Vol. 5 No. 44
There are still tickets available for many of the 68 events at next week's Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival. For up-to-the-moment Festival information please visit our website or pick up a copy of the Festival program guide at various Lower Mainland locations including Book Warehouse locations, Chapters, Sitka Books & Art, Vancouver Public Library branches and on Granville Island at Blackberry Books. In North Van, check out 32 Books.
Check out the Georgia Straight's VIWF contest - enter to win tickets to one of the events at this year's Vancouver International Writers Festival plus a book from one of the featured authors.
And another Georgia Straight contest featuring books published by Penguin Canada to celebrate their 75th anniversary. http://www.straight.com/contest/vancouver/celebrate-penguin-books-75th-anniversary
The Literati silent auction features a plethora of fabulous items, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/literati. Tickets for this year's art raffle for a painting by Jamie Evrard will be available at Literati and at Performance Works during the Festival, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/literati/raffle.
Check out our new Festival video, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/multimedia/festivalvideo. Forward it to friends who are curious about the Festival experience!
The Vancouver International Writers Festival and Random House Canada present the author of Water for Elephants reading from her new book Ape House. Details here, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/gruen.
Sandra Kasturi calls Sara Gruen’s Ape House “an entertaining drama of human-animal relations.
Vancouver International Writers Festival and the Cherie Smith JCGV Jewish Book Festival present the author of Super Sad True Love Story in conversation with Eleanor Wachtel. Details here, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/shteyngart.
The latest recording in our recently launched series of archived events from Festivals-past features Bill Richardson and British novelist Sarah Waters at the top of their game in this conversation about Waters' novel The Little Stranger.
2010 FESTIVAL AUTHORS
The following authors are among those appearing at the Festival in October or participating in special events in the fall.
The premise of Marc Levy's All Those Things We Never Said is completely insane, writes Anne Sutherland, but if you throw logic and believability out the window, the novel is entertaining.
Dave Bidini's Home and Away about the 2010 Homeless World Cup "demonstrates the capacity of sports to act as a therapeutic agent and a catalyst for social change." Dave Bidini will appear in event 42.
Part travelogue, part exploration, part mid-winter love story, Breakfast at the Exit Café is both about a road trip from and an exploration of, told in alternating voices by Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady, of the nation of the American Dream. Simonds and Grady will appear in event 42.
Derek Lundy's Borderlands is also about a road trip, this one Lundy's rather wild motorcycle ride along America's borders. Derek Lundy will appear in event 42.
Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium is an historical and cultural odyssey beginning in Edmonton and ranging around the Balkans as Myrna Kostash tracks the origins of her inherited religion. Myrna Kostash will appear in event 42.
Denise Chong's Egg on Mao profiles one of the men who, 20 years ago, dared to lob eggs at a portrait of Mao, an act that even today serves as an inspiration for China's pro-democracy forces, writes Alexander Varty. Denise Chong will appear in event 42.
Mishka Mourani writes that Tony Di Nardo's collection Alien, Correspondent is a book to savor. "This collection of poems is reminiscent of the oriental rugs Di Nardo mentions in one of his poems." Both Alien, Correspondent and Soul on Standby were published this spring.
William Gibson's Zero History features an amnesiac caught up in some high-tech espionage. It is about surveillance and about being on and off the radar. William Gibson will appear in event 37.
Anosh Irani's Dahanu Road brings together two families whose fates are dangerously intertwined. Anosh Irani will appear in event 37.
Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil is a novel of ideas that considers both the bond between humans and animals and man's capacity for committing terrible acts, says the Seattle Times. Yann Martel will appear in event 37.
Adam Lewis Schroeder's In the Fabled East is a gripping and witty romp through colonial Indochina, a novel to lose yourself in. Adam Lewis Schroeder will appear in event 37.
Linwood Barclay's latest, Never Look Away, starts as a mystery, revolving around the inexplicable disappearance of a young wife and mother. Then he revs into thriller mode.
Growing up on the grounds of a now-defunct sanatorium gave Martha Brooks a setting and experience for Queen of Hearts, which Lucy Silag describes as a novel of friendship.
"Rhythm is everything in Anthony Doerr's new collection, Memory Wall. His tales all seem somehow to undulate, to surge and recede like the tides, moving gracefully between different places and times." Anthony Doerr will appear in event 55.
Marisa Silver's extraordinary book, Alone With You, is a starkly elegant and superbly rendered collection of short stories. Marisa Silver will appear in event 55.
Wells Tower has invented a world of rough men and strong women, and the women have had their patience sorely tried. Wells Tower will appear in event 55.
The stories in Yiyun Li's Gold Boy, Emerald Girl create in the reader the shock of commingled pleasure and melancholy. Yiyun Li will appear in event 55.
Aaron Bushkowsky's Curtains for Roy offers a hilarious and poignant peek into the world of theatre, where the greatest drama is offstage and the best performances take place behind the curtain. Aaron Bushkowsky will appear in event 57.
In Seven Good Reasons Not to be Good, John Gould does a masterful job of reminding the reader that there is a whole lot in life over which we have no control. John Gould will appear in event 57.
Rachel Wyatt's Letters to Omar involves three retired women who take on a cause, trying to make the world a better place while one of them writes unsent letters to people she admires, and to a few she despises. Rachel Wyatt will appear in event 57.
How do objects summon memories? What do real images feel like? These types of questions permeate the pages of Lynda Barry's graphic novel What It Is. Lynda Barry will appear in event 57.
Candace Fertile writes that using the graphic novel form to write a memoir of her mother's struggles with Alzheimer's, Sarah Leavitt has re-created her mother, a woman anyone would be privileged to have known.
Reviews of Charles Foran's Mordecai: The Life and Times, Michael Winter's The Death of Donna Whalen, and Camilla Gibb's The Beauty of Humanity Movement are included in The Walrus' "Seven new titles of note".
Eleanor Catton's The Rehearsal is a debut novel that has already won prizes. But then, isn't everything a performance, in one way or another? Eleanor Catton will appear in event 51.
Paul Harding's debut Pultzer Prize-winning novel Tinkers deals with time (clocks), memory, consciousness and identity. Pau Harding will appear in events 51 and 55.
Pascale Quiviger explores the nature of truth in The Breakwater House, a novel about two girls growing up together, so close that they easily pretend to be one another when convenient. How do we know when a true thing is true? Pascale Quiviger will appear in event 51.
Miguel Syjuco's award-winning Ilustrado features a character named Miguel Syjido who is both biographer and detective—an extraordinary debut. Miguel Syjuco, the author, will appear in event 51.
AWARDS & LISTS
British author Howard Jacobson has won the 2010 Man Booker Prize for his comic novel The Finkler Question.
David Grossman was handed the prestigious German Book Trade Peace Prize on Sunday at the Frankfurt Book Fair this past weekend. Though the award was announced in June, the actual ceremony didn't happen until Sunday, during the annual fair.
Diarmaid MacCulloch's A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, Giancarlo Casale's The Ottoman Age of Exploration and Marla R. Miller's Betsy Ross and the Making of America are finalists for the $75,000 Cundill Prize in History.
Sandra Birdsell's Waiting for Joe, Emma Donoghue's Room, Drew Hayden Taylor's, Motorcycles & Sweetgrass and Kathleen Winter's Annabel are among the English-language finalists for the Governor General's Literary Awards. Marie-Claire Blais' Mai au bal des prédateurs and Dany Laferrière’s L'énigme du retour are among the French-language finalists.
NEWS & FEATURES
The NY Times reports that parents are so focused on preparing their children for standardized testing, they dismiss picture books and argue for chapter books as early as kindergarten.
In prior years, the name of the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature was often not recognized. The 2010 Nobel Prize has gone to a writer whose name is well known to and widely venerated by the global literary community.
A profile of Nobel prize-winner Mario Vargas Llosa, a master of humour and humanity, is found here.
In a recent interview Henning Mankell ponders the reasons for the extraordinary global popularity of Nordic detectives. And he admits that he follows Graham Greene's example of stopping work in the middle of a sentence.
Actor Jonathan Pryce reads the recently unearthed Last Letter by Ted Hughes in a (UK) channel 4 video.
Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, long described as 'unfilmable' is to be made into a film by a Toronto-based film company.
Alice Munro's story Carrie appears in the latest issue of the New Yorker (subscription required).
The Writers' Union of Canada has announced that submissions are being accepted until November 10, 2010 for the 18th annual short prose competition for developing writers. The winning entry will be the best Canadian work of 2,500 words in the English language, fiction or nonfiction, written by an unpublished author. The prize for the winning entry is $2,500.
Walter Skold, the man behind the Dead Poets Society of America is inaugurating what he hopes will one day be a widespread literary holiday to honour and remember poets.
BOOKS & WRITERS
Peter C. Newman in his review of Lawrence Martin's Harperland says: "The book’s most telling chapters deal with the Prime Minister's absolute domination of his party, his ministers, his cabinet and the every aspect of government."
Tim McCarthy's Booker Prize-nominated C and Lee Rourke's Not-the-Booker-Prize nominated The Canal tilt against convention and attempt to define "a new generation in experimental fiction."
