Book News Vol. 3 No. 48


We’ll be changing the way Book News is delivered to you for the next issue. Please expect an email from our new announce list early next week asking you to resubscribe. We hope you will do so. One lucky resubscriber will be randomly selected to receive two tickets to a Festival event.

Special Event
Here is what Noah Richler had to say about John Ralston Saul’s provocative new book, A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada in the Globe & Mail: “What a relief it is to read something so observant about Canada….we are a Métis nation, certainly, and it has never been so eloquently said….But it is also a brilliant and timely argument about Canada’s complex nature and our country’s best future course. Our politicians would do well to read this book.” You can hear John Ralston Saul discuss his book next week. In this interview with Saul, he talks about the decade-long process of working his way through the ideas put forward in his new book.

7:30pm, Wednesday October 8
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC
6354 Crescent Road
Tickets: $15/$13 students and seniors and are available through 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 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, and are now available from the VIWF online at or by calling 604 681 6330 ext. 109.

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’. Read interviews with Atwood on Payback here:

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 still need a few volunteers with daytime availability to help with our Catering and Production crews. Sense of humour a must, as is a willingness to roll up your sleeves and help with lightweight physical chores. SUBMIT YOUR VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION online or contact volunteer co-ordinator Kathryn Fowler, fo****@wr*********.ca or 604 681-6330 ext 101.

Writers’ Rooms
Lee Henderson’s desk and chair may be busted, but check out his fabulous bookshelf, all joinery, no screws. Just yesterday Henderson found out that his first novel, The Man Game, is on the shortlist for this year’s Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. He will be appearing in two Festival events, #45 and #52.


The shortlists for the Writers’ Trust Literary Awards have been announced. Congratulations to 2008 Festival authors Rawi Hage, Lee Henderson, and Patrick Lane, who appear on the shortlist for fiction, and Russell Wangersky, who appears on the shortlist for non-fiction.

Toronto author Gil Adamson has won the in Canada First Novel Award for her 2007 novel The Outlander.


David Bergen is indebted to his children for the discipline they taught him when they were young. He says: “If I had two hours to write, I’d think, ‘You better damn well get to it because you’re not going to have any time later.'” Read the full interview here:

Regarding the pressure he felt while writing his sophomore novel, Through Black Spruce, Joseph Boyden says that, luckily, “as soon as the characters start speaking to [him], the pressure all just kind of goes away.” Read the full interview and a review here:

The CBC talks with Amanda and Joseph Boyden who, “in addition to wedding bands and a home, share a preoccupation with issues of race.”

The Globe & Mail writes that it’s satisfying to see Austin Clarke follow up his successful 2002 novel, The Polished Hoe, with More, “a forceful book that reignites our sense of Clarke’s deeply complicated love affair with Toronto, the city he calls home.”

Amitav Ghosh’s Man Booker-short-listed novel Sea of Poppies “returns one to the joyous childhood discovery of narrative . . .while simultaneously posing complex, adult questions about how we should live together in a crowded world.” Read the full review here:

Of Donna Morrissey’s new novel What They Wanted, this reviewer writes: “Sometimes a reviewer wants to tell readers everything about a book, about all the layers of complexity, all the beauties and grace, all the revelations, but I’ll restrain my enthusiasm in this case and conclude by saying: Read this book.”


Jim Bartley, the first-fiction reviewer for the Globe & Mail, writes favourably about Rebecca Rosenblum’s debut collection of short stories, Once, winner of the 2007 Metcalf-Rooke Award.

The NY Times reviews Billy Collins most recent collection of poetry, Ballistics.

The NY Times writes that possibly the most useful lesson to be extracted from celebrated Mexican author Carlos Fuentes’ new collection of stories, Happy Families, is that it’s smart to stay single.


The CBC Radio Studio One Book Club is pleased to partner with CBC Radio’s Ideas to present this year’s Massey Lecturer, Margaret Atwood, in the Book Club the night before her Massey Lecture. For all the details and to win tickets to this fascinating conversation, go to Plus, check out Margaret Visser’s fabulous Book Club broadcast on North by Northwest, Saturday Oct. 4, between 8 and 9 am on CBC Radio (690 on the AM dial in Metro Vancouver).

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

Celebrate Learning presents The Steve Machine, the first novel by the acclaimed filmmaker. Thursday, October 2 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore Robson Square (Plaza Level, 800 Robson Street).

VCON 33, Vancouver’s fantasy, gaming and science fiction convention, is sponsoring a multi-author book launch. Friday, October 3. For list of authors and complete details, visit

The Women’s and Gender Studies department at UBC presents a free public lecture by poet, novelist, and essayist Dionne Brand, followed by a wine and cheese reception. Friday, October 3 at 7:00pm. Room 120, AERL Theatre, UBC (2202 Main Mall).

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.

Vancouver teacher and author presents her new book, Honouring the Child: Changing Ways of Teaching, in celebration of World Teachers’ Day. Saturday, October 4 at 2:00pm, free. Alice MacKay Room (Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia). More information at

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.

Author presents her debut book The Secret Lives of Saints. Sunday, October 5 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $12/$10. Capilano College Performing Arts Theatre (2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver).

David Chariandy
, author of Soucouyant, reads selections from his recent works. Monday, October 6 at 2:00pm, free. Douglas College, Room 3406 (700 Royal Ave., New Westminster).

Poet Ray Hsu will be reading Wednesday, October 8, 2008 from 5:15 to 6:30 at Green College, Graham House Lounge, UBC Campus. Hsu’s first book-length collection, Anthropy, was the winner of the Gerald Lampert Award for Poetry (2005) and was shortlisted for the Trillium Award for Poetry (2005). Hsu is a poet, activist, and scholar currently holding a post-doc position for UBC’s Creative Writing Program. For further information, contact: Rhea Tregebov. tr******@in*********.ca.

Louis Han
elicited his mother’s memories to help craft the memoir, The Doctor Who Was Followed by Ghosts. He will retell his mother’s fascinating story, accompanied by a slideshow. Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Romance writer is the guest speaker for the Canadian Authors Association. Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00pm. Free admission for members, $5 nonmembers. Alliance for Arts and Culture (938 Howe).

Authors Daniel Allen Cox and Jennica Harper, and actor Allison Mack, celebrate the book launches of Shuck and What It Feels Like for a Girl. Wednesday, October 8 at 8:00pm. Lick (455 Abbott St.).

An evening of reading and performances by past and present Capilano University students, including guest speakers Roger Farr, Kim Minkus, and Reg Johanson. Wednesday, October 8 at 8:00pm. Hoko Japanese House (362 Powell). More information at rj******@ca*******.ca.

Author of Conceit will be reading from her novel. Friday, October 10 at 7:30pm, free. Peter Kaye room (lower level), Central Branch, Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.

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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