Vol. 6 No. 20
Incite @ VPL
The next installment of Incite (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incitemay25) will feature Madeleine Thien, Jen Sookfong Lee and Patrick deWitt. Read an interview with Patrick on our blog, Q&A, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/blog/sl/qa-patrick-dewitt.
Reviews from the recent Incite event with Sylvia Tyson and Zsuzsi Gartner:
Fantastic! Very entertaining.
Zsuzsi Gartner reads like a bullet train!
Sylvia Tyson's reading was wonderful - rich in detail and highlighted with music and song.
Admission is free
Alice MacKay room, Central Library
Let us know you're coming by registering here, http://incitevpl.eventbrite.com. Please note that registration is so that we know how many people to expect. Admission on the night is always on a first-come-first-served basis.
This is the last Incite event before our summer hiatus. Incite events launch again September 14.
Mellissa Fung - May 28, 2011
CBC Journalist Mellissa Fung will discuss her soon to be released memoir, Under an Afghan Sky, with Kirk LaPointe. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/fung
AWARDS & LISTS
Philip Roth has won the Man Booker International Prize for fiction. Canada's Rohinton Mistry was one of the shortlisted authors.
Ezra Levant has won the $20,000 National Business Book Award for Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands.
Mariatu Kamara's The Bite of a Mango has won the Red Maple Award for non-fiction. The Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading winners are selected by school children who read the finalists and vote for their favourite books.
Miriam Toews is to be inducted into the Order of Manitoba in July.
Emma Donoghue, Sheree Fitch and John Vaillant are among the winners of the Canadian Booksellers Association's 2011 Libris Awards. Author and bookseller Vikki VanSickle won the Young Bookseller of the Year Award, which recognizes excellence in book retailing by a bookseller under the age of 30.
The former lord chief justiceTom Bingham, who died last September, has won the Orwell book prize for his accessible examination of The Rule of Law.
Canada is to have a new $60,000 prize for non-fiction writing, beginning this fall, the Writers Trust of Canada has announced. The Writers' Trust Hilary Weston Prize, to be sponsored by former Ontario Lt.-Gov. Hilary Weston, will be Canada's richest non-fiction prize. The new award replaces the Writers' Trust Non-fiction Prize.
NEWS & FEATURES
Last week's decision to honour Philp Roth with the Man Booker £60,000 award resulted in author and publisher Carmen Callil's withdrawal from the judging panel.
Will Skidelsky, an Orwell Prize judge, says successful entries were required to display a number of Orwellian attributes, such as "clarity", "intellectual courage" and "critical thought" and above all, aspire to Orwell's ambition of "turning political writing into an art".
George Fetherling profiles Don Stewart, ‘the man of a hundred thousand books' and proprietor of MacLeod's Books.
At least 20 unpublished stories by Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange, have been discovered by researchers sorting through his papers at a research centre in Manchester, the city in which he was born.
Elsewhere, another discovery: some rare Edward Ardizzone pen and ink drawings intended to illustrate the 1961 edition of Huckleberry Finn. The drawings also show how Ardizzone dealt with errors.
In an otherwise generous review, Julian Barns criticized Joyce Carol Oates for her failure to mention her remarriage in her memoir A Widow's Story.
Oates defends herself in a letter in the New York Review of Books.
The Telegraph (UK) offers a preview of The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, a novel that dominated the final decade of Beryl Bainbridge's life, and remained unfinished. Bainbridge died in 2010.
In her seventies, Bainbridge turned increasingly to painting. An exhibition of her work is in prospect.
Some of the images are here:
Arifa Akbar asks authors about the sexual politics of storytelling.
China Miéville speaks with Justine Jordan about his life in writing.
Stamped prominently on the cover of the new novel by Jo Nesbo are the words “the next Stieg Larsson” although the Norwegian Nesbo had published many books before Larsson became known. Nesbo's The Leopard was released in Canada this month.
Rafe Mair weeps for the small bookstore and yet, he holds out a ray of hope for the small bookstores (new and used) for they are more than just stores.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the "guest of honour" at Book World Prague 2011, with only one Saudi author, Abdullah Al-Nasir, on the programme of events.
