Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book News Vol. 8 No. 13


Incite: An Exploration of Books and Ideas

Join us on Wednesday, May 22 as bestselling author Meg Wolitzer and Jim Lynch talk about their latest books. Details: Register here:

Meg Wolitzer's novel, The Interestings, moves away from an intense focus on women's place in the world and the illusion of one's specialness.

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.


Whet your whistle at A Dram Come True!

A Dram Come True is fast approaching! This year ten whisky tasting bars will feature fabulous scotches from Edgemont Liquor and Legacy Liquor, the Single Malt Whisky Society and others, as well as rare releases and special
surprises that will be revealed at the event. Tickets are selling fast, so get yours today.
Event details:

Jeannette Walls
Jeannette Walls' latest novel, The Silver Star, is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world–a triumph of imagination and storytelling. Details:


The first Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction has been awarded to Don DeLillo, the author of Underworld, White Noise, and Libra, among numerous other works.

Elmer Guy, president of Navajo Technical College, has announced the appointment of Luci Tapahonso as the Navajo Nation's first Poet Laureate. The goal of designating a chief poet is "to encourage other Navajo poets, writers, film makers and artists to realize how important their work is to the continuance and growth of Navajo contemporary culture," said Guy.

Saskatchewan-based writer Cassie Stocks has won the 2013 Leacock Medal for humour for her debut novel, Dance, Gladys, Dance.

Chris Beckett has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK's top science fiction prize, for his novel Dark Eden.

Anakana Schofield has won the 2012 First Novel Award for her novel Malarky.

Martine Noël-Maw's Les fantômes de Spiritwood, presented at the 2012 Writers Fest, has been shortlisted for the French Saskatchewan Book Awards.

At the 2013 Edgar Awards, Dennis Lehane's Live by Night was crowned the best novel of the year.


Meg Tilly's A Taste of Heaven tells of a blossoming friendship between two 10-year-old girls; it is also a cautionary tale about the price of celebrity. Madison Stokes grows up "in the sleepy town of Rosedale" where her biggest problems are putting up with a 5-year-old sister and an annoying male classmate. For ages 8 to 12.


Arman Kazemi, a writer and journalist from Vancouver currently working with Toronto's CBC Community desk, has an interest in writing about contemporary literature and new media. By tweeting a group of Canadian poets requesting their thoughts on what it means to be a poet in the digital era, he learned that there is a space for the production and reception of poetry in social media.

Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog, the book that changed the world, was at the heart of 60s counterculture and is now widely revered as the tech visionary whose book anticipated the web. Carole Cadwalladr meets the man for whom big ideas are a way of life.

Harper Lee, the reclusive author of To Kill A Mockingbird, has sued a literary agent, claiming that he tricked the ageing writer into assigning him copyright on the classic book. The move marks a rare step into the spotlight for Lee, who is known for keeping a low profile and eschewing almost all media requests.

Three authors have filed suit against self-publishing service provider Author Solutions, and its parent company Penguin, airing a laundry list of complaints and alleging the company is engaged in deceitful, dubious business practices. "Defendants have marketed themselves as an independent publisher," the complaint reads. "Instead, Defendants are a print-on-demand vanity press."

A coalition of global literary figures including five Nobel literature laureates have called on China to respect its population's right to freedom of expression, and to release those writers "unjustly imprisoned for exercising this most fundamental right". "We cannot..listen to China's great and emerging creative voices without hearing the silence of those whose voices are forcibly restrained," they write.

The bestselling author Hanif Kureishi has lost his life savings of £120,000 after becoming the latest high-profile personality to fall foul of suspected fraud. Kureishi, best known for writing My Beautiful Laundrette and The Buddha of Suburbia, said he had lost his money after being persuaded to invest in a property deal.

The long lost letters of J.D. Salinger reveal a caustic, brilliant young man, writes Katy Waldman. No form is as intimate as a letter, and Salinger's most famous novel reads like a direct note to the reader. Arguably, we've all been Holden Caulfield's pen pal, even if we haven't all written him back, says Waldman.

