Book News Vol. 4 No. 5


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 or online at

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As we reported in last week’s Book News, there were some major changes in U.S. publishing recently as a result of the economic climate. The pinch is now being felt in Canada – albeit less forcefully, for the time being anyway.

On the other hand, recent statistics indicate that books sales in Canada in November were up 5% over the same period last year.

‘Tis the season for book lists, this one is the Toronto Star kids book list.

Robert McCrum the esteemed critic for the Guardian has compiled his ten best books of the year.

Not everybody finds being in a book club an enriching experience.


The short list for the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-fiction has been announced. Russell Wangersky, one of the nominees, was one of our guests at the Festival in October.

You’ll find the Nobel address by the most recent recipient, Jean-Marie Gustav Le Clézio, here:

In the wake of the controversy over the Governor General’s Award for English language poetry there are calls for more transparency on juries.


One of Canada’s almost forgotten literary treasures, Josef Skvorecky, is still turning out novels. The latest to be translated into English is called Ordinary Lives.

Novelist Lewis DeSoto reviews Gillian Slovo’s Black Orchid in the Globe and Mail.

Margaret Drabble has written an appreciation of Doris Lessing’s short stories.

The much remarked upon address David Foster Wallace gave at Kenyon College’s commencement in 2005 will be published in book form this spring.

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has written a book about “depression economics”.

Today’s Georgia Straight has some new book reviews including one of Edward Hoagland’s Early in the Season: A British Columbia Journal.


The author of Managing Human Rights at Work and Steps in the Rights Directions will be discussing community and international human rights. Thursday, December 11 at 7:00pm, free. McGill Branch, Burnaby Public Library (4595 Albert Street). For more information, phone 604.299.8955.

Jim Oaten
, Jim Christie and Charles Tidler launch their respective books: Accelerated Paces, Scalawags and Tortoise Boy. Thursday, December 11 at 7:00pm. Café Montmartre, 4362 Main Street.

C.C. Humphreys reads from his newest novel, Vlad: The Last Confession: The Epic Novel of the Real Dracula. Friday, December 12 at 7:30pm, free. Alma Van Dusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level Central Library 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Upcoming issue launch featuring short readings by Ray Hsu, Joni Low, Kim Nguyen, and Caroline Wong, with a musical performance by Elvis tribute artist Aaron Wong. Sunday, December 14 at 7:00pm. Tickets by donation. Hoko Japanese House (362 Powell). More information at in**@ri***************.ca.

World Poetry presents poets Warren Stevenson, Jacqueline Maire, Diane Laloge, Cora Salvador, Gordon Mumford, and featured musician Earle Peach. Monday, December 15 at 7:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room (Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia).

Vancouver poetry slam featuring Taalam Acey. Monday, December 15 at 9:00pm. Tickets: $5. Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive).

Rowan Lipkovits hosts an open-stage variety show featuring spoken word, music, dance, improv, clowning, puppet shows, etc. Thursday, December 18 at 8:00pm, by donation. Spartacus Books (319 W. Hastings). More information at

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is proud to announce its fourth annual Cherry Blossom Festival during March/April 2009 and invites poets from British Columbia and around the world to submit one unpublished haiku about the cherry blossom in the spirit of international friendship. Selected haiku will become part of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Musically Speaking concert on March 28th, 2009, and be displayed on Vancouver TransLink city buses and SkyTrain cars during March and April. Please visit for full submission details. Submissions must be received by December 19th, 2008.

Fireside readings by Cam Cathcart, Don Mowatt, and Carolyn Finlay with piano accompaniment. Saturday, December 20 at 7:00pm. Tickets $12. Roedde House Museum (1415 Barclay).

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
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..When you change the way you look at things, the things themselves begin to change..

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