Book News Vol. 4 No. 38


Big names abound at the 22nd annual Writers Festival in October
The 2009 line up has just been announced. Find out who’s coming and download a PDF of the program guide here: Tickets go on sale September 1 to members and September 11 to the general public.

David Sedaris Special Event
On Sunday, November 1, David Sedaris will entertain and delight Vancouver-area audiences at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver. The author of the best-sellers When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, returns to Vancouver by popular demand following his 2007 sold out performance to read selections of his latest work including never before published stories. A hugely popular humorist, Sedaris is the author of six books and is a regular contributor on National Public Radio. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster by phone 604.280.3311 or at by using the code “writers”. Details at

Margaret Atwood Special Event: The Year of the Flood
Tickets for the October 1 special event featuring a dramatic reading by Ms. Atwood are now available through VancouverTix ( Details at

Volunteer information and registration for our 2009 Festival is now on-line at Registration deadline for returning volunteers is Friday, August 28 and for first-time volunteers Tuesday, September 8. Volunteers are assigned and scheduled on a first-registered/first-assigned and scheduled basis, according to our needs and with your availability, experience, talents and preferences in mind. PRIORITY IS GIVEN VOLUNTEERS WHO CAN COMMIT TO (AND DELIVER) A MINIMUM OF 12 HOURS. Questions? Contact Volunteer Manager Kathryn Fowler 604 681-6330 x101 or by e-mail: kf*****@wr*********.ca.

Malcolm Gladwell dissects the actions and arguments of Atticus Finch, the moral compass in Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird, and demonstrates that a book “we thought instructed us about the world tells us, instead, about the limitations of Jim Crow liberalism in Maycomb, Alabama.”

This article in the Literary Review of Canada looks at the explosion of book reviewing that has come with electronic technology, making it important to distinguish between reviews as “consumer reports” on websites such as, and reviews that perform a more traditional, pedagogical function.


Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, the story of a boy who is raised by ghosts, was awarded the Hugo science fiction award for best novel at the World Science Fiction Convention, held last week in Montreal.

At the same convention, Regina writer Edward Willett won the Aurora Award, the top prize in the category of best long-form work in English, for his novel Marseguro, a tale of a race of amphibians struggling for survival on a water planet.


In her new collection of stories, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, Maile Meloy writes “domestically familiar scenarios in unadorned prose, and yet somehow, around every bend, you find yourself bracing for danger.” Read the rest of Charlotte Gill’s review in the Globe & Mail.

In her second collection of poetry, Lousy Explorers, Laisha Rosnau offers an “edgy, big-hearted plunge into those moments of shift that show us at our most human.”

The Globe & Mail commends Nice Man Cometh by veteran novelist David Carpenter and a debut work, Sage Island, by UBC grad Samantha Warwick.

The Guardian writes that Penelope’s Lively’s 16th novel, Family Album, should be “rated as one of her most impressive works.”

Jonathan Ames’s new book The Double Life is Twice as Good comprises essays, freelance magazine features and short stories. But this reviewer thinks “Ames’s writing is best when he’s being Jonathan Ames, a balding man from the New Jersey suburbs now living as a cult writer in Brooklyn, New York.”

Of his new novel, Galore, Michael Crummey says: “in an odd way, I feel like everything I’ve written in my life up till now led me to this book.” Read the full interview in the National Post.

The NY Times profiles Mexican novelist Mario Bellatin who has emerged in recent years as one of the leading voices in experimental Spanish-language fiction.

Gil Adamson’s debut novel The Outlander was published in Canada in 2007 to much acclaim. The book has now been released in the UK and in this interview with the Guardian Adamson talks about her novel’s success and promises it won’t take 10 years to write her next one.

Simon Houpt talks to 29-year-old Reif Larsen whose debut novel The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet sold for a reported $1-million advance and has been scooped up by publishers around the world.

Anna Porter, author of Kastzner’s Train, writes in the Globe & Mail about reading at the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association in New York City, best known simply as 92nd Street Y, or the “Carnegie Hall for authors.”


The book club will be reading and discussing The Traveler by John Twelve. Thursday, August 13 at 7:00pm. The Grind & Gallery, 4124 Main. More information at Da************@ya***.ca.

Featuring participants George Bowering, Pauline Butling, Clark Coolidge, Judith Copithorne, Maria Hindmarch, Robert Hogg, Lionel Kearns, Bernice Lever, Daphne Marlatt, Michael Palmer, Jamie Reid, and Fred Wah from the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference. August 14; panel at 1:00pm, readings at 7:00pm. Free admission. SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings. More information at

The Campoverde Social Club presents a reading from SUM: 40 Tales from the Afterlife by Houston-based author and neuroscientist David Eagleman. Friday, August 14 at 7:00pm. Tickets $20, free for members. Campoverde Social Club (1660 Cypress). More information at

27th annual summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, featuring established literary stars and exciting, new voices. August 13-16, Sechelt, BC. Information at

Van Slam featuring Elyse Martin. Monday, August 17 at 8:00pm. Admission: $5/$3. Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial). More information at

Annual outdoor festival established to raise public awareness regarding the on-going literary events, programs and resources available in the community. Saturday, August 22 at 12 noon. Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park. Details at


National book and magazine festival – held downtown at Library Square in the concourse. Fun and educational for all ages. Sunday, September 27 from 11am to 5pm. Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia. More information at

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

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Hal Wake
Artistic Director
* * * * * * * * * * * *
2009 Festival – 18-25 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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