Book News Vol. 3 No. 36


David Chariandy’s first novel, Soucouyant, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for several others. This week in Writers’ Rooms Chariandy tells us what he needs in order to write: physical distance from both his personal life and his day-job, and near quiet (or at least rigorously controlled levels of 80s pop music).

Postcards, sketches and other documents taken out of Czechoslovakia by Franz Kafka’s friend and executor Max Brod may soon be made public.

Think, the music recommendation site, but for books. is only in the early stages of development, but its ultimate goal is to match readers to books through a system that analyses writing style.


Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children won the Booker Prize in 1981 and has just received another award, the Best of the Bookers, which was chosen from a shortlist of six in an online poll.

Because it was “plainly the best book,” the judges of the Frank O’Connor award dispensed with the ritual of issuing a shortlist and awarded Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, the richest honour for a short story collection.,,2289362,00.html

Henrietta Rose-Innes has won the won this year’s Caine prize for the best short story in English by an African writer. Rose-Innes is the author of two novels but does not yet have a British publisher.,,2289711,00.html
Read her winning story Poison here:,,2289838,00.html


Bill Gaston has done it again with his new novel The Order of Good Cheer, “a finely crafted journey from one edge of a continent to another.”
In this interview with the Tyee, Gaston talks about hanging out in Prince Rupert, why he’s not a fan of the word ‘celebrate,’ and what’s percolating for his next book.

The CBC talks to Meg Wolitzer about her new novel The Ten Year Nap, which follows a group of women who chose to quit their jobs to raise children and who, ten years on, face a flagging sense of purpose.

The Guardian reviews Patrick McGrath’s new novel, Trauma, about a psychiatrist who runs group therapy sessions for Vietnam veterans and is “strung up on his own inconsistencies and helpless in the face of the paradoxes of his trade.”,,2289260,00.html

The Toronto Star looks at three debut novels by a “trio of young colts.”

The New York Times reviews David Gilmore’s memoir, The Film Club, about his decision to let his troubled fifteen-year-old son drop out of school on the condition that they watch three movies together each week.

The Globe & Mail looks at sex and the male novelist.

Geoffrey Moorhouse responds to the posthumous publication of Towards Another Summer, a novel by New Zealand writer Janet Frame, based on three days she spent with his family in 1962, and is left wondering why the author didn’t want it published in her lifetime.,,2289240,00.html

The Guardian offers summer reading suggestions geared toward the type of vacation you might be embarking on, be it to a country cottage, a whirlwind of festivals, or a backpacking adventure.,,2289420,00.html

Because at least one of us here at the Festival office is a Lorrie Moore fan, here is a link to a podcast of Moore reading her short story Paper Losses. Download it to your iPod or mp3 player and take it to the beach.


Join author for talk and slide show presentation of The Darien Gap: Travels in the Rainforest of Panama ($26.95, Harbour). Thursday, July 10 at 7:30pm. G.A.P Adventures in Vancouver (109-1965 West 4th Avenue). Books sold by The Travel Bug. Information and registration at

Celebrate reading and writing on Bowen Island. July 11 to 13. Complete information at

Launch party for new kids’ book My Monster Cannery includes a reading by storyteller Anne Andersen, a book signing, and family activities. Saturday, July 12 at 1:30pm. Gulf of Georgia Cannery (12138 Fourth Ave.).

Join 10 of Canada’s top experts on all aspects of crime writing and publishing. Saturday, July 12 from 9:30am-4:00pm. Fee: $75. For complete information and registration, visit

Premiere of an interdisciplinary event that celebrates the collaboration and innovation in the use of text, visuals, music, and performance by Asian Canadian artists. Features the work of Natalie Purschwitz & Kimberley Cooper, Vanessa Kwan & Diyan Achjadi and Madoka Hara & Lee Hutzulak. Opens Saturday, July 12. Performances at 7:30pm (Hunt and Gather, 225 Carrall Street) and 8:00pm (Nouvelle Nouvelle, 209 Abbott Street). Full details at or call 604.683.8240.

Children aged 5-10 can meet Cynthia Nugent, illustrator of the popular Mister Got-to-Go series and Francesca and the Magic Bike. Tuesday, July 15 at 1:30pm, free. Lynn Valley Library (1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver). More information at

Join the author for a lively and intimate discussion of this year’s One Book, One Vancouver selection, The Five Books of Moses Lapinsky. Wednesday, July 16 at 3:00pm, free. Registration required-contact the hosting branch library to register. Kerrisdale Branch, VPL (2112 42nd Ave. W.). For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Author of Simple Recipes, The Chinese Violin and Certainty reads from her works. Thursday, July 16 at 3:00pm, free. Lillooet Room (level 3), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, Vancouver. More information at 604.822.3310.

Readings by local authors Catherine Hanrahan (Lost Girls and Love Hotels) and Madeleine Thien (Simple Recipes). Thursday, July 17 at 7:00pm, free. BC Bookstore Robson Square (Plaza Level, 800 Robson Street). More information at

The 6th annual festival features Sharon Butala, Maggie de Vries, Jack Hodgins, Brian Payton and many more. July 17-20, 2008. Complete information at:

The 5th annual outdoor festival established to raise public awareness regarding the on-going literary events, programs and resources available in the community. Saturday July 26 from 12pm to 8:00pm. Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park. Bring a picnic and blanket and stay for the whole day! Complete schedule and information can be found here

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!

The 5th Annual Kootenay Bookweekend will be held in Nelson, B.C. on September 19, 20 & 21st. The celebrity author in attendance will be Jack Hodgins, Governor General’s Award winner and bestselling author. His book to be discussed is Broken Ground. The other selections for this year are: To All Appearances a Lady by Marilyn Bowering, The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullens and Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje. Come join other passionate page turners for this stimulating event. For more information visit our website at, email kb*@ko*****************.ca, or call Victoria at 250-352-6197.

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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
p: 604 681 6330 x102
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