Book News Vol. 3 No. 37


Matt Rader, featured in this week’s Writers’ Rooms, says that his writing habits have less to do with a particular room and more to do with the idiosyncrasies of his personality and body. Rader is the author of two collections of poetry, Miraculous Hours and Living Things.

Eurithe Purdy plans to sell the rural home she and her late husband, poet Al Purdy, bought in 1957 in Ameliasburgh, Ontario, when they were desperate to escape Montréal.

Vancouver resident John Meier has a book collection unlike any other, comprising Governor General Award winners dating back to 1936.

Kay Ryan, who has been described as a “thoughtful, bemused, affectionate, deeply skeptical outsider,” will be named the new poet laureate of the US today.


A long list of 16 titles has been unveiled for the lucrative Dylan Thomas literary prize, an international award aimed at honouring talented writers under the age of 30.

Kate Summerscale’s The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, full of melodrama, murder, suspense and courtroom drama, has been awarded the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction.,,2290991,00.html


The short stories in Nigerian writer Uwem Akpan’s debut short story collection, Say You’re One of Them, take as their subjects a young boy and girl who are sold into semi-slavery when their parents are diagnosed with AIDS, a family sniffing glue to stave off hunger, and a girl whose mother is killed by a Hutu mob. The Toronto Star calls the stories skillfully written “dispatches” from a journey that has only begun.

The Globe & Mail writes that Joseph O’Neill’s new novel Netherland is not only a book about the scars of 9/11, but also about “a man’s love for his family, and his desire to reconnect with a sport that he loved as a boy, in order to ease his pain.”
Listen to Slate’s Book Club, Stephen Metcalf, Meghan O’Rourke, and Katie Roiphe, discuss O’Neill’s novel.

The Toronto Star reviews two new collections of Canadian poetry: Spirit Engine by John Donlan and The Crooked Good by Louise Bernice Halfe.

David Sedaris, interviewed here by the CBC, talks about his fashion sense, writing about his family, and a recent book signing at Costco.

The Guardian lavishes praise on Leonard Cohen, who is on tour right now in the UK.

Ian McEwen writes about meeting the brother he never knew he had until 2002.,,2290565,00.html

These last two links are for your listening pleasure. Listen to Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney and more read their own work.

The latest in British hip hop poetry and spoken word can he heard here on the BBC’s Bespoken Word.


Author of Simple Recipes, The Chinese Violin and Certainty reads from her works. Thursday, July 17 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:

Author (who writes under the pen name of Michael Slade) presents his new novel Crucified. Saturday, July 19 at 1:00pm, free. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information: 604.431.0463.


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

Calling all book lovers and aspiring writers ages 11 to 16! Sharpen your pencils, stretch your typing fingers, and spark your imagination! This unique day camp lets youth with a passion for reading and writing connect with well-known authors and illustrators. Our inclusive program welcomes youth who want to try creative writing for the first time, aspiring authors with mountains of manuscripts, and everyone in between. August 11-15. Cost: $200 (includes a copy of the anthology). Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 West Georgia Street. Complete information and registration forms can be found at

Canada’s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, featuring established literary stars and exciting, new voices… with opportunities for writers and readers to mingle amidst Rockwood’s heritage gardens. 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). August 14-17. 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, or email kb*@ko*****************.ca, or call Victoria at 250-352-6197.

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Produced by the Book News Collective: Clea Young, Brenda Berck, Ann McDonell, Hal Wake 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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e: hw***@wr*********.ca

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