Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book News Vol. 10 No. 27


This year at the Writers Fest, we’re asking authors the most pressing questions of our current age. How does a country recover from a terrorist attack? Asne Seierstad will discuss this in “Making Sense of Real Horror." Does genre really matter anymore? In “Weird Fiction,” bestseller Jeff VanderMeer will read from his genre-bending novel. How do we protect writers from attacks on their freedom of speech? Ensaf Haidar’s husband is in a Saudi jail for blogging and she will speak about his struggle in “1,000 Lashes.” How can we put an end to gender-based violence? Roxane Gay is a well-known commentator on issues of gender and will share her thoughts in “Women in Peril.”

To learn more about these events and more than 80 others, visit our website,

Joseph Boyden & Friends
Join us for a very special evening with Joseph Boyden and friends. Expect the unexpected at this intimate evening celebrating great Canadian writing! Enjoy cocktails, hearty appetizers and fireside chats with the authors.

Saturday, October 24th, 2015
7:00-10:00 pm
Bridges Restaurant, Upper Dining Room, Granville Island

Tickets: A fundraiser for the Vancouver Writers Fest

John Irving Special Event
Tickets for John Irving (December 1 at the Vancouver Playhouse) are on sale.
You can find more details here,

Volunteers Needed!

Volunteers still needed for day-time events on Books, Box Office and Food & Beverage. French-speakers and those who are comfortable handling cash are especially welcome! For more information and to register, go to our website

Poetry and Short Story Contest
The 17th Vancouver Writers Fest Poetry and Short Story Contest is now open! Entries will be accepted until October 25th, so get writing or start polishing up your best work. The contest is open to all writers, so this could be the perfect opportunity for you to get published for the first time, kick start your writing career or add to your already impressive resume. First place winners will receive $500 and be published in subTERRAIN Magazine. Details and to enter:

Know a young writer? Tell them about our writing contest for BC grades 8-12 students,


Blackbird, Fly
Sept 25 at the Chan Centre with spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph & violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR). Details here,

Read for the Cure
Featured authors Terry Fallis, Plum Johnson and John Vaillant will discuss their work. Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at the Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. Proceeds to the Cancer Research Society and BC Cancer Foundation. Ticket price includes appetizers & authors' books. Details here,


Denise Mina's Blood, Salt, Water is a novel that "brilliantly defies the norms of the crime genre." Set in small-town Scotland during the run-up to last year's referendum, it features a moral universe where "criminality is not an aberration, but the deep structure of reality."

Elizabeth Hay's new book, His Whole Life, was inspired by a question her son asked her many yeas ago: "What's the worst thing you've ever done?" In this interview with the CBC, Hay discusses motherhood, writing, forgiveness and the Quebec referendum.

It's the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland. To celebrate, Penguin Classics has teamed up a design company called Litographs in order to create temporary tattoos for its authors. Kelly Link, who's appearing at this year's Festival, was among the inked. See which quote she chose, here:

Anakana Schofield's new book, Martin John, joined the Giller Prize's longlist before it even hit the shelves. Its title character is a "hapless pervert—of whom there are many in our society, but who we little understand."

"I never expected to be happy," writes Camilla Gibb in her new memoir, This Is Happy. The book "is a powerful testament to what people can overcome and permission for what people can't."

David Constantine's short story, In Another Country, is the basis for one of this year's most lauded movies: 45 Years. In this interview, he discusses "how a startling real-life event sparked his original tale."

Ensaf Haidar, wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, is taking her family's fight to Washington. Haidar, who has now written a memoir of her own (to be released next year), is interviewed here:

What book changed George Bowering's life? Hint: it's an anthology.

In Act Normal, Greg Hollingshead "comes home." It's his first book since 2004...but "it wasn't supposed to be."

In his new novel, Sleep, Nino Ricci "sheds light on life with narcolepsy." Though Ricci is narcoleptic in real life, the books is "not autobiographical." Instead, it features a protagonist who falls asleep at the wheel, and is saved at the last second by the cries of his newborn child.

