Thursday, 1 May 2008

Book News Vol. 3 No. 26



Single malt aficionados take note: A Dram Come True
The Vancouver International Writers Festival presents its sixth annual single malt scotch whisky sampling on June 6. Tickets on sale now!

Donate your air miles to bring authors to the 2008 Festival!
Last year's campaign for air miles was a great success and we are once again inviting you to donate your idle miles to help us bring authors to the 2008 Festival. Thanks to your donations in 2007 we were able to bring Alistair MacLeod and Richard Siken to Vancouver. We were also able to partially fund trips for three other authors. For more information and to download the donation form, visit our website.

Madeleine Thien transports us to a rooftop in Kampot, Cambodia in this week's installment of Writers' Rooms.

Vancouver's first poet laureate George McWhirter has launched a website, just one of many projects aimed at raising the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of Vancouverites.

Conservative senator Nancy Ruth has been identified as the anonymous donor who helped save the childhood home of author Joy Kogawa.

Vladimir Nabokov's son has decided to publish his father's final, incomplete novel, The Original of Laura.

Award-winning playwright Yasmina Reza's account of the year she spent documenting French president Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign has been translated into English as Dawn Dusk or Night.

Iran's culture minister has advised authors who want to see their work published in Iran to censor it according the country's "religious, moral, and national sensitivities."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji are critics of "mainstream Islam," yet each woman's approach is strikingly different, writes the NY Times.

David Sedaris tells the tale of his first and last cigarette in the New Yorker. Incidentally, he bought his first pack in Vancouver.


The winners of the BC Book Prizes have been announced!

The shortlists for the Canada's National Magazine Awards can been found here:

Louise Penny is among the nominees for Canada's crime-writing honours for her novel The Cruellest Month.

Self-published author Terry Fallis has won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor for his novel The Best Laid Plans.

Poet Gary Snyder, who began writing in the 1950s as a member of the beat movement, has been awarded America's richest poetry prize.

Graham Robb has won the 2008 Ondaatje Prize for his book The Discovery of France, the research for which involved cycling through 14,000 miles of French countryside.,,2276818,00.html


The reviews are coming in for André Alexis's latest novel Asylum. Read two of them here:

In Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin's new novel, she gives a rich fictional life to a character not even granted a speaking role in Virgil's 'The Aeneid'.

A horrifying act of racism is at the core of Louise Erdrich's new novel The Plague of Doves. Read Michiko Kakutani's review in the NY Times.

Writer and musician Paul Quarrington talks with the Globe & Mail about his latest novel The Ravine and his newly released CD with his band The Porkbelly Futures.

The New York Review of Books calls Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend, a recension of three novels into one 900-page epic, a "bravura performance."

Michael Chabon looks in depth at the life and work of Richard Price and, like most critics so far, speaks favourably about his latest novel Lush Life.

The New York Review of Books writes that Jumpa Lahiri's stories have "grace and poignancy and for someone so young they show an unusual, appealingly unshowy degree of prowess."

Vanity Fair interviews James Frey, his first since the 2006 Oprah Winfrey debacle.


Arts Club Theatre Company presents a remount of Mitch Alborn's bestselling nonfiction novel featuring Antony Holland and Warren Kimmel. May 1-31. Tickets: $30-$41. Granville Island Stage (1585 Johnston St.). More info:

Thursday, May 1 at 7:30pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. Information: Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

A reading with Justin Lukyn (Henry Pepper) and Michael Turner, author of Hard Core Logo, the book behind the classic cult film. Thursday, May 1 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore Robson Square (Plaza Level, 800 Robson Street). Info:

West Vancouver Children's Literature Festival features a series of events for preschool, elementary, and secondary school students, including author visits, illustrator's workshops, poetry readings, storytelling, and spoken-word events. May 2-13. West Vancouver Memorial Library (1950 Marine Dr.). More information at

Past international president of Médecins sans Frontières and author of his soon to be published memoir An Imperfect Offering, discusses the nature of humanitarian action in the twenty-first century. Sunday, May 4 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $12/10. Capilano College Performing Arts Theatre (2055 Purcell Way, N. Van.). More info:

