Book News Vol. 3. No. 47


The 21st Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival will present 69 events from October 21 – 26, featuring a lineup of award-winning and bestselling authors from around the globe including Joseph Boyden, Andrew Davidson, Damon Galgut, Steven Galloway, Amitav Ghosh, Lorna Goodison, Linda Grant, Rawi Hage, C.C. Humphreys, Shane Koyczan, Donna Morrissey, Sharon Olds, Paul Quarrington, Jonathan Raban, Nino Ricci, Gillian Slovo, Kinnie Starr, Meg Wolitzer and Ronald Wright. For complete event information please visit our website at You can find ticket information at

Special Event
The Vancouver International Writers Festival and Penguin Group (Canada) present John Ralston Saul, the bestselling author of On Equilibrium and Voltaire’s Bastards discusses his new book, A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada.

7:30pm, Wednesday October 8
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC
6354 Crescent Road

Special event ticket prices: $15/$13 Students and seniors. Tickets are available throught Vancouver Tix ( or at the Writers Festival box office (in person sales only).

The Massey Lectures with Margaret Atwood: Payback Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth
Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood delivers a surprising look at the topic of debt as this year’s Massey Lecturer. Atwood comments ‘These are not lectures about how to get out of debt; rather, they’re about the debtor/creditor twinship in the broadest sense – from human sacrifice to pawnshops to revenge. In this light, what we owe and how we pay is a feature of all human societies, and profoundly shapes our shared values and cultures’.

Margaret Atwood will be presenting the second lecture in the tour at The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday 15 October 8:00pm. All revenue received from the tickets sold by the VIWF will be deposited in the Festival’s Alma Lee Legacy Fund. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available from the VIWF starting Monday September 29 on line at or by calling 604 681 6330 ext. 109.

The Vancouver International Writers Festival presents Literati, its annual fundraising gala dinner. Join us at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 20 for an evening of festivity, food and literary laughs with Festival authors and host Gloria Macarenko. All proceeds benefit Spreading the Word, the Festival’s education program for BC schools. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased by calling 604 681 6330 ext 109. Corporate tables are also available – contact Ann McDonell at 604 681 6330 ext 104.

Call for Volunteers
We need a FRENCH-SPEAKING volunteer or two with DAYTIME AVAILABILITY to assist with booksales and/or box office. AND: Do you speak and read DUTCH? If so, we need your help for a special volunteer job on Thursday evening October 23, 7 to 10 pm. Please SUBMIT YOUR VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION online or contact volunteer co-ordinator Kathryn Fowler, kf*****@wr*********.ca or 604 681-6330 ext 101.

Writers’ Rooms
Poet Jordan Scott takes us on a slippery syllabic ride in this week’s edition of Writers’ Rooms. Scott will be appearing in two events at the upcoming Festival, Gazebo and The Poetry Bash.

The Globe and Mail has done a fine piece on what has been happening to funding for the arts in Canada and it is a must read if this is an election issue for you.


Canadian children’s novelist Bryan Doyle, who attended the 2007 VIWF, and writer-illustrator Marie-Louise Gay, who will be at the 2008 Festival, have been nominated for the 2009 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the richest award in children’s literature.

Toronto novelist Wayson Choy has been named the winner of the Harbourfront Festival Prize, an honour awarded annually to an individual who has made “a substantial contribution to the world of books and writing.”


Parisian author Stéphane Audeguy’s new historical novel, The Only Son, is set against the background of the French Revolution and, as the Toronto Star says, is a “thoughtful and delightful” read. Audeguy is appearing in two events at the 2008 Festival.

This reviewer takes issue with a few aspects of Giller longlisted author David Bergen’s new novel, The Retreat, but says that ultimately it is a “meaningful and significant work.” Bergen will be appearing in one event at the VIWF.

The Globe & Mail writes that Canadian literature will be much richer if Joseph Boyden continues to write about the experiences of contemporary First Nations people. Read a review Boyden’s new novel Through Black Spruce here:

The hoopla that came as a result of winning the Giller Prize in 2002 meant that Austin Clarke wasn’t able to settle down and focus on writing until 2005. His new novel More has just been released. Clarke will be appearing in two events at the Festival. Read an interview with the author here:

In this interview, Steven Galloway, author of the bestselling novel The Cellist of Sarajevo, says he writes what he wants to know, not what he already knows.

Kenneth J. Harvey’s new book Blackstap Hawco inspires the Globe and Mail to say that Harvey may be Newfoundland’s Ahab more than its Melville. Harvey is appearing in two festival events.

Quill and Quire writes that attempts to encapsulate Nino Ricci’s exhilarating new book, The Origin of Species, are doomed. Ricci will be appearing in two Festival events.

