Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book News Vol. 9 No. 4



Join us on April 2 for new work from short story writers Doretta Lau (How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?), Kathy Page (Paradise & Elsewhere), and novelist Eva Stachniak (Empress of the Night). Details on this and other upcoming Incite events here,


A Dram Come True
Spring is here and that can only mean one thing–A Dram Come True! Our wildly popular scotch tasting fundraiser returns on May 30 and tickets are now on sale. Join us at the legendary Hycroft—a magnificent Edwardian mansion in the heart of Shaughnessy—and enjoy the superb, complex flavours of a variety of rare and distinguished single malts, while supporting the Festival. We've added a VIP reception this year for scotch fans or anyone who is interested learning more about uisce beatha—the water of life.

Friday, May 30, 2014
Earlybird tickets $110; after April 15: $120
VIP Tasting 6:30–7:30pm; Tickets: $75 (limited quantities, only available with a main event ticket)

1489 McRae Avenue, Vancouver

Click here for details and to purchase tickets,

Miriam Toews and Steven Galloway
Tickets are going fast for our April 24 event with Miriam Toews and Steven Galloway. They'll read from and talk about their new books: Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows is her most passionate novel yet, the riveting story of two sisters, and a love that illuminates life. Steven Galloway's The Confabulist is a brilliant novel about fame and ambition, reality and illusion, and the ways that love, grief and imagination can alter what we perceive and believe. Click here for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs:


The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's biggest children's book prize, has just been announced. The winner is Swedish children's author Barbro Lindgren, who despite sharing the same surname as the writer of the Pippi Longstocking books, is not a relation!

Another huge award for young people's literature has also just been announced: the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Japanese writer Nahoko Uehashi and Brazilan illustrator Roger Mello are the winners.

La Pasteque, a Montreal book publisher, has been awarded the Bologna Prize for the North American region. The prize honours the best international publishers of the year for their "editorial projects, professional skills, and intellectual qualities of work." They also received the Bologna Ragazzi Award in the fiction category for the picture book Le Noël de Marguerite.

After an amazing year of literary achievement, Alice Munro is now being bestowed with an honour of a completely different kind: a special edition coin, thanks to the Royal Canadian Mint. To celebrate the occasion, the Mint is also donating $10,000 to the Writers' Trust of Canada, which supports writers across the country.


Here are three great new picture books for "your little bookworm." Don't be skeptical about the promise of "glitter on every page"!

Should children's books be targeted at one gender? For The Globe and Mail's Russell Smith, it's not always a bad thing. He makes the case for The Dangerous Book for Boys, here:


In celebration of World Poetry Day, PEN International has compiled a list of dissident poets whose voices deserve to be heard, despite the repression in their own countries. Here's a chance to read about them (and read some of their poems).

Are you a constant advocate for underrated books? Which ones do you believe deserve a higher reputation? For this writer, it's Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold.

What are some fictional places that attract real-life tourists? From Tolkien Tourism to the headquarters of a James Bond villain, here's a list of places to visit that are featured in your favourite books and films.

Travel and writing have always been interrelated. For Mark Twain, no route was more important the "magnificent Mississippi, rolling its mile-wide tide". Learn how the Mississippi River made Mark Twain, here:

A Japanese tech company has begun a massive project to digitize the Vatican Library, in hopes of opening up thousands of precious documents to readers around the world. "The manuscripts that will be digitized extend from pre-Columbian America to China and Japan in the Far East, passing through all the languages and cultures that have marked the culture of Europe."

Dalhousie University Library has begun a revolutionary project of its own! At their agriculture campus in Truro, you can now check out eighty-five different varieties of plant seeds. In exchange, "patrons are asked to collect new seeds from their plants and return them to the library."

Are audiobooks a form of literary "cheating"? In this piece, Bruce Golisnger, author of A Burnable Book, interviews Simon Vance (who narrated his audiobook), discussing "sound, voice, and sense in historical fiction, as well as the unique role of audiobooks in bringing fiction to life."


Dinaw Mengestu may be Ethiopian-American, but it would be a huge mistake "to call him a novelist of "the immigrant experience" or a chronicler of "life on the hyphen"...for while questions of race, ethnicity and point of origin do crop up repeatedly in Mengestu's fiction, they are merely his raw materials." His new novel is called All Our Names.

