Thursday, 10 April 2008

Fwd: Book News Vol. 3 No. 23


Extraordinary Canadians
The Vancouver International Writers Festival and Penguin Books Canada present a special event with award winner David Adams Richards, historian and author Charlotte Gray, and acclaimed novelist Lewis DeSoto on Thursday, April 17 at 7:30pm. This event is part of the launch of Penguin Canada's new Extraordinary Canadians commissioned set of biographies of great Canadians by leading Canadian writers. For more information, visit

The Globe & Mail reviews Nellie McClung by Charlotte Gray, Emily Carr by Lewis DeSoto, and Lord Beaverbrook by David Adams Richards.

Could Vancouver Become a UNESCO World City of Literature?
A movement is underway to have Vancouver named a UNESCO City of Literature, joining the City of Edinburgh, which received the first-ever UN designation in 2004. Does Vancouver have what it takes? Alma Lee, the founding artistic director of the Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival, and Margaret Reynolds, executive director of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia, will chair a public consultation on April 23 that will explore the opportunities associated with becoming a UNESCO World City of Literature. Please join us to learn more and to give your input on the project.

Wednesday, April 23, 4:00-6:00 pm
Alma van Dusen Room
Vancouver Public Library at Library Square
350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
For more information:

Norman Mailer's family pay tribute to the novelist and family man at a memorial held at Carnegie Hall this past Wednesday.

The National Post is spending the next seven weeks getting reacquainted with the seven deadly sins. This week they look at how envy manifests among first time novelists.


The nominations for the Griffin Poetry Prize have been announced. Both the Canadian and International short lists are available here:

Junot Diaz has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his debut novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Prizewinners in other categories are listed here:
Slate Magazine has republished an interview with Diaz in which he talks about his approach to writing fiction.
And here is a piece about Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry Robert Hass's collection Time and Materials.

The 2008 Guggenheim Fellows have been announced and Canadian poet, novelist, and memoirist Tim Bowling is among them. Bowling received the fellowship to work on a collection of poems about salmon fishing and the Fraser River.

And finally, here are the shortlists for the 2008 Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards.


Quill & Quire calls the anthology Me Sexy: An Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality "a provocative act of native self-love, figuratively and literally."
Lee Maracle, one of the contributors to the anthology, is profiled this week in the Georgia Straight.

John Burns and Kevin Chong profile Vancouver's lovable and talented Steven Galloway in Vancouver Magazine and the Georgia Straight.

The Toronto Star talks with Anthony De Sa about his literary debut, Barnacle Love, which is "steeped in the sights and sounds, as well as the smells and tastes, of the Portuguese-Canadian experience."

The Globe and Mail reviews Padma Viswanathan's first novel, The Toss of a Lemon, which follows a Brahmin family through sixty years of social and political change.

Michiko Kakutani takes issue with Martin Amis's collection of essays The Second Plane, which she calls a "weak, risible and often objectionable volume."

The LA Times looks at the life and work of Richard Yates.,1,3055106.story

A feeling of commitment to the lower classes has fuelled each of Russell Banks's 11 novels. Read a profile here:

In this interview with the Guardian, Salman Rushdie talks about writing his latest novel The Enchantress of Florence in the wake of his 2007 divorce.,,2271293,00.html

James Wood, writing for The New Yorker, echoes the recent praise for Richard Price's latest novel Lush Life, in particular for Price's dialogue. In this article Wood takes an in depth look at Price's prose.


B.C. born author reads Gillian Wigmore selected poems from her book Soft Geography. Also reading is Canadian poet Susan McCaslin. Thursday, April 10 at 6:30pm, free. UBC Bookstore Robson Square (Plaza Level, 800 Robson Street).

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House invites input from residents, community, education, business and government leaders towards the development of a Community Literacy Plan (CLP). Thursday, April 10 at 6:30pm. Free but pre-registration is required. Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (800 W. Broadway). More information at

Reading by the author of The Blue Flames that Keep Us Warm. Thursday, April 10 at 7:00pm. Free but pre-register by phoning 604.299.8955. Burnaby Public Library McGill Branch (4595 Albert St.). Info:

Canadian author Joy Kogawa reads from her latest book, Naomi's Tree. Thursday, April 10 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $5. Kidsbooks (3083 W Broadway). More information at

Thousands of books on sale each day. April 10-13. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library (350 W. Georgia St.). Complete info:

An evening of bookish drag and burlesque performances, fashion installation by Paperbird Clothing and storytime with comedian Sara Bynoe. All proceeds to fund multi-disciplinary quarterly, Memewar Magazine. Friday, April 11 at 10:00pm. Tickets: $10. The LICK Club (455 Abbott). More information at

The CBC Radio Studio One Book Club is springing back into action on Monday, April 14 with the debut novel of one of the 2008 New Faces of Fiction, Padma Viswanathan. The Toss of a Lemon is based on family stories her grandmother told her. It's an evocative tale of a young Brahmin bride widowed with two children at the age of 18, with the private turmoil of family immersed in the upheaval of India's intense social and political transformation. Join the conversation with Sheryl MacKay, special co-host Jen Sookfong Lee and Padma Viswanathan! To enter to win tickets, go to

Milos Jones
is going to provide a context for her contemporary art practice. Monday, April 14 at 7:30pm, free. Peter Kaye Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street.

Steven Galloway
(The Cellist of Sarajevo) and Padma Viswanathan (The Toss of a Lemon) read from their respective works. Wednesday, April 16 at 7:00pm. Free but must register by phoning 604.980.9032. The Silk Purse (1570 Argyle Ave., West Vancouver). More information: 604.925.7292.

Author of Jade Peony talks about writing his new novel, Not Yet, and takes questions on the craft of writing. Wednesday, April 16 at 7:00pm. Free but pre-registration is required. Burnaby Public Library McGill Branch (4595 Albert St.). Info:

The author reads from his compelling collection of poetry, The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems. Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Two readings by Ryan Arnold (The Coward Files) and Jordan Scott (Silt). Thursday, April 17, free. First reading: 12:00pm at Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (1961 East Mall, UBC). Second reading: 7:00pm at UBC Bookstore Robson Square (Plaza Level, 800 Robson Street). Info:


Back for its ninth spectacular year, 2008's North Shore Writers Festival will bring some of Canada's brightest literary stars to our local libraries, including William Deverell (Kill All the Judges) and Sandra Gulland (Mistress of the Sun). The Festival runs April 19-26 at the North Vancouver District Public Library, North Vancouver City Library, and the West Vancouver Memorial Library. From humour to French history to medical thrillers to great non-fiction, there is truly something for everyone at this fabulous Festival. Info:

Aboriginal author Lee Maracle, Vancouver poet laureate George McWhirter, and Giller Prize- and Governor General's Award-nominee David Chariandy are among the literary stars lined up to mark the 8th Annual BC Book & Magazine Week, April 19-26. Complete details:

The City of Vancouver invites publishers and authors to submit entries for the 20th annual City of Vancouver Book Award. Books of any genre that demonstrate excellence and contribute to an appreciation and understanding of Vancouver's history, unique character, or residents are eligible to apply for the $2,000 award. Complete information can be found here:

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Produced by the Book News Collective: Hal Wake, Clea Young, Brenda Berck, Ann McDonell, and Sandra Millard.

Hal Wake
Artistic Director
* * * * * * * * * * *
2008 Festival - 21-26 October inclusive
Vancouver International Writers Festival
Suite 202, 1398 Cartwright Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3R8
p: 604 681 6330 x102
f: 604 681 8400