a former banker turned bestselling novelist, will write when the marketing campaign for his most recent work, Oath of the Vayaputras, is over.

Nobel prize (literature) winner Mo Yan has taken on critics who have dismissed him for being too close to the Chinese government, saying they envy him the award and are distorting the meaning of his work. The author, whose pen name means "don't speak", has spoken out on a number of issues.

7.7 out of 10 readers agree that Philip Roth is the greatest living American novelist. A "panel of 30 literati"–the likes of Salman Rushdie, Nell Freudenberger, and Gary Shteyngart–were asked by New York magazine's Vulture site "to assess [Roth's] oeuvre" ahead of his 80th birthday next month.

When the respected scholar, author and critic Sandra Djwa embarked on Journey With No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page more than a decade ago, she had no inkling of how challenging or far-flung the expedition would be. The St. John's, Nfld. native calls it "the most difficult book I've ever written."


People interested in the cultural dynamics at play in Israel today would be wise to read Second Person Singular, a novel by Sayed Kashua, a Palestinian-Israel writer, writes Tracy Sherlock.

Rian Malan's tales in The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Other Stories of Africa create a grimly realistic picture of a nation clinging desperately to hope. It would be hard to find a writer more heroically committed to that particular archetype than Malan, writes Tim Adams.

Maurice Sendak's My Brother's Book is both beautiful and a devastating tribute to his brother, writes Helen Zaltzman. Like Sendak's works for children, My Brother's Book has a primal feeling of terror.

It has always seemed to me that graphic literature features a higher proportion of coming-of-age stories than any other literary form, writes Ian McGillis. Geneviève Castrée's Susceptible, a graphic novel about a girl growing up with a single mother in the Quebec of the 1980s and '90s, is an exemplary new case of this tendency, says McGillis.

Sunila Deraniyagala was holidaying with her family on the coast of Sri Lanka in 2004, when the Indian Ocean tsunami came ashore. Her husband, two sons and her parents all died in the wave. Deraniyagala's book is all epilogue, a meditation through grief and on grief, writes Sunila Galappatti. It is courageous, truthful and above all, generous, says Galappatti.

Jodi Picoult's new novel, The Storyteller raises questions of guilt and forgiveness. The novel centers on the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor who befriends an elderly man. After revealing that he served as a Nazi officer, the man requests that she help him die—and to forgive him, too.

Emily Bazelon's Sticks and Stones charts the experiences of three bullied children, and scholarship on how to contain or prevent such harm. She focuses primarily on an African-American girl; a gay boy; and an Irish girl. Bazelon includes chapters on anti-bullying measures, and examines both the virtues and the pitfalls of treating bullying as a crime.

It's always been hard to keep up with George Bowering, writes Tom Sandborn. He's published more than 60 books and his latest Words, Words, Words: Essays and Memoirs delivers a feast of pleasures, says Sandborn.


Vancouver loves its flowering cherry trees-all 40,000 of them! While they bloom from March through May, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival invites you to celebrate their beauty with your haiku. Now accepting submissions. Complete contest details here:

Join Wayde Compton, Joanne Arnott, and Michael Turner with Renee Sarojini Saklikar as they discuss and read from their work. Thursday, March 7 at 7:00pm, free. Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W Hasting St. More information at

Four women writers explore how women inhabit space, metaphorically. Join Kate Braid, Marilyn Bowering, Sandra Djwa and Kathy Mezei as they present their recent work. Friday, March 8 at 7:00pm, free. Lower level, Alice MacKay room, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at

A day-long, participant-driven panel on the representation and recognition of Aboriginal writers in Canada. Cost: $30/$15. Saturday, March 9 from 9am to 5pm. SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. More information at

Mark your March 2013 calendars for two special upcoming events honouring the life, work, birth date and 100th Anniversary of the death of E. Pauline Johnson/Tekahionwake with The City of Victoria's Poet Laureate Janet Rogers. The Inspiration of E. Pauline Johnson, Rhizome Cafe, Saturday March 9, 7:00pm and Poetry in the Park for Pauline: Poetry Offerings, Stanley Park, at Johnson's Memorial, Sunday March 10, 1:00pm (Johnson's birthday). For complete details, visit

Next reading features Rob Taylor, Bren Simmers, Susan MacRae and Aislin Hunter. Sunday, March 10 at 3:00pm. Entry by donation. Project Space, 222 East Georgia. More information at