Festival authors share their favourite books from their childhood.


The longlist for the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize has been released. "Accounts of political fiascos in Sri Lanka and Iraq, a Guantanamo diary and a celebration of landscape and language are among the contenders for the UK's most prestigious award for nonfiction."

The Cundhill Prize, the world's richest award for historical non-fiction, has announced its shortlist. Established in 2008, the prize celebrates an author "who has published a book determined to have had (or likely to have) a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history."


Judy Blume is not new to controversy. In this interview, Blume discusses "parents' and teachers' overly protective attitudes to young people's feelings, and how she has spent the last 45 years tackling bans and censorship."


The UK's National Book Awards have been cancelled for 2015. "Publishers are understood to be lukewarm about the continuation of the NBAs in their present form, and are thought to be looking at alternatives."

"Our governments now treat us like cattle," writes Margaraet Atwood in this piece for the Guardian newspaper. "Governed by fear, we have surrendered too many of our hard-won freedoms. It's time to recapture the territory we've ceded."

What books are currently on Salman Rushdie's night stand? Who is his favourite novelist? Rushdie answers these questions and more, here:

The University of Iowa is digitizing its fanzine collection "before it falls apart." The library's special collections "house everything from 1920s 'dime novel' reviews to T-shirts that were auctioned off in protest of the 2002 Farscape cancellation."

What's in your public library? Books? How about snowshoes, cake pans or ukuleles? "The move toward electronic content has given us an opportunity to re-evaluate our physical spaces and enhance our role as a community hub," says Larry Neal, president of the American Public Library Association.

More than 40 authors have written an open letter to Xi Jinping, China's president, asking for jailed writers to be released. Co-signers include Neil Gaiman, Ian McEwan and Jonathan Franzen.

Why read books that are considered obscene? In this edition of the New York Times' Bookends, James Parker and Liesl Schillinger discuss "the pleasures of reading forbidden books."


In A Life with Words: A Writer's Memoir, Richard B. Wright tells the story of how he became a writer. Interestingly, it's written in the third person.


Featuring books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests. September 23-27, 2015. Various locations. For complete details, visit

Features Elizabeth Bachinsky & Kate Braid + Open Mic. Thursday, September 24th, 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

Short, fictional, 'choose your own adventure' stories that take place in a Vancouver neighbourhood. September 25-27, 2015. Details here,

Author reads from his fictional account of the sinking of the Southern Cross off Newfoundland's coast in 1914. Friday, September 25 at 7:00pm. Greater Victoria Public Library. For more information and to register, visit

Elizabeth Ross and Kyla Czaga read at People's Co-Op Bookstore on September 26. Doors at 7 p.m., reading starts at 7:30.

Author presents his latest novel The Gold Eaters. Saturday, September 26 at 8:15pm. Lecture Hall 2, Woodward IRC, UBC. More information at

Featuring Tom Konyves and Carolyn Souiad. Sunday, September 27 at 1:30pm, free. Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia St., New Westminster.

Author reads from her debut novel, The Town Slut's Daughter. Sunday, September 27 at 1:30pm. VPL, 350 W. Georgia Street.

Featuring poet Raoul Fernandes and music by I Love Uke, literary readings, a silent auction, and secondhand books for sale. Sunday, September 27 at 4:00pm. The Fairview Pub, 898 West Broadway. More information at

Kidsbooks presents the creator of the popular Zita the Spacegirl graphic novels presents his new book Little Robot. Monday, September 28. For times and locations and to purchase tickets, visit

Author reads from her memoir Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper. Monday, September 28 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse Main, Vancouver. More information at 604-879-7737.

