Book News Vol. 4 No. 10


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Please take a few minutes and complete a short survey about Book News. Surveys submitted with contact information before Monday, February 9, 2009 will be entered into a draw for a two tickets to Spoken World on Wednesday, February 18 at 7:30pm.

The Vancouver International Writers Festival and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad present

Spoken World
Don’t miss this opportunity to catch amazing spoken word artists from around the world, on stage with the Festival’s Literary Cabaret favourite Sal Ferreras and his all star band Poetic License. Two performances only!

7:30 pm February 18 & 20
Performance Works
1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

Tickets: $20/$18 students/seniors plus service charge available from or phone 604.629.8849. Group rates: group of 8 or more adults – $17 each plus service charges; group of 8 or more students/seniors – $15 each plus service charges. Advance purchase only. More information:

Spoken World workshop
A one day spoken word workshop for students in grades 9 – 12 with Regie Cabico, Morganics, Lemn Sissay and Kinnie Starr.
9 – 4:30 pm, Saturday February 21
$35 (lunch included)
Register today by phoning 604 681 6330.

About the Cultural Olympiad
The Cultural Olympiad is a series of multi-disciplinary festivals and digital programs showcasing the best in Canadian and international arts and popular culture.

How will the Conservative Budget affect the arts? The CBC offers a breakdown.

Random House of Canada and Penguin Canada have opted not to attend the new fall Festival organized by Reed Exhibitions in Toronto.

As recently happened with the Globe & Mail, The Washington Post has decided to end the print version of Book World, its Sunday stand-alone book review section.

Scandinavian crime fiction has risen above cult status to become this year’s must-have for every genre publisher.


John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, died Tuesday at the age of 76.

American authors honour Updike:
Canadian authors on Updike:

Requiem, a poem from Updike’s forthcoming collection Endpoint and Other Poems, printed in the NY Times.

John Updike: A life in pictures.


The finalists for the annual National Book Critics Circle awards have been announced.

Irish writer Sebastian Barry has won the Costa Book of the Year award for his novel The Secret Scripture.

Naomi Klein is one of three Canadian authors to be nominated for the Warwick Prize, a new cross-disciplinary award to be given every two years by Britain’s University of Warwick for a work in English.

Neil Gaiman has received the John Newbery Medal, one of the most prestigious prizes for children’s literature, for his novel The Graveyard Book, the author’s homage to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

Four Canadian writers have been selected to spend three months in Dawson City, Yukon, as writers-in-residence at the Berton House Writers’ Retreat during the 2009-10 year.


The Georgia Straight reviews Dragonflies, a new novel by Mayne Island’s Grant Buday.

The Georgia Straight calls American writer Leslie Walker Williams’ The Prudent Mariner “a superb first novel.” Williams is now a Vancouver resident.

Priscilla Uppal’s new novel To Whom it May Concern is “about communication, the lack of it and how families can go completely awry.” Here are a couple of reviews:

The NY Times reviews acclaimed short story writer Yiyun Li’s first novel, The Vagrants, which is set in Communist China and features a cast of “powerfully three-dimensional characters.”

The best stories in British writer Ali Smith’s new collection The First Person, are “sparkling and zany, fiercely intellectual yet full of humble longing.”

Paul Quarrington praises Thomas McGuane’s novel Ninety-two in the Shade in this week’s column in the Globe & Mail on underappreciated books.

Roberto Bolano’s widow and some of his friends are questioning and refuting aspects of the life story the author constructed for himself. Bolano died in 2003. His posthumous novel 2666 appeared on many lists of the best books of 2008.


On Edge Reading Series presents the author of the memoir, Thunder in My Veins: Memories of a Metis Childhood. Thursday, January 29 at 7:00pm, free. South Building, room 406, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island. More information at:

Surya Govendar will show some of her stories, talk about what digital storytelling is and provide tips on how to write your own story. Friday, January 30 at 1:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

Featuring Tara Hardy from Seattle along with Duncan Shields and Lisa Slater. Friday, January 30 at 8:00pm. Cover: $5-10. Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive). Information:

Writer and DaVinci’s Inquest actor Stephen Miller is writer in residence at the Wickaninnish Inn from January 30 to February 1. Stephen is the author of historical thrillers including Field of Mars and its sequel, The Last Train to Kazan. Morning and afternoon workshops on Saturday, January 31, reading and discussion 5:30 – 7:00pm. Fireside chat with Stephen on Sunday, February 1 from noon – 3pm. Tickets available for sale at Tofino’s Wildside Booksellers (1-800-863-4664 or Events are free of charge for guests of the Inn.

Author reads from his biography Black Postcards: A Rock ‘n Roll Romance and performs a few acoustic numbers. Saturday, January 31 at 4:00pm, free. Zulu Records (1972 West 4th). Information: 604-738-3232.

Spoken word competition featuring Mahogany Brown. Monday, February 2 at 8:00pm. Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial). More information at

On Edge Reading Series presents the author of The Slow Fix. Wednesday, February 4 at 10:15am, free. North Building, room 245, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island.

The Banff Centre invites performing, literary, visual, and new media artists to attend an informal presentation to learn more about the Centre and its residency opportunities. Wednesday, February 4 at 3:00pm. Arts Club Upstairs Lougne (1585 Johnston, Granville Island). More information at ch***************@ba*********.ca.

Author of The Life and Art of David Marshall discusses the Vancouver sculptor whose artistic legacy is known to only a few. Wednesday, February 4 at 7:30pm, free. Alma VanDusen Room (Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia). For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.

SFU Library Noonhour Reading Series presents award-winning author reading from recent work, Thursday February 5th at 12:30. Free and refreshments will be available. Special Collections/Rare Books area, 7th floor, Bennett Library, Burnaby campus. More information:

Poets Daniela Elza, Fran Bourassa, Suzy Malcolm, Wanda John, Mary Duffy, Jason Morden, Sita Carboni, and Bonnie Nish will read from their work inspired by Assia Linkovsky’s exhibit Telescoptic. Friday, February 5 at 7:00pm, free. Sidney And Gertrude Zack Gallery (950 W. 41st, Jewish Community Centre).

The Vancouver International Storytelling Festival celebrates its 17th season with a weekend of performances all on the theme of In the Beginning, featuring local favourites Kira Van Deusen, Jean-Pierre Makosso, Melanie Ray, Naomi Steinberg, EvenSteven, Wing-Siu Wong, Max Tell, Phiomena Jordan, and Helen Mintz along with UK’s Janet Blake and Yukon’s Pat Braden. February 6-8. Tickets $20-100 at Heritage Hall (3102 Main).


Launch of Tightrope Books’ new anthology series, featuring readings by contributors and a performance of music and spoken word by Leanne Averbach & Indigo. Saturday, February 7 at 7:00pm, free. Montmartre Café (4362 Main Street). More information at

Join Vancouver’s Poet Laureate George McWhirter (The Anachronicles) and Barbara Pelman (Borrowed Rooms) for a poetry reading. Monday, February 9 at 7:30pm, free. Central Branch, Alma VanDusen Room, Lower Level, 350 West Georgia Street.

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
* * * * * * * * * * *
2009 Festival – 20-25 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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