Harlan Coben doesn't believe in guilty pleasures when it comes to reading. As the author of mystery novels, thrillers, and now YA books, he says that "If I'm reading the back of a cereal box, all is O.K. with the world. Guilt? Please." Check out The New York Times' interview with him, here:

In 1961, Michael C. Rockefeller (the 23-year-old banking heir and son of Governor Nelson Rockefeller) died while on his mission to collect art from a remote tribe in New Guinea. Now, travel writer Carl Hoffman has set out to solve the mystery of his disappearance, chronicling both the young man's journey and the author's own attempts to retrace his steps.

A father-and-son team have compiled a new poetry anthology called Poems That Make Grown Men Cry. The book "is winning praise for introducing male readers to unfamiliar works–and emotions." According to The Guardian, "If you have tears, prepare to shed them now."

The long-awaited JRR Tolkien translation of Beowulf is set to be published in May. While some have described this as "an act of barrel-scraping", "Tolkien's expertise on Beowulf and his own literary powers give us every reason to take it seriously."

Astra Taylor is a documentary filmmaker, Occupy activist and the author of The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, which takes aim at our "Technological reality". "Her book is a bracing expression of intelligent outrage–with the manifesto vibe of No Logo and the prescience of Silent Spring."

Claire Cameron's two novels, The Line Painter and The Bear, "ask us to consider the limits of human ingenuity and our ability to survive." She discusses why she wrote her new book, her favourite sentences, the best advice she's ever received and more, here:

How would a book like Harold Bloom's Western Canon, famous for criticizing the "Balkanization of literary studies", be received today? That's the topic of this week's New York Times Bookends.

Last year, Nadifa Mohamed was named one of Granta's Best of Young British novelists. Her new novel, The Orchard of Lost Souls tells the story of three women who are alone "at the heart of the Somali civil conflict – in other words, in the very eyes of the sun."

In this month's New Yorker Poetry Podcast, Sharon Olds reads Hubris at Zunzal, by Rodney Jones. The poem "explores the correlation between an experience of loss" and the "impossibility of return." Olds also reads her own poem, Still Falling For Her.


Jayson McDonald's tour-de-force performance and poetic virtuosity based on the myth and impact of Burroughs and The Beats. Underbelly runs at The Cultch from now to March 30, 2014 at 8pm in the Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables Street. Tickets are from $31 and can be purchased by calling The Cultch box office at 604-251-1363 or online at

Features Portland poet John Sibley Williams and Vancouver poet Linda King plus open mic. Thursday, March 27, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggested donation at the door: $5. Sign up for open mic at 7pm. More information at

Features Portland poet John Sibley Williams, Daniela Elza and Deborah L. Kelly plus open mic. Sunday, March 30, 3pm-5pm. The Heritage Grill (Back Room), 447 Columbia Street, New Westminster, free.

Author discusses his departure from Israel's ultra-Orthodox community and his work on cultivating a secular Jewish renaissance in his book Into the Fullness of the Void. Sunday, March 30 at 6:00pm. Tickets: $14/10. Jewish Community Centre, 950 41st Ave. W., Vancouver. More information at

The Indian Summer Arts Society presents a special event with Arundhati Roy, who will talk about her journey in writing, from The God of Small Things to Capitalism: A Ghost Story. Tuesday, April 1 at 8:00pm. St Andrew's-Wesley United Church, 1022 Nelson St (at Burrard), Vancouver. Tickets: $25/$20 students. More information at

IL CENTRO Italian Cultural Centre is thrilled to announce the publication of the Rules & Regulations for the 2014 Edition of the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize. The literary prize honours and promotes the work of Canadian writers of Italian origin or Italian descent. Deadline: April 2, 2014. Complete details can be found here:

Features Evelyn Lau, Robert Martens, Helene Littmann, Elsie Neufeld, Rajnish Dhawan, and Daniela Elza , April 2nd, 2014, 12:30-2pm, UHouse (Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies), University of the Fraser Valley, 33488 King Road, Abbotsford Campus. All are welcome.

