Latest Issue of Book News
Looking for a special gift for the book-lovers on your list? Look no further! The VWF has gift ideas to bring joy to readers of all persuasions, from gift certificates to memberships.
The author of The Kite Runner talks to the Globe and Mail's Marsha Lederman about his latest book, And the Mountains Echoed.
"Khaled Hosseini's most assured and emotionally gripping story yet." - The New York Times
Event details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/khaledhosseini.
SPECIAL FOR BOOK CLUBS! $16 per person, minimum of 5 people, book by phone only at 604-629-8849.
Thursday, December 5 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Burrard at Nelson
AWARDS & LISTS
Amber Dawn has won the City of Vancouver Book Award for her book How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir. Hailed as a "tribute to the marginalized and maligned", her book is a moving account of her years as a sex worker on the Downtown Eastside.
The ReLit Awards shortlist has been released. The annual ReLit awards recognize novels, poetry and short fiction that have been published by Canadian independent literary presses.
Time Magazine has named Welsh author Beth Reekles as one of the world's most influential teenagers. She began by self-publishing on the internet, and at 18, is about to finish her third novel. You can read an interview with her, here:
NEWS & FEATURES
Last week we heard Margaret Atwood's response to Doris Lessing's death. This week, Margaret Drabble has stepped up to the plate with a lovely account of their shared afternoons in Hampstead.
How important is laughter in writing? When Paul Aster met his hero Samuel Beckett in 1974, he learned to "embrace the comic horror of being held helpless in absurd situations". He discusses his favourite Beckett passage here, from Watt, which he considers "a profound reminder of how humor can help writers and readers alike foster the courage to endure."
Is "official" Canadian literature biased? Why are few writers of colour nominated for major national awards? According to Madeleine Thien, "I've told myself that it was just an anomaly. It is only now, after more than 10 years of seeing this pattern, that I feel confident in saying that it is not an anomaly, but a fixed pattern that is very difficult to shift."
Have you ever wondered if your local bookstore clerk might be a secret writer, with a half-finished manuscript somewhere under their bed? This Saturday you won't have to wonder, because as an antidote to Black Friday, more than 1,000 authors will be staffing some 500 bookstores across the United States! It's Indies First day, spearheaded by Sherman Alexie, who says that his career "exists because of independent bookstores."
Have you ever wondered what Atlantis or Mordor might look like? Here's a collection of nine maps of imaginary worlds, from sources as diverse as medieval manuscripts and a 19th century interpretation of Ulysses' journey.
It's Laurence Sterne's 300th birthday! How well do you know his classic novel Tristam Shandy? Virginia Woolf said that it brings readers "as close to life as we can be". Test your knowledge here:
Speaking of anniversaries, Albert Camus has been in the news a lot lately, thanks to an anniversary of his own (it's his centenary). However, the controversies of his life have meant that celebrations have been few few: a major French exhibition was cancelled, and Paris has no grand retrospective planned. According to his daughter, this is because "Albert Camus will always be the outsider–and I'm proud of that".
Sotheby's has just auctioned a copy of the first English-language book printed in America! Translated directly from Hebrew into English, The Whole Booke of Psalmes (also know as the Bay Psalm Book) was printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1640. Of the original seventeen hundred copies, only eleven survive.
In more modern news, a recent British survey has revealed that young people prefer printed books to e-books.
BOOKS & WRITERS
What were the best books of 2013? Hilary Mantel, Jonathan Franzen, Mohsin Hamid, Ruth Rendell, Tom Stoppard, Malcolm Gladwell, Eleanor Catton and many others tackle that question, here:
The Globe and Mail has also created a list of its own, called the Globe 100. The list is divided into sections, including: best Canadian fiction, best Canadian non-fiction, best international fiction, best poetry, best young adult and more!
When James McBride won the National Book Award for fiction last week, he was so surprised that he did not even have a speech prepared. But it seems that improvisation just might be his forte. When researching the story of John Brown for his slave-narrative novel, The Good Lord Bird, he said "I knew what the melody of the song was going to be," he said. "It was a little improvisatory."
When the movie Hannah Arendt came out this year, it was clear that the controversy that surrounded her interpretation of Adolf Eichmann's trial was still very much alive. This week in The New York Times' "Bookends", Adam Kirsch and Rivka Galchen discuss why Eichmann in Jerusalem remains contentious fifty years after it was first published, and why it should be considered "a classic, a touchstone in the 20th century's thinking about morality and politics."
