Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book News Vol. 10 No. 28


This Festival, discover your new favourite writer! In "Shock and Awful," ( Samuel Archibald will speak about his collection of stories, Arvida, which is longlisted for the 2015 Giller Prize. TJ Dawe is a dynamic storyteller who will captivate you in "This Really Happened," ( In "Trigger Warning," ( Tracey Lindberg will discuss Birdie her darkly funny and moving first novel. Irina Kovalyova is a Professor of Microbiology at SFU whose short fiction is infused with the ethical dilemmas of science. Hear her story in "True to Form" (

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 Production, 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,


The 34th annual Vancouver International Film Festival will once again welcome some of the world's finest films to one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. VIFF will present over 375 films from 70 countries and host many international guests from September 24th-October 9th, 2015. Click here, to browse this year's films and purchase tickets.

The Vancouver Art/Book Fair is the only international art book fair in Canada and one of only two on the West Coast, attracting nearly 5,000 visitors. Presented by Project Space, VA/BF is a free multi-day festival of artists' publishing, open to the public and featuring nearly one hundred local, national and international publishers, as well as a diverse line-up of programs, performances and installations. Featured artists travel to Vancouver from across Canada and the globe, and produce everything from books, magazines, zines and printed ephemera to digital, performative or other experimental forms of publication. More information at


Last week, Beth Powning's A Measure of Light was featured on CBC's The Next Chapter. In this interview with Shelagh Rogers, Shakura S'Aida, a blues singer who is "usually a fan of science fiction and fantasy" explains her attraction to Powning's historical novel about a 17th-century religious martyr.

Speaking of historical fiction, Jim Shepard "has always been preoccupied by history." His newest novel, The Book of Aron, is set in the Warsaw ghetto on the brink of World War II. Told through the voice of a young boy, "Shepard turns hell into a testament of love and sacrifice."

Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy was recently optioned by Paramount Pictures for adaptation to the big screen. In this interview with Esquire, he talks to musician Vernon Reid about the line between music and writing, podcasts, his early influences and more.

Lawrence Hill's new novel, The Illegal, was "inspired by refugee survival stories." He discusses the novel, and Canada's role in the refugee crisis, here:

Denise Mina's Blood, Salt, Water is an "intricately plotted literary thriller [that] is more whydunnit then whodunit," writes Allan Massie in this review for The Scotsman. It's a novel that "invites us, even compels us, both to think and feel; which is the mark of the best imaginative fiction."

Gene Luen Yang is a coder, teacher and "kick-ass graphic novelist," whose book, American Born Chinese, became the first graphic novel ever named as a National Book Award finalist. In this interview, he discusses writing, growing up, teaching, and diversity in publishing!

In Greg Hollingshead's The Amazing Insult, Greta (his protagonist) has a boat accident, and then "experiences a shift in her sexual orientation that upends her marriage and transforms her identity." Hollingshead's inspiration came from real life: a newspaper article he read about a woman whose sexuality changed following a car accident.

Are you a fan of apocalyptic fiction? Then you might be interested in this piece on the best apocalyptic fiction by women, which includes a mini-review of Laura van den Berg's Find Me. It's "the end of the world as she knows it!"

Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies is "a vivid and engrossing portrait of a marriage, in which a couple's electric attachment hides a thicket of lies and secrets." One of the book's "most dazzling sequences" takes place at arts colony, where the "bona fide risks of creation and collaboration" lie centre stage.

Lori Shenher's writing comes from real-life experience. Her book, That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer Who Almost Got Away, is based on her former work as a Vancouver Police detective, and even more specifically on the case-work she did for the Robert Pickton trial. Here's an excerpt.

Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings is a "vivid and powerful" novel inspired by Jamaica's violent past. It resembles, in many ways, James Ellroy's La Quartet, in its "determination to re-do history ‘from the gutter to the star', to borrow a phrase used by Ellroy."


The finalists for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize as well as the Journey Prize have been announced. Several Vancouver Writers Fest authors made the cut, including John Vaillant, and Elizabeth Hay.

The shortlist for the annual HarperCollins Publishers/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction has been announced. The prize is awarded to alumni and students of UBC's creative writing program, and the winner will be announced at the Writers Fest in October.

