Vol. 5 No. 46

BOOK NEWS

Special Events

Sara Gruen
Tonight, 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.

In her profile of Sara Gruen for McClatchy Newspapers, Connie Ogle describes how the bonobo apes decided to meet with Gruen. The bonobos communicate using American Sign Language and lexigrams. We discover that animals have always played an important role in Gruen's life, both at home and in her prior novels.
http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/25/2352236/author-sara-gruen-talks-to-the.html

Gary Shteyngart
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.

Igor Shteyngart, of Leningrad who, at 7, became Gary Shteyngart of Little Neck, Queens returned this month to Russia—a country he revisits every year or two—to do an informal book tour. A Russian-language translation of Super Sad True Love Story is being published soon.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/books/25gary.html?ref=books

An excerpt of Super Sad True Love Story (in English) can be found here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/books/excerpt-super-sad-true-love-story.html?ref=books


AWARDS & LISTS

The Rogers Writers' Trust Awards were announced Tuesday: Emma Donoghue's Room, for Fiction; James FitzGerald's What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son's Quest to Redeem the Past, for Non-Fiction; Devon Code's story Uncle Oscar, for a short story or novel in progress; Miriam Toews, for a body of work.  Lifetime of distinguished achievement awards went to Myrna Kostash and Polly Horvath. John Macfarlane, editor of The Walrus, received the Distinguished Contribution Award.
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/article/884922--donoghue-s-room-wins-writers-trust-prize

Canada Reads 2011 has issued a list of the Top 40 books in contention for the annual book debate, to be held next February. CBC Radio has asked readers to help choose the best novels of the 2000s before five are chosen from that list for the book debate.
http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/10/28/canada-reads-2011.html

Czech playwright and former president Vaclav Havel has won the Franz Kafka literary prize for what a jury called "artistically exceptional literary work by a contemporary author."
http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/10/27/kafka-prize.html

The new DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, worth $50,000 US, created to increase awareness of South Asian literature around the world, is open to authors of any nationality so long as the work is based on the region and its people. A shortlist has been announced.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/26/new-prize-south-asian-literature

Stonewall awards for adult books began nearly 40 years ago.  This year, the Stonewall prize will honour "English-language works for children and teens of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience" and will be included in the American Library Association's annual announcement of children's prizes.
http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/11/01/library-prize.html

Unhooking the Moon, a first novel by Gregory Hughes about two orphaned siblings who take a road trip from Canada to New York, has won the Booktrust Teenage prize. A Liverpudlian by birth, Hughes currently lives in Vancouver.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/nov/01/gregory-hughes-booktrust-teenage-prize?CMP=EMCGT_021110&

Manu Joseph has won the Hindu Best Fiction award 2010 with his first novel, Serious Men, a story that examines caste in contemporary India.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/nov/02/manu-joseph-india-serious-men

The National 1st Book Competition, sponsored by The Writer's Studio at Simon Fraser University announced this year's winners at the Vancouver International Writers Festival:  Birthmother by Myrl Coulter, creative nonfiction; Nondescript Rambunctious by Jackie Bateman, fiction; and Galaxy by Rachel Thompson, poetry. The winning manuscripts will be published in 2011.
http://www.thewritersstudio.ca/

NEWS & FEATURES

In anticipation of next week's Giller Prize announcement, the Globe and Mail features a look at the shortlisted authors and their books.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/the-giller-prize/

A young (27) indie bookstore employee's excitement about a little-known book led to a Pulitzer Prize for the book.
http://www.nhmagazine.com/home/886019-101/the-2010-it-list.html

Five days after the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in Literature, he walked into a Princeton classroom where 25 students awaited their weekly seminar. Vargas Llosa continued to teach.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/30/books/30masterclass.html?ref=books

Adam Gopnik writes that Vargas Llosa is exactly the kind of writer the prize ought to go to.
http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2010/10/18/101018taco_talk_gopnik

Independent publisher Melville House, whose The Confessions of Noa Weber won the 2010 Best Translated Book award for fiction earlier this year, has vowed to boycott the American prize for translated fiction after Amazon.com was announced as a sponsor.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/29/publisher-boycotts-prize-protest-amazon-sponsorship

