Book News Vol. 3 No. 17


Last week the BC government announced the establishment of a new $150-million BC150 Cultural Fund as a permanent endowment. The Fund will generate approximately $8 million a year in revenue, which will be administered by the BC Arts Council. The VIWF would like to recognize and thank the government for its support of arts and culture in the recent budget and if you would like to add your name to a letter we will be sending to the government, just hit ‘reply’ and tell us your name in the body of the email.

One hundred aspiring writers and 12 of Vancouver’s finest authors conspired to create instant literature at the second annual Vancouver Writes, hosted by CBC’s Lisa Christiansen. The winning table, working with coach Caroline Adderson, produced Marion in Four Views, which is on our website ( and will be published in the summer issue of Geist.

The television adaptation of Guy Vanderhaeghe’s wonderful novel The Englishman’s Boy debuts on CBC TV on Sunday.

The Booker prize is 40 years old and to celebrate they are going to choose a “best of the Booker” from the list of previous winners. Of course the bookies are setting odds for the winner.

Alain Robbe-Grillet, a “new novelist” and filmmaker who rejected conventional storytelling and was one of France’s most important avant-garde writers, died on Monday.

This is an article from the Georgia Straight that invites three leading figures from the arts community to give their views on Vancouver at a cultural crossroads.


Congratulations to Barbara Gowdy who was given the rank of Member of the Order of Canada last week.

The shortlist for the Kiriyama Prize, given for books that promote “greater understanding” of South Asia and the Pacific Rim, has been announced.

Several writers who attended our Festival last year are nominated for Writers’ Trust awards including Nancy Huston, Tim Bowling, and Anna Porter. Shaena Lambert of Vancouver is also nominated for her novel Radiance.

A book on Canada’s role in Afghanistan has won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for excellence in political writing.

And finally, a writer from France has won Montreal’s Blue Metropolis Award.


Sarah Ellis has written the latest book in Scholastic’s Dear Canada series. Here is a glowing review and a diary entry.

I can’t think of too many great novels set in Las Vegas, but a debut Vegas novel by Charles Bock is receiving fine notices in at least three countries.

This review of Mary Swan’s new novel The Boys in the Trees let’s you know in the first sentence what the reviewer thinks: “…a splendid book that, once started, is very hard to put down.”

A review from the Georgia Straight of Erna Paris’ book on the formation of the International Criminal Court.

The New York Times reviews new visual books about the Mad magazine cartoonist Basil Wolverton; Hergé, the creator of Tintin; Times Square; and art deco in Havana.

The great American poet Robert Creeley died in 2005 but a new Selected Poems has just been released that this reviewer calls brilliant and essential.

The New Yorker takes a look at the new novels by Hari Kunzru and Peter Carey, both set in the radical underground of late-sixties and early-seventies.


The On Edge Reading Series presents reading by the author of Small Arguments and Found. Thursday, February 28 at 5:30pm, free. Room 406, Emily Carr Institute, 1399 Johnston Street. More information at

Listen to Hiromi Goto, author of Hopeful Monsters, as she reads from her work, then join in an interactive discussion on writing and the role of writing in our lives. Thursday, February 28 at 7:00pm, free. Carnegie Theatre, Carnegie Branch, 401 Main Street.

Join the author as he reads from his debut novel, Soucouyant, shortlisted for the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award, and longlisted for the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Thursday, February 28 at 7:30pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street.

Author of The Great Bear Rainforest describes his experiences with coastal wolves. Thursday, February 28 at 7:30pm. Tix $17 in advance/$19 at the door. HR MacMillan Space Centre, 1100 Chestnut Street. More information at

As part of the Freedom to Read Week, authors read from their 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. Info:

Four young Filipino Canadian writers, three poets and a short story author, will read from work they created in a workshop with VPL Writer-in-Residence, Hiromi Goto. Friday, February 29 at 7:00pm, 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.

Canadian SF writer and ecologist reads from her latest book, Darwin’s Paradox, an ecological SF thriller set in Ontario. Saturday, March 1 at 2:00pm. Indigo-Marine Drive (1025 Marine Drive, North Vancouver). More info:

The Editors’ Association of Canada presents a workshop by Lois Peterson in which participants will gain insights into effective storytelling by editing their own and others’ fiction. Saturday, March 1 at 11am-5pm. Members $120/Nonmembers $180. Labatt Hall, Room 1700, SFU Harbour Centre (515 W. Hastings). More information at

World premier of the opera based on Timothy Findley’s novel, Pilgrim. Performances: March 2 at 3:00pm; March 4, 6, 8 at 8:00pm. Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, 6265 Crescent Road. Info: or phone 604.822.9197.

Anosh Irani
, playwright and Governor General’s Award-nominee, sits down with Arts Club Theatre Company’s Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd to talk about his latest play, Bombay Black before the performance. Monday, March 3; reception at 6:30pm, talk starts at 7:00pm. Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston St. More info:

Reading by author of DeNiro’s Game. Tuesday, March 4 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Robson Square, plaza level (800 Robson Street). More info at For more information see or

Author of The Jade Peony and All That Matters reads from his works. Wednesday, March 5 at 3:00pm, free. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC Point Grey (1961 East Mall). For more information see or

Author of DeNiro’s Game reads from his works. Thursday, March 6 at 3:00pm, free. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC Point Grey (1961 East Mall). For more information see or

Acclaimed Canadian poet-novelist reads from her new novel Falling and her recent poetry. Friday, March 7 at 1:00pm. Buchanan C, 4th floor, 1866 West Mall. More information at


Freelance journalist, author of This Heated Place, and adjunct professor of Creative Writing at UBC, Deborah Campbell will talk about her experiences as a field researcher and reporter in conflict zones. Tuesday, March 11 at 12:00 noon, free. This event is sponsored and hosted by UBC Creative Writing. More info at

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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
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