Lynn Thomson has won the 2015 Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction for Birding With Yeats. The book is her debut title, chronicling Thomson's relationship with her son during family bird-watching expeditions.

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine, has won the Forward Poetry Prize. Described by the jury as a "powerful book for our time," its subject matter is "America and a racism that has never gone away."


"I felt like fairy tales had been hijacked so thoroughly by Disney," states Soman Chainani" in this interview with The Guardian. As the author of the "twisted fairytale" trilogy, The School for Good and Evil, he's always wanted to write "an epic story that moved beyond all the old heroes and villains and instead spoke to the anxieties of modern readers."


A mystery punter who "claims he can pick a Booker winner by studying the judges' Wikipedia pages" has made his prediction for this year's prize. His money is staked on British author Sunjeev Sahota.

"What if Macbeth had wanted to be the prince of Bel-Air, instead of the king of Scotland?" A trend has erupted on Twitter: actors, nominated by their peers, are performing modern music in the form of Shakespeare soliloquies. Called #15secondshakespeare, it's sending "people down an Elizabethan rabbit hole!"

Canada is set to host IBBY Italia's International exhibit of wordless picture books. The exhibit supports the first children's library in Lampedusa, Italy (one of the centres of the European refugee crisis), and will be coming to Vancouver in October.

"Five years ago, the book world was seized by collective panic over the uncertain future of print." Now, e-book sales are slipping. "There are signs that some e-book adopters are returning to print, or becoming hybrid readers, who juggle devices and paper."

Fall has finally arrived. If your fingers are getting chilly, you might enjoy these twenty-two patterns for literary mittens.


In this piece, Margaret Atwood has annotated an excerpt from her forthcoming novel, The Heart Goes Last. You can read the excerpt, and click the yellow highlights to read her annotations, here:


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, free. 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.

Readings by Christine Stewart and Ted Byrne. Thursday, October 10 at 7:30pm, free. People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Dr., Vancouver.

Author reads from his new adult novel A Superior Man. Conducted in Cantonese and English. Wednesday, October 14 at 6:30pm, free. 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

Montreal anarchist author, violinist, and cabaret artist Norman Nawrocki launches a new poetry book, Agitate! Anarchist Rants, Raps, Poems. Thursday, October 15 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $5. Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay, Vancouver.

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

Annual event brings together Canadian and international authors for a weekend packed with readings, workshops, speaker panels, spoken word events, and music. October 16-18, 2015. Fairmont Chateau Whistler. 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

As part of World Food Day, Chris Hergesheimer and Josh Hergesheimer present their book. Saturday, October 17 at 1:00pm. Brighouse branch, Richmond Public Library. More information at


Quebec English-language writer will read from her acclaimed teen fiction books, including her latest teen novel, Learning the Ropes. Tuesday, October 20 at 9:30am. Greater Victoria Public Library. Register and information at 250-940-4875.

Local Irish-Canadian author will read from the recently released An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea: An Irish Country Novel. Wednesday, October 21 at 5:00pm, free. Library Program Room, Salt Spring Public Library. More information at 250-537-4666.

Annual event offers professional development for writers. October 22-25, 2015. Sheraton Guildford Hotel, Surrey. Details 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

Author reads from his latest thriller, Black Feathers. Saturday, October 24 at 2:00pm, free. Agassiz Library, 7140 Cheam Ave., Aggasiz. More information at 604-796-9510.

Special Halloween event from Poetic Justice with extended open mic and costume contest. Sunday, October 25 at 3:00pm, suggested donation: $5. Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia St., New Westminster. More information at 604-767-6908.

Touching Spirit Bear author talks about the inspiration for his popular novel. Individuals or small groups can enquire about seating by contacting Chris at 604-554-7339. Tuesday, October 27 at 11:00am. City Centre branch, Coquitlam Public Library.

National bestselling co-author, co-host of Coach's Corner and host of Rogers Hometown Hockey shares brand new hockey tales from his newest book Hockey Towns: Untold Stories from the Heart of Canada. Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, Burnaby. More information at

Launch of authors latest book. Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962-1991. Thursday, October 29 at 8:00pm. Western Front, 303 8th Ave. E. More information at

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