Fred Stenson’s new novel The Great Karoo weaves together the stories of several Alberta volunteers from various backgrounds who travelled to South Africa to fight against the Afrikaner population in the Boer War. Stenson will be appearing in two Festival events. Read an interview with him here:


Marina Endicott’s Giller longlisted novel Good to a Fault has the “same kind of relentless, unstoppable expectancy as Barbara Gowdy’s Helpless,” writes the Globe & Mail.

The NY Times says that Marilynne Robinson’s new novel Home is “unsparing in its acknowledgment of sin and unstinting in its belief in the possibility of grace.”

Kate Atkinson’s new book, When Will There Be Good News?, “shows off an imagination so active that the novel can barely contain it,” writes the NY Times.


Join Caitlin Press and Ronsdale Press for the launch of two books: A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems, by Kate Braid and Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place, edited by Christine Lowther and Anita Sinner. Featuring readings by Kate Braid, Darcy Dobell, Hannelore Evans, Betty Krawczyk, Joanna Robinson and David Tindall. Thursday, September 25 at 7:30pm, free. The Bistro at The Sylvia Hotel, 1154 Gilford Street. Book sales by Duthie Books. More information at in**@ca***********.com.

New Reliable Press launches its latest graphic anthology with a show of original artwork by several of YAND3’s contributors. Friday, September 26 at 8:00pm, free. Lucky’s Gallery (3972 Main). More information at

For everyone who devours cookbooks in bed and loves to travel the world following their appetites, the CBC Radio Studio One Book Club is very excited to present Jeffrey Alford with his new book Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China on Sunday September 28. Host Sheryl MacKay of North by Northwest will be joined by special co-host Tara Lee, the author of one of Vancouver’s most popular foodie blogs. For your chance to win free tickets to this delectable afternoon, go to

The Word On The Street is an annual one-day festival celebrating literacy and the written arts with hundreds of participating exhibitors, authors, and performers for literary readings, cookbook demonstrations, music, contests, panel discussions, and much more. Sunday, September 28 from 11:00am to 5:00pm, free. For complete details, visit

SFU’s director of Interdisciplinary Programs in Continuing Studies Yosef Wosk moderates a forum featuring guest speaker and city librarian Paul Whitney. Sunday, September 28 at 4:00pm, free. Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (350 W. Georgia). More information at

Ariadne Sawyer and Alejandro Mujica-Olea host poets Bernice Lever, Douglas Bacon, Addena Sumter Freitag, Ashok Bhargava, Diego Bastianutti, and musician David Campbell. Monday, September 29 at 7:30pm, free. Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (350 W. Georgia).

Part open-mike, part poetry slam, the show welcomes all who want to share their writing. Tuesday, September 30 at 8:30pm. Tickets $5. Cottage Bistro (4468 Main St.).

Writers of all genres are invited to the North Shore Writers Association public reading to share their work with other writers and readers. Wednesday, October 1 at 7:00pm, free. Mollie Nye House (940 Lynn Valley Rd).

Celebrate Learning presents The Steve Machine, the first novel by the acclaimed filmmaker. Thursday, October 2 at 12:00pm, free. Lilloet Room (Level 3) of the Irving K. Barber Learnng Centre (1961 East Mall).

The Alcuin Society is pleased to announce that this year’s annual ceremony for the Society’s 26th annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. Thursday, October 2 at 7:00pm, free. Also, two free limited admission book design-related workshops will be given by Peter Cocking, Celia King, and CS Richardson. SB 301, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston St., Granville Island. More information at

Author will read from his Giller Prize-nominated novel The Cellist of Sarajevo. Thursday, October 2 at 7:00pm. Free but registration required. McGill Branch, Burnaby Public Library (4595 Albert St., Confederation Park). For more information or to register phone 604-299-8955.

Reception for the SFU Writer-in-Residence for 2008-2009. Friday, October 3 at 7:30pm. Free but please RSVP before October 1 to cs***@sf*.ca or 778.782.5100. Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University (515 West Hastings Street).

The author of House Calls by Dogsled presents a talk on his time as a nurse in the 1960’s in the Northwest Territories outpost of Fort McPherson, 1700 miles north of Edmonton. Friday, October 3 at 7:30pm, free. Peter Kaye Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Bestselling children’s author of the Judy Moody and Stink books reads from her works. Saturday, October 4 at 10:00am. Free but registration required. Community Meeting Room, Lynn Valley Main Library (1277 Lynn Valley Road). For more information, call 604.984.0286.


VPL Writer-in-Residence Caroline Adderson and illustrator Kathy Shoemaker team up to present an awesome book-making workshop for parents and children 4-6. Sunday, October 5 at 1:00pm. Free but registration required by calling 604-331-4041. Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

This event celebrates the release of the lastest books by local children’s authors and artists. Come and meet your favourite BC author or illustrator as they present their new books. Sunday, October 5 at 1:00pm, free. Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

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

Produced by the Book News Collective: Hal Wake, Brenda Berck, Clea Young, 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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