Ashraf Hussein was one of the hundreds of Libyans who descended on the capital's Martyrs Square this week to browse through thousands of books in Tripoli's first major second hand book sale after the 2011 war that ousted Gaddafi. The book sale exposed Libyans to books banned under Gaddafi.

There are American novelists, and then there are American women novelists, according to Wikipedia. Authors Amanda Filipacchi and Elissa Schappell noticed that editors had begun moving women from the 'American novelists' category to the 'American women novelists' subcategory". Male novelists on Wikipedia, however–no matter how small or obscure they are–all get to be in the category 'American novelists'.

Independent British booksellers delivered a taxation petition, with over 150,000 signatures, to No. 10 Downing Street, requesting that the PM make Amazon pay UK corporation tax. The MPs claimed that Amazon was avoiding UK taxes by reporting its European sales through a Luxembourg-based unit.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet has announced its 2013-2014 season. Launching the season will be a new adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It's a project that's been in the works for eight years.

John Freeman, the editor of Granta, has announced that he is departing the magazine, effective July 15. "As the books I've been meaning to write are beginning to crowd to the front of my mind, it felt time to leave," said Freeman. Freeman's How to Read a Novelist will come out in the fall.

Lawrence Hill is still trying to come to terms with the burning of his novel The Book of Negroes—in June 2011, at Oosterpark, in Amsterdam, beside the monument commemorating the end of Dutch slavery. It was carried out by a group of Dutch Surinamese, descendants of slaves, who took offence at the book's title, reports Donna Bailey Nurse.

Writers' Union of Canada to vote on admitting self-published authors.


The secret to David Sedaris is that he's such a good writer that it wouldn't really matter if he wasn't being funny, writes Tabatha Southey. In Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, there is a shift of tone in his work. "That's perhaps the gift of a great humour writer like Sedaris," says Southey.

Sedaris writes for the listener first, and the reader, second—not the only reason why Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls is three or eight times more pleasurable than audiobooks, writes Kyle Minor. Equally important is that the listener gets to hear the stories in the voice of the human being who made them.

Professor Don Tillman exhibits characteristics of Asperger's syndrome. While the subject of autism has been tackled in Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the first-person narration in Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project demonstrates the gulf between the literal interpretations of human behaviour and the actuality.

Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs arrives at a curious time in our national conversation about gender roles, writes Ron Charles. Decades after protests over the Equal Rights Amendment, "angry feminist" is still a slur, and the words "bitter" and "shrill" sit in their silos, ready to be launched at any woman who drops her pleasant smile while debating sexual harassment.

Jowita Bydlowska's memoir Drunk Mom explores a surprising story of addiction, recounting a new mother's relapse into alcoholism. The Polish-born writer had intended to tell her story as a novel, but then felt that choosing fiction suggested she was in denial about her substance abuse. She describes the binges and blackouts, lying to others as well as to herself.

Violence is front and centre in Eve Ensler's In the Body of the World, writes M.A.C. Farrant. There will be no soft stories told, no fond memories to be found within its pages. What Ensler has written is raw and difficult. It's about cancer and it's about violence and, like both, it's messy, even ugly, says Farrant.

The periodic table of Middle Earth includes characters from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.


Readings by Barbara Lambert and Caroline Adderson. Thursday, May 9 at 5:00pm. Eileen Fisher, 2721 Granville Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-733-5225.

Author launches Fishing the Coast, about commercial salmon fishing as seen through the eyes of a fisherman. Includes a slideshow, talk, and book signing. Thursday, May 9 at 5:30pm, free. Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1905 Ogden, Vancouver. More information at 604-257-8300.

