Book News Vol. 3 No. 28


The Vancouver International Writers Festival and HarperCollinsCanada Ltd. present two special events, sponsored by the UBC Writing Centre.

Simon Winchester
7:30 pm, Friday May 30 at Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC
The Vancouver Sun featured Simon Winchester this past weekend. In case you missed it.

An Evening with Barbara Kingsolver
There are only a few tickets left to this event!
7:30 pm, Thursday May 29 at Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC
The bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees will talk about her new non-fiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change.” – Chicago Tribune.

Tickets at Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 604.280.3311 or Information: or call 604.681.6330.

The Vancouver International Writers Festival presents the sixth annual

A Dram Come True
Single Malt Scotch Whisky Sampling
Sample a variety of single malts, including rare bottlings not otherwise available in BC. Limited edition bottlings of rare malts and other select items will be available at auction.
7:30pm – 10:00pm, Friday, June 6 in a Shaughnessy heritage home
Tickets: $75 Order on line at or call 604 681 6330 ext 104.

Donate Your Aeroplan Points!
Bring internationally renowned authors to the 21st annual Vancouver Intenational Writers Festival by donating your points. In case there’s been any confusion, we are asking for you Aeroplan points, not your Airmiles (blue card).

This week in Writers’ Rooms Gail Anderson-Dargatz talks about how her writing space and process has changed since having children.


Much-loved Irish author Nuala O’Faolain, who entertained Festival audiences last October, was diagnosed with cancer just eight weeks before her death on May 9th.,,2279374,00.html,,2279729,00.html


The winners of the Atlantic Book Prizes have been announced:

Ultimately it will be the public who decides which of the six shortlisted novels wins the Best of the Booker. Vote for your favourite here:


Burning Down the House, Russell Wangersky’s vivid account of the eight years he spent as a volunteer firefighter in small East Coast communities, reviewed here in the Globe and Mail.

Dede Crane reviews Double Lives, a collection of essays about writing and motherhood.

Like many of her previous novels, Louise Erdrich’s latest, A Plague of Doves, is told from multiple points of view. The only problem with this, writes the NY Times, is that occasionally a narrator comes along who “blows the rest of them off the page.”
The Toronto Star offers another take on A Plague of Doves here:

The Guardian features two reviews of The Collected Stories by Lorrie Moore, one favourable, the other less so.,,2279188,00.html,,2279295,00.html

A very funny and positive review by Janet Maslin of James Frey’s new book Bright Shiny Morning written in the author’s oddly punctuated and fragmented style.

Michiko Kakutani is impressed by Nam Le’s debut collection of stories, The Boat, in which he writes with “an authority and poise rare even among longtime authors.”
Read an interview with Nam Le here:

According to the NY Times, the central question in Meg Wolitzer’s novel The Ten-Year Nap, populated by women in their early forties, is “what is the proper role for a post-industrial, post-second-wave-of-feminism woman at midlife?”

The Globe and Mail reviews Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence and ultimately deems it “below the high standards we aptly apply to Rushdie.”

The Globe and Mail interviews 30-year-old Craig Boyko, whose debut collection of short stories, Blackouts, has been receiving rave reviews.

Debby Reis talks to Vancouver poet Jen Currin about the haunting images in her latest collection of poetry Hagiography.

Kenneth Oppel will be appearing at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival this week. In this interview he talks about how he got his start as a writer and what’s in store for his fans come September.

Canadian author Alissa York and three other writers will meet at Lyon’s International Forum on the Novel later this month to discuss the power and purpose of love in fiction. In this article you can read extracts from their answers to the question “why so much love?”,,2280090,00.html

Chinese author Xiaolu Guo grapples with the question of personal identity in The Independent.