Four accomplished writers, Eric Walters, Ted Staunton, Richard Scrimger and Sigmund Brouwer, present their books. Monday, March 11 at 7:00pm. West Point Grey United Church Sanctuary, 4595 8th Ave. W. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Features Bren Simmers and Timothy Shay with open mic and Cascadia Review guest/s. Wednesday, March 13, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggested donation at the door: $5. All are welcome. More information at

Readings by Andrew Kaufman, Camille Martin, and Barry Webster. Thursday, March 14 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore at Robson Square. For more information and to register, visit

Meet the author and actor as she presents her newest book A Taste of Heaven. Thursday, March 14 at 7:00pm. Kidsbooks on Broadway. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Author reads from her new book of poems, Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now. Saturday, March 16 at 8:00pm. The Western Front, 303 8th Ave. E., Vancouver. More information at

La Verite sur l'Affaire Harry Quebert is finally coming to Vancouver. Joel Dicker, a 27-year-old Geneva-born author, will present his second novel. The discussion will be in French. Monday, March 18 at 6:15pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.

Features Prince George poet Al Rempel (This Isn't the Apocalypse We Hoped For, Caitlin Press, 2013), Adrienne Fitzpatrick (The Earth RemembersEverything, Caitlin Press), and Daniela Elza (the weight of dew and new work). March 18, 7:30 pm, at People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver. Phone: 604.253.6442. Refreshments will be served.


Readings by Stephen Collis and Rachel Rose. Wednesday, March 20 at 12:00 noon, free. Teck Gallery, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings Street. More information at

Readings by poets Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst. Wednesday, March 20. Piano lounge, Green College, UBC. More information at

An evening featuring music by singer/songwriter, Nancy Newman and poetry inspired by photographs by Claudine Pommier in her Glimpses of Africa exhibit. March 21, 7-9 pm, at Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery, Jewish Community Centre, 950 West 41st Ave, Vancouver. Free admission.

The Alcuin Society presents Will Rueter (Aliquando Press) in an illustrated interview by Rollin Milroy (Heavenly Monkey). The 6th Robert R. Reid Award and Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Book Arts will be presented to Rueter. Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 pm, free. Fletcher Challenge Room, Harbour Centre, SFU Downtown Campus, 2300-515 West Hastings St., Vancouver. More information at

2nd annual literary festival featuring Dennis E. Bolen, Bonnie Nish, Jai Birdi, Lila Shahani and many others. Hosted by Lilija Valis, Bernice Lever and Charlene Sayo. Saturday, March 23 from 10am to 4pm. Richmond Cultural Centre, 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond. More information at 604-327-6040.

A night of socially engaged writing of peace provocation and witness with the launch of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Anthology. Featuring Cristine Leclerc with special guests Susan McCaslin, Stephen Collis, Renee Saklikar, Elena E. Johnson and Juliane Okot Bitek. Thursday, March 28, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street.
Suggested donation at the door: $5. All are welcome. More information at

Author reads from his latest book, Red Planet Blues, a noir mystery set on a lawless Mars in a future where everything is cheap, and life is even cheaper. Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at

A youth poetry festival featuring 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, Amy Everhart and Ted-X featured poet Truth Is. April 3-6, 2013. Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews. Complete details at

Talonbooks is launching its Spring poetry collection. Featuring readings by Dina Del Bucchia, Wanda John-Kehewin, Mariner Janes, Stephen Collis and Daphne Marlatt. Wednesday, April 10 at 8:00pm. Anza Club, 3 W. 8th Ave. More information at

Force Field - 77 Women Poets of British Columbia. The first of its kind in thirty-four years, this anthology strongly celebrates women poets, from the emerging, mid-career to the established. Saturday, April 13 at 3:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye rooms, lower level, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at

Writers are invited to submit manuscripts exploring the creative non-fiction form. $1500 in prizes available, plus publication. Contest judge Russell Wangersky. Maximum entry length is 5000 words. $34.95 entry fee. April 15, 2013, deadline. Entrants will receive a one-year subscription to EVENT (or extension). Complete contest guidelines can be found at

A celebration of Canadian writers featuring Helen Humphreys, Terry Fallis, Evelyn Lau, Sean Cranbury and others. April 19-20, 2013. Lynn Valley branch, North Vancouver District Public Library, 1277 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver. Complete details at

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