Laura Miller writes of the library's and librarians' importance, for those who have no other access to computers, things that cannot be digitized (including unscannable objects) and why the library needs to be a place as well as an ethereal mass of data.
BOOKS & WRITERS
Carmen Aguirre’s Something Fierce follows her family’s initial flight from Chile to Canada and back to join the underground resistance against Pinochet., evocatively detailing what it’s like to come of age amid terror, writes Janet Smith.
One of the most compelling themes concerns the ongoing, arduous process of balancing ideals with the allure of fun, writes José Teodoro.
Michelle Lalonde writes that in Dogs at the Perimeter, Madeleine Thien brings the razor-sharp focus and economy of expression of her short story writing to the novel, and the result is gripping.
Zsuzsi Gartner says that Julian Barnes's writing concerns love and death and history, but mostly love. As in previous collections, Pulse includes both contemporary and historical stories—and Barnes continues to make us think deeply about history, mortality, and love.
This is Barnes' first book since the sudden death of his wife in 2008, writes Vit Wagner. But those hoping to gain autobiographical insight into Barnes' personal life through these stories will be tripped up by the fact of chronology.
While Edeet Ravel insists that her new novel, The Last Rain, is fiction, Monique Polak finds it has strong elements of memoir. This book is destabilizing, says Polak, leaving us pondering the dangerous power of idealism and its destructive effects.
The Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Zoo City by Lauren Beukes is the other face of cyberpunk, says reviewer Gwyneth Jones. She agrees with William Gibson's response to the book as "very, very good".
Among the questions posed in Jonathan Kay's Among the Truthers is: Is it really the case that today's ‘truthers' demonstrate greater collective paranoid thinking in this age than existed in earlier times? Noah Richler asks: does it really matter?
Several women over 50 contributed to Shari Graydon's I feel Great About My Hands, a book that Shelley Fralic finds has charm, wit, and some eternal truths, along with a positive take on aging.
Jonathan Yardley says that in To End All Wars, Adam Hochschild does many things well, not least taking a very familiar story and making it new. To End All Wars is exemplary in all respects, writes Yardley.
Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz is a lively book about adultery set in Dublin early in this century, the arc of the stolen romance loosely following the financial situation in the city from boom to bust, says Susie Boyt.
Tourists on Lampedusa can see makeshift boats crammed with refugees from North Africa. Tom Holland writes that David Abulafia's magnificent history, The Great Sea shows how a narrow strip of sea became a meeting place of civilizations.
Rayyan Al-Shawaf writes that David Adams Richards's Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul serves as a potent reminder of a politically incorrect truth: legitimate historical grievances cannot justify the pernicious notion of inherited guilt.
Until now, Bosnian poet Goran Simic's work has been translated from his native tongue. For Sunrise in the Eyes of the Snowman, Simic worked fully in English. George Murray says Simic is now a poet of every land.
CBC STUDIO ONE BOOK CLUB
The CBC Studio One Book Club presents three of B.C.'s hottest garden bloggers with new books - Andrea Bellamy with Sugar Snaps and Strawberries and Christina Symons & John Gillespie with Everyday Eden. Thursday, May 19th, 6:30 pm, at the CBC Broadcast Centre. Free tickets www.cbc.ca/bc/bookclub.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Canadian poet Di Brandt reads from her new collection Walking to Mojácar alongside Mexican writer-in-exile Ari Belathar, who translated the work into Spanish. Thursday, May 19 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore Robson Square, plaza level, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
SCIENCE FICTION BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
Read and discuss Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, which examines the inadequacy of communication between a group of scientists and the sentient planet they are studying. Thursday, May 19 at 7:00pm, free. The Grind & Gallery, 4124 Main Street. More information at email@example.com.
Reading and discussion by the author of First Contact. Thursday, May 19 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street. For more information please contact Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3603.
Burnaby librarians present fast-paced reviews of fiction and non-fiction books for summer reading. Thursday, May 19 at 7:00pm, free. Burnaby Public Library McGill Branch, 4595 Albert Street. More information at www.bpl.bc.ca/events/mcgill/.