Alberto Manguel enthralled audiences at the Festival a few years ago with stories about his personal library. If you missed him you can read this:


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:

Tune in to hear Padma Viswanathan with her riveting debut novel The Toss of a Lemon on the CBC Radio Studio One Book Club on North by Northwest, 690 on the AM dial. Sheryl MacKay’s special guest co-host for this Book Club is Jen Sookfong Lee, who told Padma that she found herself totally engrossed in the story based on Padma’s Great Great Grandmother during the upheaval of India. Saturday, May 17 at 8:00am. More information:

This workshop is about early literacy and what parents and caregivers can do to help four- and five-year olds become aware of, and comfortable with, books and language. Saturday, May 17 at 11:00am, free. Oakridge Meeting Room Oakridge Branch #191-650 W. 41st Ave. For more information please contact Oakridge Branch at 604-665-3980.

Evil Boy Genius Productions and New Music West present performances by Scruffmouth, Sean McGarragle, the Svelte Ms. Spelt, CJ, Brendan McLeod, Faust McKenzie, Radar, Barbara Adler, Julie Parrell, RC Weslowski, Zaccheus Jackson, and the Minimalist Jug Band. Saturday, May 17 at 8:30pm. Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial).

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 Society of Storytelling presents stories told by Priscilla Jones, Even Steven, Rita Taylor, Tony Rainbow, and Rachael Des Lauriers. Sunday, May 18 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $5/4. St. Mark’s Trinity Church (1805 Larch). More information at

Two readings by the author of Loose End and Bow Grip. First reading – Wednesday, May 21 at 3:00pm, free. Carnegie Centre Gallery, Carnegie Branch (401 Main Street). Second reading – Wednesday, May 21 at 7:30pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Book launch of two new publications about Japanese Canadian history: Michiko Midge Ayukawa (Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1891-1941) and Patricia E. Roy (The Triumph of Citizenship, The Japanese and Chinese in Canada, 1941-67). Thursday, May 22 at 7:00pm. RSVP to mu****@ni*********.org. National Nikkei Heritage Centre (6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby). Info:

Author reads from her new novel Clan of the Dung-Sniffers. Friday, May 23 at 1:00pm. Indigo-Park Royal (900 Park Royal S., W. Van.). Info:

Author of More Moxie than Money: Three Women-One Company reads from her book. Friday, May 23 at 6:00pm. Support Services Unlimited (102-211 Columbia St. Vancouver). More info: 604.681.0295.

A book launch for Crossing Lines feature readings from the anthology by ten of the 18 contributing poets who reside in BC. Hal Wake, the Artistic Director of the Vancouver International Writers Festival, is the emcee. Vancouver Poet Laureate George McWhirter will read a selection of poems of his choosing from the book, by poets not able to come. Friday, May 23 at 7:00pm. Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace at 16th and Burrard. More information: in**@th*********.com or

A rare opportunity to enjoy an epic romance, one of the pillars of Western literature and lore, told by one of Canada’s foremost tellers, Melanie Ray. Saturday, May 24 at 6:30pm. Cost: sliding scale between $15.00 to $20.00. Families (children 12 and older only please due to performance length and story content) $25.00. RSVP to el************@ya***.ca. Our Town Cafe (245 E. Broadway).

The Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars presents its Inaugural Symposium featuring a keynote address by John Ralston Saul entitled, “The Independent Scholar and Public Intellectual in a Corporatist Era”. Saturday, May 24th at 7:30 pm. Admission to the keynote lecture is $10. Reservations required, call 778-782-5100. SFU, Vancouver, Harbour Centre. 515 W. Hastings St. The Symposium continues on Sunday, May 25th with Max Wyman, Chuck Davis, Jim Green, Paul Whitney and others. To register, visit


Tickets to the 26th Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts go on sale Wednesday, May 21 at 8 a.m. by telephone only (1-800-565-9631 or 604-885-9631). Complete details and the list of authors is on the Festival website

Please email vi**@wr*********.ca if you would like to unsubscribe from this email list.

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
e: hw***@wr*********.ca

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