Vancouver International Writers Festival Book News Vol. 3 No. 15


The VIWF presents Vancouver Writes, the second annual interactive writing contest for aspiring writers and anyone interested in the group writing process. This event was wildly popular last year and tickets are limited – order yours today! A 2007 Vancouver Writes participant described it as “fantastic, creative and fun.” Join host Lisa Christiansen of CBC Radio and Caroline Adderson, Kevin Chong, Anne Giardini, Genni Gunn, Shaena Lambert, Nancy Lee, Timothy Taylor and many others to create instant literature and win cool prizes. Full details & tickets at Vancouver Writes is a Winterruption 2008 event. Vancouver Writes is sponsored by the UBC Creative Writing Program, Booming Ground and the Georgia Straight, and received support from the Granville Island Cultural Project Sponsorship Program.

This survey of African Canadian literature has a suggested reading list at the end.

For many years the New Yorker Magazine has had the right of first refusal on new stories by Alice Munro. Here is her latest.

Richard Ford has switched publishers and his first novel with his new publishers, due in 2010, is called Canada.

Since it is the political season in the U.S. the New York Times Sunday Book Review has featured a number of books on politics as well as a review of Australian novelist Peter Carey’s new novel.

If you think you have a depth of knowledge about the literature of the subcontinent you might want to try this rather difficult quiz.,,2147971,00.html

Crime writer Patricia Cornwell has watched too many real life investigative screw-ups, so she is directing some money to the problem.,0,6238820.story

A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Tomson Highway on stage at the Festival and he was funny and wise (and a wise guy). That trickster voice of his comes through in this interview about his new opera written in Cree.


Diane Schoemperlen is a Canadian writer known for narrative innovation. Her new novel At a Loss for Words is getting a lot of attention.

The great Canadian poet John Newlove died in 2003, but there is a new collection of his poetry out now.

Historian and social commentaro Erna Paris has a new book about the U.S. and its opposition to the international Criminal Court called The Sun Climbs Slow: Justice The Age Of Imperial America.

John Updike reviews the novels of Flann O’Brien.

Decca Aitkenhead on The Happiest Man in the World, a “disorderly story beautifully” told by New Yorker writer Alec Wilkinson.

Geoffrey Euginedes explains his methodology in choosing stories for his anthology on love, followed by three reviews of My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro.,,2254701,00.html

Not to be outdone Knopf Canada commissioned famous writers to write fictional lover letters.


The On Edge Reading Series presents a public reading by Addena Sumter-Freitag. Thursday, February 14 at 5:30pm, free. Room 406 SB, Emily Carr Institute, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island. Info:

Readings by Richard Van Camp, Janet Rogers and Joanne Arnott. Part of the Talking Stick Festival. Thursday, February 14 at 9:30pm. Tickets $10. Ironworks Studio (235 Alexander St. at Main, Vancouver). Info:

Caribbean author of Spirits in the Dark reads from and discusses his new novel Return to Arcadia. Saturday, February 16 at 2:00pm. Chapters at Robson & Howe (788 Robson Street, Vancouver).

Author launches her new romantic comedy novel Unpredictable. Saturday, February 16 at 4:00pm. Book Warehouse Yaletown (1068 Homer St., Vancouver).

Writer and artist who received the 2007 Governor General’s Literacy Award for children’s illustration launches his new book for kids, The Boy From the Sun. Saturday, February 16 at 3 pm, free. Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art (3696 W. 8th).

Vancouver Society of Storytelling presents an evening of music and stories. Sunday, February 17 at 7:30pm. Tix: $4/5 at the door. Trinity St. Mark’s Church (1805 Larch Street).

Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction will be reading from his novel The Law of Dreams. Tuesday, February 19 at 12:30pm, free. Refreshments will be served. Special Collections, room 7100, WAC Bennett Library, Simon Fraser University (8888 University Drive, Burnaby). More info at

Surrey Public Library hosts a reception for its first Writer-in-residence, Mansel Robinson. Mansel will read from his work, and share information about activities, consultations, and readings planned for his Feb-May tenure. Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00pm. Semiahmoo Branch, Surrey Public Library (1815-152 Street, Surrey). RSVP to lp*******@su****.ca or call 604-598-7307.

Author of The Law of Dreams will be reading and signing copies of his work. Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00pm. Donation: $10 to benefit for The Celtic Society of Canada. Tom Lee Musical Hall (929 Granville Street). For more information, email ma***@te***.net.

Two emerging SFU-affiliated poets, Kim Minkus (9 Freight) & Donato Mancini (Aethel) will read from their recently published collections. Thursday, February 21 at 12:30pm, free. Refreshments will be served. Special Collections, room 7100, WAC Bennett Library, Simon Fraser University (8888 University Drive, Burnaby). More info at

Poet reads from her new anthology, One crow sorrow. Thursday, February 21 at 7:30pm. Café Montmartre (4362 Main Street).

Sharon Butala welcomes readers of her popular memoirs and novels to Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver. Friday, February 22 at 7:30-9:00pm. Admission by donation. Space is limited, so to ensure a seat, please RSVP ko*********@ya***.ca. Visit for more information.

In this workshop, award-winning author and playwright Dennis Foon will examine the demands of speculative fiction and fantasy writing, offering tips on how a seed of an idea can evolve into a fully realized world. Saturday, February 23 at 2:00 pm. Free but registration required – contact Kyle Greenwood of the Writers’ Trust of Canada at: kg********@wr**********.com. 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.

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

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