Book News Vol. 3 No. 21



Words Without Borders
PEN Canada in partnership with the Vancouver International Writers Festival presents Afua Cooper, Jalal Barzanji, Sheng Xue and Hadani Ditmars – authors who write about local and global political issues. Saturday, April 5 at 7:30pm. Ticket Price $10 (suggested admission). The Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova St.). Advance Tickets (604) 689.0926. More information at

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

Barbara Kingsolver
The Vancouver International Writers Festival and HarperCollinsCanada Ltd. present the bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees who will talk about her new non-fiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life on Thursday, May 29 at 7:30pm. For more information, visit

Simon Winchester
The Vancouver International Writers Festival and HarperCollinsCanada Ltd. present the bestselling author of A Crack in the Edge of the World and The Professor and the Madman who will read from his new book, The Man Who Loved China: Joseph Needham and the Making of a Masterpiece on Friday, May 30 at 7:30pm. Complete details can be found here:


Have a listen! Authors Aloud is a library of short, recorded audio readings by Canadian authors of literary fiction and poetry.

The Vancouver Public Library has announced its 2008 One Book, One Vancouver shortlist.

The National Post reports than something “odd is happening in Toronto: New little bookstores are popping up like crocuses in the spring earth.”


The nominations for the Manitoba Book Awards have been announced.

Here are the finalists for the Donner Prize, an award granted to the best book on Canadian public policy.

The Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually by the New York Public Library to a promising author under the age of 35. Here are the 2008 finalists.

And lastly, the shortlist for the 2008 Ondaatje prize has been announced.,,2267984,00.html


Newfoundland author Libby Creelman’s debut novel The Darren Effect receives praise from both the Globe & Mail and The Vancouver Sun.

Vancouver’s Annabel Lyon has written her first young adult novel, All-Season Edie, which the Globe & Mail calls an effortless read.

Tim Lilburn’s Orphic Politics and Jacob McArthur Mooney’s The New Layman’s Almanac suggest two different directions for contemporary Canadian poetry writes the Globe & Mail.

Ibi Kaslik may have toured with some of Canada’s indie rock bands, but she warns against reading her new novel The Angel Riots as a roman à clef.

In her eighth novel, The Ten-Year Nap, Meg Wolitzer says she wanted to “capture the nuances of characters who happened to have children and happened not to work.”

To read Tobias Wolff’s latest collection of new and selected stories, Our Story Begins, is to realize that the author is “obsessed with the act of lying.”

The New York Times writes that Stefan Merrill Block’s debut novel The Story of Forgetting is “a beguiling novel in what is sure to be the rapidly expanding genre of Alzheimer’s literature.”

In this interview with the Globe & Mail, Mary Swan talks about the impetus for her novel The Boys in the Trees and her ‘literary friendship’ with Alice Munro.

The CBC profiles novelist and book designer Chip Kidd.

In this interview, the Village Voice talks with John Banville about writing under his open pseudonym, Benjamin Black. Apparently Mr. Banville and Mr. Black have very different approaches to writing.,trouble-is-his-b,389029,10.html


Vancouver historian Rex Weyler will read from his book The Jesus Sayings and discuss the modern search for a historically accurate Jesus. Book signing to follow. Thursday, March 27 at 7:00pm. Chapters (Broadway & Granville, Vancouver). Info:

The author of An Enchantment of Birds presents a talk on bird populations, and how they provide a powerful indicator of current and future changes. Thursday, March 27 at 7:30pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information, please contact the VPL at 604-331-3603. Sponsored by Vancouver Natural History Society,

Join celebrated author Miriam Toews who will read from her Governor General’s Literary Award-winning novel A Complicated Kindness (Knopf, 2004), and preview her upcoming novel, The Flying Troutmans (Knopf, October 2008). Part of UBC’s Centenary Celebrations, this event is co-presented by the UBC Creative Writing Program and the Arnold and Nancy Cliff Writers in Residence Program. Friday, March 28 at 6:00pm; free, drop-ins welcome. UBC Robson Square (800 Robson St.). Info: 604.822.5812.

The Capilano Review announces the launch of the Collaborations Issue 3.4. Hear poets Ted Byrne, Larissa Lai and Rita Wong; see and hear an excerpt from the recording of Hadley+Maxwell and Stefan Smulovitz’s “(The Rest Is Missing)” with Turning Point Ensemble; and hear live performances of song room pieces “unselected works” by Viviane Houle, Stefan Smulovitz, Andrew Klobucar; “Occupying Army” by Vanessa Richards, John Korsrud, Chris Derksen; and more. Friday, March 28 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $5. Western Front, 303 8th Avenue East, Vancouver. Info: (604) 876-9343.

Readings by Eileen Cook (Unpredictable) and Robert Wiersema (Before I Wake). Sunday, March 30 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse Downtown (552 Seymour Street). Info:

Herstory Cafe marks the centennial of the publication of Anne of Green Gables with a talk by author Carol Gerson. Monday, March 31 at 7:00pm, free. Sylvia Hotel, 1154 Gilford Street. Info:

Reading by the author of Tamarind Mem, The Hero’s Walk and Can You Hear the Nightbird Call. Tuesday, April 1 at 12:30pm, free. Refreshments will be served. Special Collections, room 7100, WAC Bennett Library, SFU (8888 University Drive). Info: 778.782.6676 or

Reading by Capilano College creative writing instructor and author of Courage, My Love. Tuesday, April 1 at 12:30pm, free. Library 321, Capilano College (2055 Purcell Way). Info:

Celebrate National Poetry Month with the launch of Vancouver author and member of the ‘vertigo west’ literary collective Jen Currin, as she launches her second book, Hagiography, a collection of surrealist urban fairy tales. Tuesday, April 1 at 7:00pm. The Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir Street. Info:

Book designer and publisher of The Porcupine’s Quill Press recalls life in the Ontario small press world of the last 30 years. Thursday, April 3 at 7:00pm, free. Reservations: aw****@al***********.com or (604) 732-5403. Vancouver Museum (1100 Chestnut Street). Co-sponsored by The Alcuin Society and The Vancouver Museum. For more information see

American poet and translator reads from his most recent collection, The Insanity of Empire. Friday, April 4 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $18. Unitarian Church, 949 49th Ave. W., Vancouver. Information and tickets: Banyen Books at 604.732.7912.


Ninth annual festival of readings by Canadian authors. Featuring Mary Novik, Jen Sookfong Lee, June Hutton, Marina Nemat, William Deverell and many others. April 19-26, 2008. For complete information on events, short story contest (deadline Friday, April 11) and locations, visit

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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
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2008 Festival – 21-26 October inclusive
Vancouver International Writers Festival
Suite 202, 1398 Cartwright Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3R8
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