What has shaped Eleanor Catton as a writer? Find out about her favourite childhood authors, what books share a commonality with The Luminaries, her reading habits, and her interest in imitation, here:
It's Hannukah! That means lots of noshing, but why not throw in some reading too? Gabriola Islander Sima Elizabeth Shegrin has written a cookbook called Jewish Fairy Tale Feats: A Literary Cookbook, which, according to the Georgia Straight "is as much about Jewish Lore as it is about recipes!
A Scandinavian professor once wrote to The Times Literary Supplement that "P.K. Page is to Canadian poetry what Alice Munro is to Canadian fiction or Canadian writing. It's like that, except Munro's influence, I think, is primarily through her published work. P.K.'s influence is through her person, as well as her published work. It's the fact that she existed." Sandra Djwa is interviewed about her 2013 Governor General's Award-winning book about P.K. Page, A Journey with No Maps, here:
TWISTED POETS LITERARY SALON
Features Pam Galloway and Sylvia Taylor plus open mic. Thursday, November 28 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation at the door: $5. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at www.pandorascollective.com.
A film interview and readings from the Slovenia author's works will be presented. Tuesday, December 3 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at 604-331-3603.
STORY/LINE: MUSIC, POETRY, AND ART
An evening featuring poetry inspired by Larry Wolfson's exhibit Story/Line and music by Tzimmers. Featured poets are Dennis E. Bolen, Chelsea Comeau, Daniela Elza, Christy Hill, Dethe Elza, Natasha Boskic, and Una Bruhns. Dec. 5th, 7-9 pm, at Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery, Jewish Community Centre, 950 West 41st Ave, Vancouver. Free admission.
ZAPATOS EN LAS PIEDRAS/SHOES ON THE ROCKS
An evening of storytelling, live music and tango performance with six Latino-Canadian writers. Friday, December 6 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3603.
Daniela Elza will be featuring at Renaissance Books. Sunday, December 8th, 1-3pm, 43-6th Street, New Westminster. This event is free and will also have an open mic portion. http://www.renaissancebookstore.com.
ALIVE AT THE CENTRE
Twisted Poets Literary Salon will be hosting a reading for Alive at the Centre Anthology. Over 20 poets will be reading from the anthology. December 11, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Hosts: Daniela Elza & Bonnie Nish. Suggested donation at the door: $5. All are welcome. More information at www.pandorascollective.com.
West Vancouver-raised CBC Radio broadcaster, musician and award-winning author will read from his new memoir, The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie. Sunday, December 15 at 2;30pm. West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. For more information, phone 604-925-7403.
LUNCH POEMS AT SFU
Jordan Abel and Nicole Markotic featured at Dec 18 "Lunch Poems at SFU." Presented by SFU Public Square, 12-1pm in SFU Harbour Centre's Teck Gallery (515 W Hastings St.). Free admission, no registration required. For more information visit www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/lunchpoems.
DEAD POETS READING SERIES
Five poets/readers/poetry-lovers/writers with extensive public reading experience read poems from one of their favourite dead poets. Sunday, January 12 at 3:00pm, free. Meeting Room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at vpl.ca.
RAILWAY ROCK GANG
Join former BC RAIL Rock Gang foreman Gary Sim for a presentation on his new book. Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at vpl.ca.
SHY: AN ANTHOLOGY
Contributors Sylvia Stopforth, Dhana Musil and Elaine Woo will read. Tuesday, January 28 at 7:00pm, free. McGill Branch, Burnaby Public Library, 4595 Albert Street. More information and registration at 604-299-8955.
An evening of readings of both brand new and established local authors in a variety of genres from poetry to short stories to novels. Monday, February 17 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at vpl.ca.
F.G. BRESSANI LITERARY PRIZE
IL CENTRO Italian Cultural Centre is thrilled to announce the publication of the Rules & Regulations for the 2014 Edition of the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize. The literary prize honours and promotes the work of Canadian writers of Italian origin or Italian descent. Deadline: April 2, 2014. Complete details can be found here: http://italianculturalcentre.ca/blog/bressani-literary-prize/.
ICELAND WRITERS RETREAT
The Iceland Writers Retreat invites published and aspiring book writers (fiction and non-fiction) to participate in a series of workshops and panels led by a team of international writers from April 9-13, 2014 including Joseph Boyden. Between intimate workshops and lectures tour the spectacular Golden Circle, sit in the cozy cafés of Reykjavik, soak in hot geothermal pools, listen to new Icelandic music, and learn about the country's rich literary tradition. More information at www.IcelandWritersRetreat.com.