The northern Labrador town of Rigolet has won a competition to be the focus of the next book by children's author Robert Munsch. The Pick-A-Munsch competition, which drew 150,000 votes, encouraged people to pick their favourite Munsch story idea.
http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/11/01/nl-munsch-labrador-1101.html

The Booker prize-winning writer Arundhati Roy has made a strident defense of comments she made over the disputed territory of Kashmir after the Indian government threatened to arrest her for sedition.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/arundhati-roy-called-a-traitor-for-kashmiri-rights-plea-2117400.html

This past weekend, Ms. Roy's Delhi home was besieged by protesters demanding that she leave India because she supports Kashmir independence.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/31/arundhati-roy-home-besieged-protesters

Poet Mark Ford writes that "Last Letter", the draft of a poem by Ted Hughes, is unlikely to do much to rehabilitate Hughes with those who hold him responsible for the deaths of Sylvia Plath and Assia Wevill.
http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/oct/28/ted-hughes-last-letter/

Mike Doherty interviews author Jonathan Franzen on pleasing readers, reconciling with Oprah and meeting Obama.
http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/10/30/jonathan-franzen-freedom.html

"No country has the right to point only at the Germans. Everybody has to empty their own latrine," says Günter Grass in an interview with Maya Jaggi on his life in writing.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/nov/01/gunter-grass-interview-maya-jaggi

BOOKS & WRITERS

Lisa Appignanesi calls Michael Holroyd's A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers "a gem of a book".
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/31/book-secrets-michael-holroyd-review

Ken McGoogan's How The Scots Invented Canada immodestly, and accurately, credits Scots blood as the defining element of our fair nation, writes D. Grant Black.
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/article/882600--how-the-scots-invented-canada

In The Mind's Eye, Oliver Sacks offers up his usual elegant mixture of case history and street-level observations of the struggles of those afflicted with visual disorders, writes neurologist Robert Burton in the San Francisco Chronicle.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/31/RVNL1FU1S9.DTL

Psychiatrist Norman Doidge comments that unlike earlier books, here Sacks' observations are based on his own experience of going blind due to eye cancer.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/the-minds-eye-by-oliver-sacks/article1777708/singlepage/#articlecontent

One of the central issues Kevin Major explores in New Under the Sun is a question poet John Newlove posed many years ago: "Whose land this is, and is to be." It's a question that concerns all of us. Gary Geddes finds Major's exploration of this fascinating.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/new-under-the-sun-by-kevin-major/article1778682/

Imagine Alan Bennett writing the X-Files and you get some idea of the offbeat genius of Paul Magrs's Whitby fantasia. "An audacious collision of craziness and mundanity" says David Barnett.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2010/oct/28/brenda-and-effie

Readers mourning the loss of Stieg Larsson will enjoy this book by Larsson's friend Kurdo Baksi, says Rosie Swash in the Observer.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/31/stieg-larsson-my-friend-kurdo-baksi-review

Peter Ackroyd's The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time is a compilation of true ghost stories.
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-english-ghost-spectres-through-time-by-peter-ackroyd-2117355.html

COMMUNITY EVENTS

GURJINDER BASRAN
Author reads from her book Everything Was Good-Bye, winner of the Search for the Great B.C. Novel contest, chosen from 64 manuscripts by Jack Hodgins. Thursday, November 4 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, VPL, 350 West Georgia Street. More information at www.vpl.ca.

AGNES TOEWS-ANDREWS
Reading with author of The Goddess Lives: Poetry, Prose, and Prayers in Her Honour, about her world travels and her search to uncover the long-forgotten tradition of Goddess worship. Friday, November 5 at 7:00pm, free. Capilano Branch Library, 3045 Highland Blvd, North Vancouver. More information at www.isismoonpublishing.com.

CONVERSATION ABOUT CRIME
Canadian Crime Writers' Association authors Robin Spano, Debra Purdy Kon, and Elizabeth Elwood talk about the art of writing murder mysteries. Saturday, November 6 at 1:00pm, free. Black Bond Books, 5251 Ladner Trunk Rd., Delta.

IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY
Singer and performer Ann Mortifee launches her new photo illustrated book of inspirational writings, along with a companion CD by her husband flutist Paul Horn. Saturday, November 6 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $10. St. Mark's Anglican Church (1805 Larch). More information at www.inlovewiththeymystery.com.

THE ESSENTIALS: 150 GREAT B.C. BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Alan Twigg discusses his book, a guide to writing and writers that have shaped our literary landscape. Monday, November 8 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye Room, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia. More information at www.vpl.ca.

MARTIN FLETCHER
The NBC political correspondent talks about his latest book Walking Israel. Tuesday, November 9 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $18. Norman Rothstein Theatre, 950 W. 41st Ave. More information at www.jewishbookfestival.ca.

THE HEART DOES BREAK
Readings on grief and mourning by authors Stephen Collis, Joan Givner, Anne Stone with editors Jean Baird and George Bowering. Wednesday, November 10 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Library/Bookstore at Robson Square, plaza level, 800 Robson Street.

MEMORY FESTIVAL
Events include readings and performances by Lee Henderson, Sarah Leavitt, Hiromi Goto, Faith Moosang (interviewed by Hal Wake!) and Marcus Yousef. Art exhibition featuring David Campion and Sandra Shields, Goran Basaric and video storytelling by the Thursdays Writing Collective Workshops on writing your own memories, from graphic to poetic memoir. November 10-19, 2010 at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Information at www.memoryfestival.org.

JOEL HENG HARTSE
Reading by the author of Sects, Love, and Rock & Roll. Wednesday, November 10 at 7:00pm. The Wired Monk, 2610 4th Ave. W. More information at http://ow.ly/30vW8.

ROMEO DALLAIRE
Author of They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers discusses the practice of using children in conflicts. Thursday, November 11 at 7:30pm. Tickets $20. Kay Meek Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver. More information at http://www.kaymeekcentre.com/on_stage/979.

MIKE MCCARDELL
Book signing by TV personality and author of Everything Works. Two appearances on Saturday, November 13: first at 1:00pm at Black Bond Books White Rock (Semiahmoo Mall) and then at 3:30pm at Black Bond Books Ladner (Trenant Park Square Shopping Centre). For more information about the signing, phone Black Bond Books at 604-536-3336 (Semiahmoo Mall) or 604-946-6677 (Ladner).

CBC RADIO STUDIO ONE BOOK CLUB
Singer/songwriter, rancher and grassland conservationist Ian Tyson will be here with his new memoir The Long Trail: My Life in the West. Ian reflects on how his love for the West started in Victoria, nurtured and inspired his musical talent, taught him life lessons in the saddle, and has saved his soul. Sunday, November 14. Enter to win free tickets at www.cbc.ca/bc/bookclub.

Upcoming

PEN-IN-HAND
Readings by poets bill bissett, Jim Christy, Susan Stenson and Linda Rogers. Monday, November 15 at 7:30pm. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria.

JUNE HUTTON
White Rock Library in partnership with the Community Arts Council of White Rock & District hosts June Hutton for a discussion of her book Underground. Tuesday, November 16 at 2:00pm, free. Register by phoning 604-541-2201. White Rock Library, 15342 Buena Vista, White Rock. More information at www.fvrl.bc.ca.

SEMIAHMOO ARTS' LITERARY SERIES
Reading by June Hutton, the author of Underground. Tuesday, November 16 at 7:30pm, free. Pelican Rouge Coffee House, 15142 North Bluff Road, White Rock. More information at www.semiahmooarts.com.

SEE THE VOICE
Visible Verse's 10th anniversary celebration and festival. November 19-20, 2010. Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street. For complete program details, visit http://heatherhaley.com/visibleverse.php.

KAT VON D
Join tattoo artist and television star of LA Ink, as she signs copies of her new book The Tattoo Chronicles. Monday, November 22 at 7:00pm. Chapters Robson, 788 Robson Street.

ATLANTIC/PACIFIC: AN EVENING OF POETRY
Readings by Judy Halebsky and Sandy Shreve. Thursday, November 25 at 7:30pm, free. People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive.