Latest Issue of Book News
Join us on March 19 for an evening with mystery and thriller writers! Deryn Collier (Open Secret), Craig Davidson aka Nick Cutter (The Troop), Andrew Pyper (The Demonologist), and Sean Slater (The Guilty). Details on this and other upcoming Incite events here, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incite.
Miriam Toews and Steven Galloway
An evening with two acclaimed Canadian authors. Steven Galloway, the bestselling author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, is back with his brilliant new novel, The Confabulist. And Miriam Toews, the award-winning author of A Complicated Kindness, brings her irresistible voice and heart wrenching poignancy to her new novel All My Puny Sorrows. Click here for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/gallowaytoews.
AWARDS & LISTS
After a week of vigorous debate, Joseph Boyden's The Orenda has triumphed in CBC's annual Canada Reads. The novel was defended by First Nations journalist Wab Kinew.
The shortlist for the £30,000 Sunday Times EFG short story award has been announced. The current frontrunners include a British unknown, and two former Pulitzer Prize winners, Elizabeth Strout and Adam Johnson.
Book awards are changing, and perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the brand new Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle, which not only seek to unearth the very best children's books, but also to reflect how reading has embraced the digital era. Among the awards will be one devoted to technology, celebrating the best innovations in online literature.
Otto Dov Kulka's Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death has been hailed as "the greatest book on Auschwitz since Primo Levi". It also just won the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize.
The finalists for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award were announced Wednesday.
What are the must-haves for your child's book collection? Here's a list of the Top 10 Children's Books, with miniature reviews and a special focus on diversity!
NEWS & FEATURES
Few things have been more newsworthy this week than the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. But while our knowledge of Russian Literature is immense, much of our Ukrainian cultural vision is rather obscured. Chances are, however, that you're read more Ukrainian authors than you realize!
The Oscar's also provided much to talk about these past few days, especially thanks to the success of 12 Years a Slave. Both the film and the 1853 memoir of the same name are about to become mandatory parts of the US national curriculum.
Is there a connection between creativity and madness? Edvard Munch once famously proclaimed, "I want to keep my sufferings. They are part of me and my art". In this article, Gila Lyons discusses writing "through the drugs", surviving her demons and still being a good writer.
February might be over, but there's still time to appreciate its etymological origins! Did you know that the Latin-originated name February was only a very late adaptation in the English-speaking world? Before, the most common name was Solmonath, which translates (most perfectly) as "mud month"!
Have you ever heard of the Beatus of Facundus? He was a monk in 8th century Spain who set out to illustrate a collection of writings he had compiled about the Book of Revelations. His amazing illustrations are some of the most unique and mysterious depictions of that "most vivid and apocalyptic of New Testament books".
Why do we love books by "cool" writers? Why are so many of them often men? In this Globe and Mail piece, Kate Carraway ponders why David Gilmour is far from alone in the world.
On the other side of the gender spectrum, who is the queen of English literature? Author Kate Mosse and academic John Mullan recently debated Jane Austen versus Emily Brontë, including why one of them might be "the greatest writer of dialogue in English literature".
Many musicians are renowned for their lyrics, but how many of them are influenced by actual literature? From Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit", to Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights", here are seven literary tributes that can be found in popular music.
What happened to the Jewish books seized by the Nazis in the Second World War? "This is a black page in the history of the Jewish book," says Eric Schrijver, curator of the Bilbilotheca Rosenthaliana (whose collection was returned to Amsterdam)". There are other black pages. But there are beautifully illuminated pages, too. They didn't destroy it".
BOOKS & WRITERS
What are the ten best new books to read? This up-to-date list (courtesy of the BBC) includes mini reviews, and a chance to glimpse book covers as well!
George Eliot's Middlemarch has followed Rebecca Mead all her life–"at 17 it spoke to her yearning for escape; in her 20s it was a warning against a bad marriage; and in middle age Eliot's experience as a stepmother echoed her own". She discusses her book, The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot, here:
Helen Oyeyemi was only 21 when her first book, Icarus Girl, was published. Now 29, her new book, Boy, Snow, Bird is a "cautionary tale on post-race ideology, racial limbos and the politics of passing", located in the fairy-tale comfort zone she's famous for (in this case, "Snow White").
Alexandra Fuller once opened a book review with the following marvelous plea: "Harried reader, I'll save you precious time. Skip this review and head directly to the bookstore". According to the New York Times, you should do exactly the same thing with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's novel, Dust.
The protagonist of Jennifer Clement's new novel, Prayer for the Stolen, is a girl who grows up where "only boys were born". Set in the Mexican state of Guerrero, this is not a "tale of transgender magic realism", but one in which girls must turn into boys in order to survived the frightening world of narcotrafficking.
What has Helen Walsh learned about writing? "All influence is good"! The author of Brass, Go to Sleep and now The Lemon Grove discusses the influences that shaped her as a writer, here:
Inspirations are especially important when it comes to first steps. Mustafa Ahmed is a teenage poet from Regent Park, Toronto, whose debut EP, Mustafa the Poet, has just launched. In this piece in The Walrus, he explain how "he finds the words".
Blake Bailey's literary biographies are "exhaustively researched, soups-to-nuts narratives". It comes as some surprise, therefore that his newest work, a memoir called The Splendid Things We Planned, is the exact opposite: "elliptical and concise–impressionistic rather than archival".
ART, MUSIC AND POETRY
A night of poetry inspired by Brush and Wire, an exhibit by Karen Brumelle and Joanne Waters. Featured poets: Daniela Elza, Chelsea Comeau, Bonnie Nish, Carl Leggo, Celeste Snowber, Ali Denno, and Dennis E. Bolen. Music by Jenn Bojm. March 6, 7pm-9 pm @ the Jewish Community Centre Gallery, 950 41st Ave W, Vancouver, free.
Meet with the writer Pierre Samson, author of "La maison des pluies". Friday, March 7 at 5:30pm. Alliance Francaise Auditorium, Alliance Francaise, 6161 Cambie Street, Vancouver. More information at alliancefrancaise.ca.
THEY WENT WHISTLING
In celebration of International Women's Day, authors Sylvia Taylor, Kate Braid, Jane Hall and Sue Doro read from their memoirs. Saturday, March 8 at 2:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.
SERENDIPITY: CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN A DIGITAL AGE
From practical advice on using literature-based apps with children to learning how authors and illustrators are using social media and electronic publishing, Serendipity 2014 is for educators, librarians, researchers and literature lovers looking to the future of books for young people. Presenters include Paul Zelinsky, Arthur Slade, John Schumacher, Travis Jonker, Tim Federle, and Hadley Dyer. Saturday, March 8, 2014. For registration and information, go to www.vclr.ca.
DEAD POETS READING SERIES
Five poets/readers/poetry-lovers/writers with extensive public reading experience read poems from one of their favourite dead poets' work. Sunday, March 9 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.
FOREST & FJORD
A photographic tour of the pictographs (rock art) of Indian Arm will be conducted by author Ralph Drew who has studied these archaeological sites for his recently published book. Wednesday, March 12 at 7:00pm, free. Special collections reading room, level 7, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.
TWISTED POETS LITERARY SALON
Features poets Judith Copithorne and Jordan Abel plus open mic. Wednesday, March 12, 7-9:30pm, at The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggested donation at the door: $5. Sign up for open mic at 7 pm. More
information at www.pandorascollective.com.
AUTHORS NISH & NEALE
A reading of Pandora's Collective Outreach Society works pertaining to autobiographical material. Monday, March 17 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.
Jayson McDonald's tour de force performance and poetic virtuosity based on the myth and impact of Burroughs and The Beats. Exclusive offer! Save 50% with promo code underbelly50 online (http://tickets.thecultch.com/loader.asp?target=show_events_list.asp?shcode=323) or by phone through The Cultch Box Office at 604-251-1363 on tickets booked by March 13. Dates: March 18-30, 2014. Culture Lab, 1895 Venables St., Vancouver. More information at thecultch.com.
LUNCH POEMS @ SFU
Peter Culley and Maxine Gadd featured at March 19 "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. Lunch Poems hosts well-known and up-and-coming poets on the third Wednesday of every month except July and August. For more information visit www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/lunchpoems.
Join photographer Evan Lee and novelist Healther Jessup for a conversation about Evan's work and influences, as well as beauty, strangeness, and what it's like to manipulate the flames of a forest fire. Wednesday, March 19 at 4:00pm, free. Student Engagement Centre, C Building, Langara. More information at langara.bc.ca/english-forum.
PLAY CHTHONICS: NEW CANADIAN READINGS
Readings by Natalie Simpson and Jonathan Ball. Wednesday, March 19 at 5:00pm. Piano Lounge, Green College, 6201 Cecil Green Park Road, UBC. More information at greencollege.ubc.ca.
Lisa Robertson returns to Vancouver briefly and gives a reading of new work with her friend and fellow poet Cole Swensen, The Capilano Review's 2014 Writer-in-Residence. Wednesday, March 19 at 7:30pm. Cost: $5. Grand Luxe Hall, 303 8th Ave. E., Vancouver. More information at www.thecapilanoreview.ca/poetry-reading-lisa-robertson--cole-swensen/.
WOMEN AND WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
Ann Jones, author of Kabul in Winter and They Were Soldiers, discusses the prospects for women in Afghanistan. March 20 at 5:00 pm. Allard Hall, 1822 East Mall, UBC. More information at www.greencollege.ubc.ca.
FIONA TINWEI LAM
An informal family-oriented reading for children and adults by author Fiona Tinwei Lam from her debut children's picture book, The Rainbow Rocket. Sunday, March 23 at 2:00pm, free. Renfrew Meeting room, Renfrew Branch, 2969 22nd Ave. E. More information at vpl.ca.
THE MAN WHO FILMED NESSIE
Angus Dinsdale's memoir discusses his unique childhood as the son of "The Man Who Filmed Nessie", experiencing his father's goal of tracking down the Loch Ness Monster. Wednesday, March 26 at 7:00pm. Welsh Hall West, West Vancouver Memorial Library. More information at 604-925-7403.
POETIC JUSTICE READING SERIES
Features Portland poet John Sibley Williams, Daniela Elza and Deborah L. Kelly plus open mic. Sunday, March 30, 3pm-5pm. The Heritage Grill (Back Room), 447 Columbia Street, New Westminster, free.
Author discusses his departure from Israel's ultra-Orthodox community and his work on cultivating a secular Jewish renaissance in his book Into the Fullness of the Void. Sunday, March 30 at 6:00pm. Tickets: $14/10. Jewish Community Centre, 950 41st Ave. W., Vancouver. More information at jewishbookfestival.ca.