The NY Times says that John Vaillant's The Tiger bears a striking resemblance to its fictional seafaring predecessors: the white whale and the movie-star shark (both of which are said to have been inspired by real creatures).
Arturo Fontaine's La Vida Doble is a remarkable novel of politics, sex and torture in Chile that resists the moral high ground, writes David Gallagher. Carlos Fuentes says that Fontaine is the true heir to José Donoso, generally regarded as the finest novelist in Chile.
Bill Bryson's new book At Home: A Short History of Private Life is based on the premise that the homes we live in have much to tell us about our history and ourselves.
Poets Gary Geddes in Swimming Ginger and Michael Lista in Bloom engage with the historical record to explore such themes as love, power and politics — subjects that resonate in every era.
ONE SENTENCE MEMORY CONTEST
The Memory Festival, brought to you by the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, Geist and SFU Writing and Publishing Program, wants your memories of Vancouver. Prize is a one year subscription to Geist, deadline is October 31, 2010. Complete details here, http://bit.ly/aNDAab.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Steven Heighton and Ian Williams. Thursday, October 14 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. For more information, phone 604-822-6453.
THE MAKING OF THE SZYK HAGGADAH, A SACRED JEWISH TEXT
Irvin Ungar, Proprietor, Historicana Books, Burlingame, California will speak about the making of this sacred text in Limited, Deluxe and Premier editions. Thursday, October 14 at 7:00pm, free. Pulp Fiction Books, 2422 Main Street (Main & Broadway).
VANCOUVER ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR
33 used and antiquarian booksellers from B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and California. Friday, October 15, 3pm-9pm Saturday, October 16, 10am-5pm Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street.
Meet bestelling author R.A. Salvatore as he signs Gauntlgrym, the first book in the the brand new Drizzt trilogy, Neverwinter. Saturday, October 16 at 12:00pm, free. Chapters Robson and Howe, 788 Robson Street. More information at 604-682-4066.
Book signing by the author of Amanda in Arabia, The Perfume Flask. Saturday, October 16 at 1:00pm, free. Black Bond Books, 5251 Ladner Trunk Road, Ladner.
A TASTE OF WORDS
A Mother Tongue Publishing night with novelist Gurjinder Basran (Everything Was Good-bye), poets Daniela Elza (4poets) and Mona Fertig (The Unsettled). Music and song by Peter Haase (Liverpool Pete). Saturday, October 16 at 7:00pm, free. Cafe Montmartre, 3941 Main Street.
CV2 MAGAZINE ANNIVERSARY COAST TO COAST READING TOUR
CV2 Magazine will be hosting a poetry reading featuring Billeh Nickerson, Bren Simmers, Donato Mancini, and Elizabeth Bachinsky will share the stage. Saturday, October 16 at 8:00pm, free. W2 Storyeum, 151 Cordova St. W.
PEN-IN-HAND READING SERIES
Readings by poets Bernice Lever and Ashok Bhargava. Monday, October 18 at 7:30pm. Suggested donation is $3. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLAY CHTHONICS READING SERIES
Readings by Lee Maracle and Fabiola Nabil Naguib. Wednesday, October 20 at 3:00pm, free. Graham House at Green College, 6201 Cecil Green Park Road, UBC. More information at http://playchthonics.blogspot.com/.
Luncheon, reading and book signing with the author of A Chip Off the Old Black. Thursday, October 21 at 11:00am. Preregistration required. West Point Grey United Church, 4595 8th Ave. W. More information at 604-224-4388.
Author launches his second edition of the Great Walks of Vancouver. Thursday, October 21 at 7:00pm, free. Silk Purse, 1570 Argyle Ave., West Vancouver. For more information, phone 604-925-7292.
LAUNCH FOR THE BEST CANADIAN POETRY 2010
Tightrope Books presents the Vancouver launch for The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2010, edited by Lorna Crozier and Series Editor Molly Peacock. Saturday, October 23 at 4:00pm. The Agro Café, 1363 Railspur Alley, Granville Island. More information at www.tightropebooks.com.
PEN-IN-HAND READING SERIES
Readings by poets Steve Mcormond and Steve Noyes. Monday, October 25 at 7:30pm. Suggested donation is $3. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria. More information at email@example.com.
Join the bestselling author of House Calls by Dogsled as he shares more hair-raising medical emergencies in Cold Land, Warm Hearts: More Memories of an Arctic Medical Outpost. Tuesday, October 26 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting Room, Level 3, Central Library
350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact VPL - Popular Reading Library at 604-331-3691.
COLD LAND, WARM HEARTS
Keith Billington will be signing books. Saturday, October 30 at 1:30pm. Black Bond Books, Royal City Centre (102 -610 Sixth Street, New Westminster). For more information please contact 604-528-6226.