Vancouver International Writers Festival


We regret to report the death of Val Ross, journalist, author, and passionate friend of the arts.

Publisher and writer Anna Porter has been appointed to the Board of the Canada Council of the Arts, effective March.

Toronto is soon to have the statue of Al Purdy that Scott Griffin (owner of House of Anansi and founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize) has been promoting.

If your quiet private space for writing gets as a new neighbour a small shoe factory, will the fumes affect your ability to write? Make your work lowbrow?

About a month ago, the Book News Collective encountered an article about a pseudonymous author, Inger Ash Wolfe, apparently a Canadian. When it came time to mention it in our newsletter, the article had disappeared. Now s/he-and the hunt-have returned.


New and emerging writers from Quebec, Alberta and Ontario are among the latest winners of the CBC Literary Awards.
Canadians are well represented on the shortlist in the Canada and the Caribbean region for the 22nd Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Three writers nominated in the region’s best first book category David Chariandy, Ameen Merchant, and Neil Smith appeared in a event together at our festival last year.

Award-winning author Zadie Smith has created a spat with her comments on literary awards.


On the Anne of Green Gables prequel, the Toronto Star and Washington Post reviewers agree that Budge Wilson got it right.

Russell Banks places his novel The Reserve in the Adirondacks during the Great Depression.,0,2177879.story

Linda Grant’s new book The Clothes on Their Backs deals with identity, belonging, and the perils of hypocrisy.,,2257413,00.html

Benazir Bhutto’s Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West is part memoir, part campaign book for a campaign cut short.

Susan Jacoby’s latest book-The Age of Unreason-argues that Americans are hostile to knowledge. The follow-up question on the NY Times website: Why do you think Americans are perceived as being hostile to global knowledge? had generated 978 comments when we last checked.,0,6680233.story

In The Terror Dream: What 9/11 Revealed about America, Susan Faludi challenges the myth that after 9/11 American women wanted to give up their careers, get married and have children. Here is an interview and an extract:,,2257611,00.html,,2258139,00.html

We know the names and books of many 20th Century American writers, but who was Richard Yates? An upcoming film based on Revolutionary Road and Vintage Classics’ re-issue of his seven novels will introduce us to “one of the three unarguably great American novelists of the 20th century” (David Hare).,,2257429,00.html


Discussion of Michael Crichton’s novel Sphere. Thursday, February 21 at 7:00pm, free. Our Town Cafe (245 E. Broadway). More information at da************@ya***.ca.

Memewar launches its fifth issue with readings by Stephen Collis, Phinder Dulai, Rhoda Hodjati, and Amanda Ryan, plus music by Italian Edition and mydearestfriends. Thursday, February 21 at 8:30pm. Admission $8 (includes a copy of the magazine). Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir). More information at

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.

Long-time printer/publisher, collector and author will discuss strategies for collecting and publishing. Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30pm. Free admission but please reserve: 778.782.6704 or li*****@sf*.ca. Refreshments following lecture. Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, room 470, SFU Vancouver (580 W. Hastings). More info:

Part of the Freedom to Read Week, author reads from her novel The Lizard Cage. Wednesday, February 27 at 3:00pm, free. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC (1961 East Mall). More info:

Author will be reading from Falsework, a work of narrative poetry about the collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge while under construction in June 1958. Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 pm, free. McGill Branch, Burnaby Public Library , 4595 Albert St. For more information, please call 604-299-8955.

The Canada Council for the Arts presents a reading by the Vancouver novelist and poet. Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30pm, free. Langara College (100 W. 49th).

As part of the Freedom to Read Week, author reads from her works. Thursday, February 28 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, plaza level. More info:

VCC writer-in-residence gives a public reading of his latest collection of poetry, Falsework. Special musical guests Sal Ferreras and his stellar ensemble. Thursday, February 28 at 8:00pm. Tix $10 in advance/$12 at the door. Call 604.871.7351 or visit the cashier’s office on the fourth floor of the Broadway campus.

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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
f: 604 681 8400
e: hw***@wr*********.ca

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