The local playwright and former Chilean revolutionary celebrates the launch of Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter , a depiction of her journey into political dissent and love. Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 E. Broadway. More information at www.dmpibooks.com.
PERSISTENCE: ALL WAYS BUTCH AND FEMME
Launch of the new Arsenal Pulp Press anthology features readings and performances by contributors Amber Dawn, Brenda Barnes, Donnelly Black, Ivan E. Coyote, and Anne Fleming. Also includes taiko drumming by Jodaiko. Thursday, May 19 at 8:00pm. Tickets $5-$15. WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac. More information at www.arsenalpulp.com.
EVERY DAY FICTION BOOK LAUNCH
Reading and book-signing event to celebrate the launch of Every Day Fiction's newest anthology of flash fiction features authors K.C. Ball, Gay Degani, J.C. Towler, and Peter Tupper. Saturday, May 21 at 4:30pm, free. Blackberry Books, 3-1666 Johnston Street. More information at www.everydayfiction.com.
ROSEMARY JAMES CROSS
Join us to hear the author read from her book The Life and Times of Victoria Architect P. Leonard James. Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00pm, free. West Point Grey Branch, 4480 10th Ave. W.
Reading by the author of Demeter Goes Skydiving, her new volume of poetry. Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30pm, free. Pelican Rouge Coffee House, 15142 North Bluff Road, White Rock. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The local author discusses his latest book Common Ground in a Liquid City: Essays in Defense of an Urban Future, a down-to-earth look at the importance of space and place in urban renewal. Thursday, May 26 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at www.vpl.ca.
The B.C. author of six books of poetry and fiction reads from his first novel It Is Just That Your House Is So Far Away. Thursday, May 26 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at www.vpl.ca.
Launch of the new anthology features local mama writers sharing their stories about the joys and conflicts of modern motherhood and readings from contributors and local "momior" writers. Thursday, May 26 at 7:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 E. Broadway. More information at www.rhizomecafe.ca.
Douglas Coupland will be hosting an interactive presentation on Marshall McLuhan and YouTube. Thursday, May 26 at 8:00pm, free. The Waldorf Hotel, 1489 East Hastings. More information at http://tinyurl.com/4226kem.
THE PALE SURFACE OF THINGS
Join us as award winning author, Janey Bennett, discusses her novel, The Pale Surface of Things. The story is set on the Greek Island of Crete. Saturday, May 28 at 3:00pm, free. Kitsilano Branch, 2425 Macdonald Street.
EUROPEAN BOOK CLUB
The first book to be read and discussed will be the novel Visitation by German writer Jenny Erpenbeck. Saturday, May 28 at 4:00pm, free but registration is required at email@example.com. Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 49th Ave. W.
Author reads from his novel, Verbatim, a blackly humorous exposé of parliamentary practice in an unnamed Atlantic province. Monday, May 30 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.
A CAPITAL CRIME WAVE
Spend an evening with Canadian mystery authors, R.J. Harlick and Barbara Fradkin as they discuss the underlying aboriginal and psychological themes of their mystery series. Wednesday, June 1 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.
Launch of the author's new book The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton. Thursday, June 9 at 8:00pm. Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian author and journalist discusses her new book Allah, Liberty, and Love. Friday, June 10 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $18/$15. Capilano Performing Arts Theatre, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver. More information at www.capilanou.ca/theatre/.
WRITE ON BOWEN 2011
Join writers from all over the Lower Mainland for a series of intensive, interactive writing workshops, panel presentations, and other events. July 8 to 11, Artisan Square, Bowen Island. For complete details, visit www.writeonbowen.com.
HAIKU NORTH AMERICA
A long weekend of papers, presentations, workshops, readings, and other activities in celebration of haiku poetry, held at the Seattle Center, at the foot of the Space Needle. Featured presenters already include Cor van den Heuvel, Richard Gilbert, David Lanoue, Carlos Colón, Fay Aoyagi, Jim Kacian, Emiko Miyashita, George Swede, and many others. August 3-7, 2011. For more information, visit www.haikunorthamerica.com.