Mix and mingle with the nominees, BC's vibrant literary community, and support the BC Book Prizes On Tour program. Thursday, April 3 at 6:00pm, free. Joe's Apartment, 919 Granville St., Vancouver. More information at

This book launch features four new works in Chinese: William Haoquan Chan's Maplescapes: Selected Works of Chinese Canadian Prose, Shou-fang Hu-Moore's Who Is Calling My Name? Liang Zhaoyuan's Decoding Cao Xueqin's Crytograms, Tommy Tao and Ming Sun Poon's Book of Three Arts, and Wang Wenqin's Slow Heart Beat. Saturday, April 5 at 2:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at

4th annual festival celebrating the transformative power of words. Featuring Billeh Nickerson, Daniel Zomparelli, Evelyn Lau, Janice Lee and many more. April 5-12, 2014. For complete details, visit

Author launches her debut novella, Grayling. Saturday, April 5 at 5:00pm, free. Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver. More information at

Mystery authors Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock present an illustrated talk about Unholy Rites, their latest novel. Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00pm, free. West Point Grey branch, 4480 10th Ave. W., Vancouver. More information at

Author of The Pope's Bookbinder in conversation with Paul Whitney. Tuesday, April 8 at 7:30pm, free. Room 1315, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings. For more information and to reserve your seat, call 778-782-4668 or email


Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon's show and book launch. Wednesday, April 9 at 8:00pm. The Rio Theatre, Vancouver, BC. More information at

The Iceland Writers Retreat invites published and aspiring book writers (fiction and non-fiction) to participate in a series of workshops and panels led by a team of international writers from April 9-13, 2014 including Joseph Boyden. More information at

Features poets Jane Munro and Jan Conn plus open mic. Wednesday, April 9, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggested donation at the door: $5. Sign up for open mic at 7 pm. More information at

Audra Simpson, Glen Coulthard and Chris Andersen will present on their upcoming books at the UBC Longhouse. Thursday, April 10 at 9:30am. First Nations Longhouse, 1985 West Mall, UBC. More information at

15th annual literary weekend. Featuring Vincent Lam, Douglas Gibson, Jen Sookfong Lee, Sandra Gulland and others. April 11 and 12, 2014. North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th St. W., North Vancouver. More information at

The Vancouver poet and co-organizer of the Dead Poets Reading Series will launch his eleventh book, Night Vision, at 3 p.m. on Saturday 12th April in the Alice MacKay Room of the Central Library, 350, West Georgia Street. As well as reading from the new book he will be interviewed about his poetry by local short fiction writer Ken Klonsky. More information at

Lawrence Kreisman will give a talk on Hunter's evolution as an artist, and on what identifies and distinguishes his work from others. Monday, April 14 at 7:00pm, free. Emily Carr Auditorium, Granville Island. More information at

Writers are invited to submit manuscripts exploring the creative non-fiction form. $1500 in prizes available, plus publication. Contest Judge Deborah Campbell. Maximum entry length is 5000 words. $34.95 entry fee. Deadline April 15, 2014. Entrants will receive a one-year subscription to EVENT (or extension). Complete contest guidelines can be found at

Reading by Susan McCaslin. Wednesday, April 16 at 12:00 noon, free. SFU Harbour Centre's Teck Gallery, 515 W. Hastings St. More information at

text bites & textual vishyuns: a reeding & dialog with bill bissett
Reading by renowned Canadian poet bill bissett, followed by a discussion of his work by publisher Karl Siegler, author Carl Peters and artist/writer/educator Jerry Zaslove. Organized in conjunction with the exhibition textual vishyuns: image and text in the work of bill bissett at The Reach Art Gallery and Museum in Abbotsford, on April 17–June 30. Friday, April 18 at 8:00pm. The Western Front, 303 8th Ave. E., Vancouver.

Author of American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival, Giles Slade, discusses the environmental impact of climate change. Tuesday, April 22 ar 7:00pm. Brighouse branch, Richmond Public Library, 100-7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond. More information at

April 26, 2014. A day of free workshops at LitFest New West. To see the list of workshops and to register go to:

Join Diane Tucker for the Vancouver launch of her fourth book, Bonsai Love, a collection of poems about the sensual delicacy of love. Sunday, April 27 at 7:00pm, free. Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main St. Will also feature a musical performance by Vancouver-based sing/songwriter Rodney DeCroo. For more information, visit

A three day weekend for the cultural and culinary arts enthusiast on Haida Gwaii. Includes the launch of Rachel McMillen's new novel Dark Moon Walking. June 27-30, 2014. More information at or by email at

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