An evening of entertainment and inspiration provided by six local People of the Page: Mauro Azzano, Margo Bates, Kempton Dexter, Pattry Emry, Ron Kearse and Lillja Valis. Monday, September 28 at 7:00pm. Central Branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St., Vancouver. More information at

Author Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado reads from her biography of Gisele van Waterschoot van der Gracht. Monday, September 28 at 7:00pm. McGill branch, Burnaby Public Library. More information at

Author reads from her memoir They Left Us Everything. Tuesday, September 29 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse Main St., Vancouver. More information at 604-879-7737.

Panel featuring Mauro Azzano, author of the Ian McBriar Murder Mystery Series, Robin Spano, author of the Clare Vengel Undercover Series and Sam Weibe, author of The Last of the Independants. Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00p. Welsh Hall, West Vancouver Memorial Library. More information at 604-925-7403.

Author reads from his novel Eulogy: A Novel. Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse Main St., Vancouver. More information at 604-879-7737.


Featuring Eleanor Wachtel and Elizabeth Hay. October 1-2, 2015. Tickets: $20. Complete details at

Featuring George K. Ilsley, Annette LeBox, Taryn Thomson, Valerie Chalker Whitfield, A.J. Lin, Trace Wilson, Lynn Easton and Janet Fretter. Thursday, October 1 at 8:00pm. Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main St., Vancouver. More information at

Meet Fraser Valley writers and learn first-hand about their work, the experience of writing, publishing, and marketing. Saturday, October 3 at 1:00pm. Clearbrook Library.

Author launches his latest book In Moonlight's Shadow. Saturday, October 3 at 2:00pm. The Gallery at Queens Park, New Westminster.

Author reads from his Edgar Award and Arthur Ellis Award-nominated novel Almost Criminal. Monday, October 5 at 7:00pm. Central branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St., Vancouver. More information at

Panel featuring author Lori Shenher, Senator Larry Campbell and Vancouver Observer editor-in-chief Sandy Garossino. Monday, October 5 at 7:00pm. Central branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St., Vancouver. More information at

Canadian poet will be visiting the Dunbar Branch library to read from his new short fiction collection The Shadows We Mistake for Love. Tuesday, October 6 at 1:30pm. Dunbar branch, VPL, 4515 Dunbar Street, Vancouver. More information at

Featuring host Jami Macarty, Alan Hill, Lilija Valis, Alan Girling, Rosemary Nowicki, Celeste Snowber, Sherry Duggal, Ashok K. Bjargava, Janet Kvammen, Nasreen Pejvack, Adian Chafe. Tuesday, October 6 at 6:30pm. Britannia branch, 1661 Napier St., Vancouver. More information at

Book launch for authors latest book, Martin John. Tuesday, October 6 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse Main Street, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at

Meet authors who delve into the dark side to create their fictionalized worlds featuring Marty Allen, Mauro Azano and Bryan Clegg. Wednesday, October 7 at 6:30pm. Guildford Library, Surrey. More information at 604-598-7366.

Author reads from his new adult novel A Superior Man. Conducted in Cantonese and English. Wednesday, October 14 at 6:30pm. Central branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St., Vancouver. More information at

Reading by the author from her new novel A Place Called Sorry. Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00pm, free. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main St., Vancouver. More information at

Presentation, Q&A, and book signing by the author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here. Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00pm. Vancouver Kidsbooks, 3083 West Broadway. Tickets and more information at

Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli launch their co-authored collection of poetry. Thursday, October 15 at 7:30pm. Hot Art Wet City, 2206 Main St., Vancouver. More information at

Hosted by UBC's Language and Literacy Education Department (LLED) Alumni and sponsored by the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable (VCLR), this Alice-in-Wonderland-themed celebration will benefit a local school library in Vancouver. Saturday, October 17 at 12:00 noon. Sage Bistro, UBC. Tickets and information at

Featuring B.C. authors Eileen Kernaghan and Mix Hart. Thursday, October 22 at 7:00pm. Central branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St., Vancouver. More information at

Join Sarah de Leeuw, Arleen Paré, Kate Braid and Beth Kope as they read from their newest work. Thursday, October 22 at 7:30pm. Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main St. More information

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