Book News Vol. 4 No. 3


Azar Nafisi
The Vancouver International Writers Festival, in partnership with Random House of Canada and the Capilano University IKON Speaker Series, present the bestselling Iranian author Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran) who will give a talk on her latest project Things I Have Been Silent About, a deeply personal memoir about her early years in Iran.

7:30pm, Saturday, January 17, 2009
Capilano Performing Arts Theatre
Capilano University
2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver

Tickets are free but should be reserved in advance as there is limited availability. To reserve, call the Capilano Performing Arts Theatre Box Office on 604.990.7810.

CBC Radio One, host of the Canada Reads series, has announced the panelists and the books they will defend in the upcoming edition of Canada Reads, airing March 2-6, 2009.

The recent international economic slowdown is beginning to affect publishing.

The New York Times has published its 100 Notable books for 2008 and its list of Notable Children’s Books.

Death is a hot topic notes the LA Times: “Judging from what’s being published these days, writers have been tackling that disappointing last act a lot lately.”,0,2311111.story


Patrick Lane has been awarded a Drummer General’s Award in the fiction category for his novel Red Dog, Red Dog, and Russell Wangersky has received the award in the non-fiction category for his memoir Burning Down the House. The awards were established in 1993 to recognize books ignored by the Governor General’s Awards and the Giller Prize.

The Complete Stories, a short story collection by Australian author David Malouf, has been awarded the first Australia-Asia Literary Award.

The Canada Council, which administers the Governor General’s Literary Awards, is defending itself over what some are saying is a conflict of interest in the poetry prize awarded to Jacob Scheier.

Rachel Johnson has taken this year’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award, beating out John Updike and Russell Banks. Johnson said it was an “absolute honour” to win. Updike, however did win a lifetime achievement award for bad sex.

Our very own Steven Galloway has made the shortlist for Borders 2008 Original Voices Award.

The Giller Prize has boosted the sales of Joseph Boyden’s Through Black Spruce.


C.C. Humphreys, author of Vlad: The Last Confession and one of our guests at the Festival, has received a starred review in Quill and Quire.

The latest by Bruce Jay Friedman, Three Balconies, a collection of stories and a novella, is reviewed here in the Globe & Mail.

Dennis Lehane’s new novel, The Given Day, is a “tale of labour unrest, corruption and racial strife.”

The Globe & Mail reviews a slew of children’s books in time for the holidays.

The Tyee spoke with Amanda Boyden about her latest novel, Babylon Rolling, when she was here for the Festival. Read the recently released interview here:

The Guardian interviews Nobel laureate José Saramago who, after spending several months in the hospital for a respiratory illness, has resumed his busy schedule.

According to reviewer George Packer in the New York Times, the new biography of V.S. Naipaul is “…fully worthy of its subject, with all the dramatic pacing, the insight and the pathos of a first-rate novel.”

The Georgia Straight reviews three books about the soon-to-be-over George W. Bush presidency.


Panel discussion on fiction and the environment, hosted by Green College writer-in-residence Patricia Robertson and featuring UBC Canada Research Chair Peter Dauvergne, science fiction novelist Donna McMahon, and Robert Rouse of the UBC English department. Thursday, November 27 at 8:00pm, free. Green College Coach House (6201 Cecil Green Park Rd., UBC). More information at

Join poet Susan McCaslin and musician-scholar Kevin Hutchings for an evening of poetry, visuals, and music in honour of William Blake’s 251st birthday. Friday, November 28 at 7:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen and Peter McKay Rooms, Central Library, lower level.

Veteran sportswriter and author of Hockey Night in Canada: My Greatest Day signs copies of his book. Monday, December 1 at 7:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, Burnaby.

Author Billie Livingston reads from her first novel, Going Down Swinging, as well as her most recent novel, Cease to Blush. Monday, December 1 at 7:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room (Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia). More information at

JoAnn Dionne spent seven years in China where she taught elementary school and the students and people she met there became the basis for her first book, Little Emperors: A Year with the Future of China. Monday, December 1 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.

The Vancouver launch of Samantha Warwick’s Sage Island, featuring guests Angie Abdou, author of The Bone Cage, and Keith Maillard, author of Difficulty at the Beginning. Wednesday, December 3 at 6:30pm, free. Montmartre Café (4362 Main). More information at

The Canadian author gives an illustrated lecture on her new book, A Mountain Year. Wednesday, December 3 at 7:15pm. Tickets: $10. H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut). For more information, please call 604-536-3529.

Sports journalist, broadcaster, and author gives a lively talk and reading from his memoir Hello Sweetheart? Gimmie Rewrite!: My Life in the Wonderful World of Sports. Wednesday, December 3 at 7:30pm, free. Lynn Valley Library (1277 Lynn Valley Rd., North Vancouver).

The Canadian author gives an illustrated lecture on her new book, A Mountain Year. Thursday, December 4 at 7:30pm, free. Parkgate Public Library, 3675 Banff Court, North Vancouver. For more information, please call 604-929-5718.

Lloyd Kahn
, author of the counter-culture classic Shelter and Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter, spent two years shooting photos and interviewing builders along the Pacific Coast of North America. The result is Builders of the Pacific Coast, a book featuring 1200 photos of unique buildings and innovative design, most of it on and around Vancouver Island. Friday, December 5 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.


Christina Burridge and special guests will celebrate James Barber with the launch of The Genius of James Barber: His Best Recipes. Sunday, December 7 at 3:00pm. Free but please call 604-688-6755 to register. Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks, 1740 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver.

The Canadian author gives an illustrated lecture on her new book, A Mountain Year. Monday, December 8 at 7:30pm, free. Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch (Alice MacKay Room), 350 West Georgia Street. For more information, please call 604-331-4041.

Win tickets to be in the audience of the CBC Radio Studio One Book Club with Peter C. Newman on Monday December 8th. Peter’s new book Izzy: The Passionate Life and Turbulent Times of Izzy Asper, Canada’s Media Mogul is the inside story of the Winnipeg boy whose empire changed the Canadian media landscape forever. Peter himself is no stranger to controversy with his other books including The Secret Mulroney Tapes. To win tickets to meet Peter C. Newman go to

Produced by the Book News Collective: Hal Wake, Brenda Berck, Clea Young, Ann McDonell and Sandra Millard.

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Hal Wake
Artistic Director
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2009 Festival – 20-25 October inclusive
Vancouver International Writers Festival
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