Readings and discussion by three local mystery writers: Cathy Ace, Elizabeth Elwood, and Debra Purdy Kong. Thursday, May 9 at 7:00pm, free but register at 604-299-8955. McGill branch, Burnaby Public Library, 4595 Albert Street, Burnaby. More information at

Poetry reading by Han Shan Poets opening Susan Falk's Art Exhibition. Sat. May 11, 12-3 pm. Poetry Readings between 1 and 2 pm, at The Fort Gallery, 9048 Glover Road, Fort Langley. Wine and cheese; silent auction of 12 new paintings by Susan Falk based on 12 poems by the Han Shan Poets. Contact: 604-888-7411. Information:

Meet the award-winning author and illustrator of Grumpy Bird, Me Hungry!, and Boo Hoo Bird. Tuesday, May 14. Cloverdale Library at 10:30am; Port Kells Library at 1:15pm. Complete details at

Saltwater Women at Work author and photographer Vickie Jensen shares stories and insights from 110 B.C. women who chose tough, uncommon jobs on the water. Tuesday, May 14 at 7:00pm, free. The Sylvia Hotel, 1154 Gilford.

Celebrate Leaf Press' spring poetry collections: Surge Narrows by Emilia Nielsen, milk tooth bane bone by Daniela Elza and Dark Matter by Leanne McIntosh, May 14th, 7pm, at Rowan's Roof Top Restaurant, 2340 W 4th Ave, Vancouver. Readings. Books for sale. Free event with appetisers and mingling. For more information:

Featuring Stephen Collis, Wanda John-Kehewin, Christine McNair, Sandra Ridley, Jacob Scheier, and Jacqueline Turner. Tuesday, May 14, doors at 7:00pm. Cost: $5/PWYC. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street, Vancouver. More information at

Author of The Vagina Monologues speaks at Capilano University as part of the Pacific Arbour Speaker Series. Her talk will focus on her new release In the Body of the World. Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $20 and includes a copy of In the Body of the World. For more info:

Calvin Wharton and Wanda John-Kehewin will be featured. Wednesday, May 15 at 12:00 noon, free. SFU Harbour Centre's Teck Gallery (515 W Hastings St.). For more information visit

Join the best selling author as she reads from the sequel to her smash hit The Midwife of Venice. Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at

A dialogue with Mark and Cora Lijek, two of six Americans represented in the 2013 "Best Picture" Argo. Thursday, May 16 at 7:00pm. Room 2600, Westminster Savings Lecture Theatre, SFU Surrey. Free but registration and more information here,

Join Janet E. Cameron for the launch of her debut novel Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World, a coming of age novel set in Nova Scotia in the 1980s. May 16 at 7:00 Ppm at Christianne's Lyceum (3696 W. 8th Ave.). Refreshments will be served. Copies of the book will be available for sale. Call 604.733.1356 or email for more information.

Meet the author of more than 60 books for young people. Tuesday, May 21. Newton Library at 10:00am; Strawberry Hill Library at 1:00pm. Complete details at

Readings with award-winning novelist Annabel Lyon and North Vancouver author Lynn Crymble. Wednesday, May 22 at 6:30pm, free. G. Paul Singh room, 3rd floor, North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th Street W., North Vancouver. More information at


Features poets Aislinn Hunter and Daniela Elza. Thursday, May 23 at 7:00pm. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggested donation at the door: $5. All are welcome. More information at

Richard Wagamese discusses his 2013 Canada Reads novel Indian Horse. Thursday, May 23 at 7:00PM. Christianne's Lyceum. 3696 W. 8th Ave. $20 (includes refreshments). To reserve your space call 604.733.1356
or email More information at

Meet the author of the Women of the Otherworld series for young people. Tuesday, June 11. Author reading at City Centre Library at 1:30pm; writing workshop for ages 12+ at Guildford Library at 4:30pm. Complete details at

A Strawberry tea and the BCGS 2012 Family History Book Awards. Authors' talks. All interested in genealogy and family history are welcome to attend. Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30pm. Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street, Burnaby. More information at

CWILL BC presents a costume gala to benefit the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. Friday, June 14 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $60. Richmond Open Road Lexus dealership, 5631 Parkwood Way, Richmond. More information at

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