Naomi Steinberg
shares her stories from the annual International Storytelling Festival in Vancouver to the Science Meets Dharma project in southern India. Monday, May 5 at 7:30pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Eight of Vancouver's top poetry slammers compete to the part of the 2008 Vancouver Poetry Slam team; Toronto spoken-word artist Dwayne Morgan also performs. Monday, May 5 at 9:00pm. Tickets: $10 advance, $15 at the door. WISE Hall (1882 Adanac). More information at

The woman who first brought the issue of spousal abuse to the forefront in Canada presents her memoir No Laughing Matter: Adventure, Activism and Politics. Tuesday, May 6 at 7:00pm, free. Britannia Branch, VPL (1661 Napier Street). For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Author presents his latest book The Truth About Canada. He has combed through world statistics to see how Canada really measures up and says the results are astonishing. Tuesday, May 6 at 7:30pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street.

The Canadian Authors Association presents a panel discussion with kc dyer, James McCann, and Meg Tilly, with a special tribute to 100 years of Anne of Green Gables. Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $5/2. Alliance for the Arts (938 Howe). More information at

Authors Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears present the launch of their book, The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business. Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00pm. Sophia Books (450 W. Hastings). More information at

Two readings featuring the author of the Warriors series for children. Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00pm at Highland Elementary Gymnasium (3120 Colwood Dr., N.Van.). Thursday, May 8 at 7:00pm at Park Theatre (3440 Cambie St.). Tickets: $5. More info:

Book discussion of The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. Guest speaker John Weston will address the issues and principles put forward in the book; discussion to follow. Saturday, May 10 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $10 and available at Whistler Public Library (4329 Main Street, Whistler). Info: 604.907.2804.


The SFU Writing and Publishing Program and the Geist Foundation present the author of Snow Man and Götz and Meyer. Monday, May 12 at 7:00pm. Free but reservations required; contact or phone 778.782.5100. SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street). More info:

Launch of Claudia Dey's new novel Stunt along with special guest appearance by local author Teresa McWhirter, author of the recent publication, Dirtbags. Friday, May 16 at 7:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway. More information at:

The CBC Radio Studio One Book Club and Barbara-Jo's Books Cooks to present Taras Grescoe and his new book Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood on Sunday, May 18 at 12 noon. The author of the bestselling The Devil's Picnic will entertain you as he tours the world looking for delicious seafood. Special guest co-host for this event is Quang Dang, Chef de Cuisine of C Restaurant. To win tickets go to

The Vancouver International Writers Festival presents two special events with Barbara Kingsolver (Thursday, May 29) and Simon Winchester (Friday, May 30) at UBC's Frederic Wood Theatre. More info:

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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

Film: Living With Bipolar Disorder

Stories of Struggle and Hope for
Mental Health Week
May 5th – 11th

Not Just a Bad Day:
Living with Bipolar Disorder
Director: Gillian Hrankowski Canada 2007 Running Time: 50 minutes
On the surface, Mike, Erin, and Martha appear to have little in common, but all live under the shadow of
bipolar disorder. Mike is a charismatic young man whose partying lifestyle and abuse of recreational drugs
foreshadow a severe manic episode that has him committed to a psychiatric ward. Erin is a young mom
whose ability to cope with her new baby deteriorates as she swings between manic episodes and soul-
crushing depressions. Martha is a divorced single mom who lost her career and marriage to a manic episode;
with group therapy and medication, she is finally lifting herself out of a crippling two-year depression. Treating
them all is Dr. Paul Termansen, a psychiatrist at Community Psychiatric Services on Metro Vancouver’s
North Shore, where the three attend his mood disorders program. With intimate access and great sensitivity,
the film details their personal struggles with the emotional highs and lows of a disorder they must learn to
manage in order to lead productive, balanced lives.
Rated: PG: Coarse Language Pacific Cinémathèque

A FREE Mental Health Public Film Screening
This FREE event features information tables and a post screening discussion with
Dr. Paul Termansen, Director, Gillian Hrankowski and people living with Bipolar Disorder

Presented in partnership by:
Richmond Mental Health Services, Richmond Mental Health Consumer & Friends Society and
Canadian Mental Health Association Richmond Branch
For more information call Barbara Fee at 604.276.8834 or
or Barb Bawlf at 604.214.9709 or
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
7:00 p.m. Doors Open / Light Refreshments
7:30 p.m. Film Screening- No Late Seating
Ralph Fisher Auditorium, Richmond Hospital
7000 Westminster Hwy., Richmond, B.C.
Free Parking available in the gravel lot accessed from Westminster Hwy.

Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice Digest Vol 2, No 10

Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice Digest
Volume 02 : Number 10
Monday, April 28, 2008

This is the latest digest update for Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice: A Human Rights Conference, an event hosted by the Simon Fraser University Institute for the Humanities and scheduled for the SFU downtown Harbour Centre campus in Vancouver, Canada on June 12th-15th, 2008.

Following are a few points to bear in mind as we advance into May:

Early Registration Rates End Friday:
Take note that the May 2nd deadline for early registration (and corresponding 'early-bird' fees) is now just four days off. If you have not already done so, please do consider taking advantage of these discounted rates by completing the on-line registration form by the 2nd.

Instructions for Presenters and Chairs:
For those of you presenting panel papers, please recall that the majority of sessions will run for 105 minutes. Presenters in regular panels should prepare talks of 20 minutes duration (plus discussion time). Where applicable we will supply a-v equipment and technical support, including computers and projection equipment. If you are intending to use PowerPoint software, you should plan to bring your file(s) on a flash drive/usb key (preferred) and/or cd/dvd. In mid-May we will be distributing information (including presenter contacts) and programming/formatting suggestions to all session chairs. If you are presenting in a panel session, please let me know if, for any reason, you do not wish your email address to be distributed to your session moderator.

Frames of Mind Mental Health Film Festival:
A programme note for locals (and those who might happen to be in the Vancouver area next week): The Frames of Mind film festival (Dr Harry Karlinsky, Festival Director; Caroline Coutts, Associate Festival Director) will be playing from May 8th through 11th at the Pacific Cinémathèque theatre (the same location as for our June 13th Titicut Follies / Juvenile Justice screenings). The full slate of films comprising this exciting festival programme, with contacts listed, is available at:

Airport Shuttle / Shared Rides:
By way of forward planning for visitors to Vancouver, the best means of transiting from the Vancouver International Airport to the city downtown are taxi or shuttle bus. The Vancouver Airporter shuttle is a reliable option, with several stops around the downtown area (@30-40 minutes travel time) and fares of $13.50 CAN (one-way) and $21.00 CAN (return). You might also wish to consider ride-sharing. Currently, Don Weitz (who arrives from Toronto via WestJet at 12:30 pm on Thursday, June 12th) is seeking a ride-share from another incoming traveller, or a lift from someone local. If you can assist, please let me know and I will put you in touch with Don. More generally, we would be glad to use the listserv as a clearing-house for anyone else who might be looking for (a) taxi partner(s).

More conference information will follow within the next 2-3 weeks.

Best for now,

Bob Menzies

Meet Pharmacist and Meds

The Mood Disorders Association is starting a program for patients taking psychiatric medications. Patients will have the opportunity to speak to a pharmacist, ask questions, and have a private and confidential review of medications. Please see attachment for more details.
A pharmacist from the Medicine Shoppe will be in the MDA office on March 29, from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. If you would like to book an appointment, please email or phone 604-873-0103, and I shall set up a time for you.
Thank you,
Greg Fromson

Greg FromsonMood Disorders Association of British Columbia
202-2250 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5N 5P9
Tel. 604-873-0103
Fax 604-873-3095

Ever wondered how the medication that you are taking works?
Should I take them with food, without food, with coffee or no coffee?
Did you know that your calcium works better if you take it with a glass of orange juice!
Join us on
Date: Thursday, May 15,2008
Time: From 1:00 to 3:30 pm
(Please pre register and book your appointment by calling (604-873-0103)

Meet with your neighborhood pharmacist from the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy for a private and confidential Medication Review
Receive a one on one session with the Pharmacist
Talk about questions or concerns privately regarding your medication
Review the best time of day to take your medication
See if any other vitamins or pain relievers are okay to take with your medications
Bring your prescriptions and any non prescription medications that you are taking from home
The goal is to help you understand more about your medicines, what they are for and how to take them, to work out any problems or answer any questions you may have.