Book News Vol. 3 No. 30


Simon Winchester
7:30 pm, Friday May 30 at Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC

The bestselling author of A Crack in the Edge of the World and The Professor and the Madman will talk with VIWF Artistic Director Hal Wake about his new book, The Man Who Loved China: Joseph Needham and the Making of a Masterpiece.

In The Man Who Loved China, Simon Winchester brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, long the world’s most technologically advanced country. Both epic and intimate, The Man Who Loved China tells the sweeping story of China through Needham’s remarkable life, an unforgettable tale of what makes men, nations, and mankind itself great.

Tickets will be available at the door or at Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 604.280.3311 or Information: or call 604.681.6330.

To read a recent interview with Simon Winchester and a review of his book follow these links:

The Vancouver International Writers Festival presents the sixth annual

A Dram Come True
Single Malt Scotch Whisky Sampling
Tickets are still available! 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 International Writers Festival by donating your points.

This week in Writers’ Rooms poet and novelist Andrea MacPherson explains why her office is an anomaly in her house.

Novelist, screenwriter and playwright Hanif Kureishi blames creative writing programs for setting up “false expectations among students that a literary career will inevitably follow.”,,2282239,00.html

BookExpo America takes place in Los Angeles this weekend and while the environment will be the topic of several panel discussions, the convention organizers admit that improvement can still be made in their green-related efforts.

Filming has wrapped on the movie version of Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. The NY Times talks to the cast and crew about the process of adapting the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel.


Montreal writer Andrew Hood has won the fourth annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award for his collection of short stories Pardon Our Monsters.

Barbara Gowdy and Dennis Lee are among those shortlisted in the English category for the Trillium prize.

Anna Porter’s Kasztner’s Train is one of eight winners of the 20th annual Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards. For the full list follow this link:

The winners of the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards have been announced:


Critics all around are calling Joseph O’Neill’s novel Netherland the book that finally gets the texture and intimacies of the world post-9/11 right.,,2282150,00.html

Robert Wiersema writes that Paul Quarrington’s latest novel The Ravine “will make you laugh, as well as think and feel.”

John Burns reviews the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith, The Miracle at Speedy Motors.

What makes Ma Jian’s novel Beijing Coma controversial is that it focuses not on the 1989 government crackdown in Tiananmen Square but on the “collapse that precedes the crush.”

Sadie Jones’ first novel The Outcast is nominated for the Orange Prize, the winner of which will be announced next Wednesday. In this interview in the Globe & Mail she talks about her experience as a screenwriter, her decision to set the book in the fifties, and why she feels misunderstood.
The Georgia Straight reviews The Outcast and tributes the author’s technical skill to her training as a screenwriter.

The NY Times interviews Salman Rushdie upon the US release of The Enchantress of Florence.
Although Enchantress is being dubbed a “historical” novel, Joyce Carol Oates says that readers expecting a “conventional ‘historical novel’ should be forewarned: this is ‘history’ jubilantly mixed with postmodernist magic realism.”

Haruki Murakami talks about how translating classics like as J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” improved his own writing.


Appearance by the author/illustrator of the Scaredy Squirrel series. Thursday, May 29 at 7:00pm at St. James Community Square (3214 10th Ave. W.). Ticketing and information at

Author reads at a launch of his new book of poetry, Bowling Pin Fire. Thursday, May 29 at 7:00pm. Little Sisters Bookstore (1238 Davie).

Reads from his book Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver. Thursday, May 29 at 7:30 pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact VPL at 604-331-3603.

Launch of The Echoing Years: An Anthology of Poetry from Canada & Ireland. Featuring readings by Gary Geddes, Susan Musgrave, Joanne Arnott, George McWhirter and many others. Saturday, May 31 at 7:00pm. Cedar Room, Ponderosa Centre, 2071 West Mall, UBC.

Gala launch/reading of West Coast Line, The Roy Miki issue. Readings by Marie Annharte Baker, George Bowering, Colin Browne, Jeff Derksen and many others. Thursday, May 29 at 8:00pm. The Anza Club, 3 West 8th (between Main and Cambie). See for more information.

Author reads from her best-selling book, Dancing in the No Fly Zone: A Woman’s Journey through Iraq. Saturday, May 31 at 7:00pm, free. Yaletown Gallery (123-1208 Homer St.). More information at

The woman who first brought the issue of spousal abuse to the forefront in Canada presents her memoir No Laughing Matter: Adventure, Activism and Politics. Monday, June 2 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.

The evening of Monday June 2nd will see Governor-General’s Award finalist, poet Brian Henderson reading from his latest collection, Nerve Language. Monday, June 2 at 7:30pm. Location: #90-1959-152nd Street – in the ‘south arm’ of Windsor Square Mall. Parking is at the back of the building. Hosted by the White Rock and District Community Arts Council. To register and for more information:

Readings by poets Karen Houle (Ballast) and Rob Winger (Muybridge’s Horse). Tuesday, June 3 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore Robson Square (Plaza Level, 800 Robson Street). More info:

Reading by the author of queersexlife: Autobiographical Notes on Sexuality, Gender & Identity. Wednesday, June 4 at 7:00pm, free. Little Sister’s Books (1238 Davie St.). For more information: 604.687.4233.

The author reads from his most recent book, Soul of the World, which deals with time in all of its multi-faceted aspects, from physical properties to metaphysical dimensions. Wednesday, June 4 at 7:30pm, 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.

How does literary culture and our perception of history change as the world grows smaller? Author discusses his new book, The Afterlife of Culture. Thursday, June 5 at 6:30pm, free. Refreshments will be served. Pulpfiction Books (2422 Main St.).

Jack Christie will be presenting photos and a wide range of road-tested tips for summer adventuring, taken from his new book Best Weekend Getaways from Vancouver. Thursday, June 5 at 7:00pm, free but space is limited. Pre-register at the McGill Branch Information Desk or phone 604-299-8955. McGill Branch, Burnaby Public Library (4595 Albert Street).

Governor General award-winning Manitoba novelist Miriam Toews stars in a film about a couple and their children in a Mennonite community outside Chihuahua.Thursday, June 5 at 7:00 & 9:00pm. Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street). Info at

New York Times bestselling author John Connolly reads from his new thriller, The Reapers. Thursday, June 5 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.

Join author and North Vancouver native Joanna Van Der Gracht de Rosado as she shares her stories of moving to and then living in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico for more than 30 years. Thursday, June 5th at 7:00pm. No charge but please pre-register at 604-929-3727. Parkgate Branch Library, 3675 Banff Court, North Vancouver. Info: 604.929.3727.

Peter Hallward’s
book Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment examines the unceasing hostility that the Lavala movement has faced from Haiti’s wealthy elite and their foreign backers. Saturday, June 7 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.

Elizabeth George fans rejoice! The CBC Radio Studio One Book Club welcomes Elizabeth with her new Inspector Lynley novel Careless in Red on Sunday June 8, at 11:30 am at the CBC. This is your chance to join the conversation with the writer The New York Times calls “A master of the British mystery”. Sheryl MacKay will be joined by guest co-host John Burns of Vancouver Magazine. To win tickets, go to


Tickets to the 26th Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts are on sale by telephone only (1-800-565-9631 or 604-885-9631). Complete details and the list of authors is on the Festival website Note: some events have already sold out!

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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
* * * * * * * * * * *
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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