Vol. 7 No. 7

BOOK NEWS

UPCOMING VIWF EVENTS

Incite

At the next Incite on March 21, Tamara Faith Berger discusses her third novel Maidenhead, and Anakana Schofield and Ben Wood introduce their debut novels, Malarky and The Bellwether Revivals. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incitemarch7. Also appearing at Incite in the next few months are Linden MacIntyre, Will Ferguson, Vincent Lam, Richard Stursberg, John Boyne, Yasuko Thanh and Buffy Cran, among others.

Richard Ford
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Richard Ford appears with his latest novel, Canada. This will be Mr Ford's first appearance in Canada with this new book. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/richardford.

AWARDS & LISTS

Andrew Westoll has won the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for his book The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/03/05/charles-taylor-prize-winner.html

Roddy Doyle, Anna Porter and Gary Shteyngart have been named to the jury that will choose the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner. The Prize will be awarded on Oct. 30.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/03/05/giller-prize-jury.html

The Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser remains under house arrest in Beijing after she was prevented from attending a ceremony honouring her with the 2011 Prince Claus award. "This demonstrates the importance of her voice," said the Prince Claus Fund director.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/02/china-tibetan-blogger-prince-claus-award

The $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award, which uniquely honours books with a Canadian-Ukrainian theme, was presented to Shandi Mitchell last week for her debut novel, Under This Unbroken Sky.
http://arts.nationalpost.com/2012/03/01/shandi-mitchell-wins-kobzar-literary-award/

Orange and Booker-shortlisted author Emma Donoghue has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award for The Hunt, set during the American War of Independence.
http://www.thebookseller.com/news/emma-donoghue-running-£30k-story-prize.html

Clea Young and Terence Young are two of ten finalists for CBC's short story contest. Canada Writes is the online literary destination part of CBC Books, with its partners the Canada Council for the Arts, Air Canada's enRoute magazine and The Banff Centre.
http://www.cbabook.org/files/CBC%20NEWS%20RELEASE.pdf

Ontario authors Brian Cretney and Connie Brummel Crook have been nominated for the 2012 Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Willow Awards.
http://www.willowawards.ca/nominated-books

YOUNG READERS

Willa Wellowby wakes up one morning to find her home invaded by monkeys in Sheree Fitch's There Are Monkeys In my Kitchen. They wear red leather boots and cowboy hats, play bagpipes in Willas bedroom and swing from the trees! Ages 4 to 7.
http://www.umanitoba.ca/outreach/cm/vol18/no24/thereweremonkeysinmykitchen.html

As opening lines go, Colin Meloy's Wildwood has a humdinger: How five crows managed to lift a twenty-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries. Age 10 and up.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/books/Kids+wilderness+adventure/6199088/story.html

In Embrace, the opener in a young adult series by Jessica Shirvington, teenage Violet discovers she is an angel. If angels are the new vampires, then Embrace is a worthy follow-up to The Twilight Saga, says Susan Carpenter. Ages 12 and up.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-jessica-shirvington-20120304,0,4040405.story

NEWS & FEATURES

At VPL, ebook downloads have increased almost tenfold year-on-year. Still, there are things, good and bad, that ebooks can't offer. The Library invites the public to help reinvent their mission through the public input campaign Free-For-All: Reimagining Your Library.
http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/03/05/Ebook-Libraries/

The American Library Association is urging Random House Inc. to reconsider its steep increases in the price of e-books for library wholesalers, with charges for e-books to rise by 20 percent-plus for new adult releases and more than double for new children's books.
http://www.denverpost.com/books/ci_20088888

Claraboya (Skylight), a novel that the late Nobel laureate José Saramago submitted to a publisher in 1953, has finally been released in Spanish. Random House UK is considering an English translation. Raised from the Ground (previously unpublished) is due this summer in the UK.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/05/jose-saramago-novel-published

We generally venerate those authors who stand up against acts of silencing by the authorities. But what are we to think when an author suppresses himself? Leaves posthumous orders to destroy manuscripts?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/28/authors-censor-themselves-martin-amis

The Philosopher's Beard disparages Jane Austen's novels but notes that Austen was also a brilliant moral philosopher who analysed and taught a virtue ethics for middle-class life that is surprisingly contemporary.
http://www.philosophersbeard.org/2011/08/jane-austen-terrible-novelist-brilliant.html

Chan Koonchung's novel The Fat Years is an underground sensation in China, officially banned from bookstores but available for download online if you know where to look. It's the book that China's readers ask each other if they have read yet.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/chinese-must-not-forget-the-past-warns-author-of-the-fat-years/article2351681/

L'Ingratitude, a long-lost short story written by Charlotte Brontë for an ardour-inspiring tutor is to be published for the first time after being found in a Belgian museum a century after it was last heard of.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/28/charlotte-bronte-belgian-short-story

Jonas Jonasson's The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared—a novel about a centenarian who runs away from an old people's home—was rejected by major publishers. The "laugh-out-loud, page-turner has become a European publishing phenomenon, writes Dalya Alberge.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/04/swedish-bestseller-has-last-laugh

Sameer Rahim, writing in The Telegraph, says that poets are well versed in the art of combat. Why do poets always seem to be fighting?, he asks.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9116335/Poets-well-versed-in-the-art-of-combat.html

The Aspiring Poets Contest, a new contest in Canada, is for unpublished Canadian poets, and begins in April, national poetry month. Vancouver's Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau is the honorary patron. Submissions will be accepted, beginning April 1. More information at:
http://www.aspiringpoetscontest.org

BOOKS & WRITERS

Ai Mi's Under the Hawthorn Tree is more about the Cultural Revolution than about romantic love, holding at stake "innocence in the face of the corrupting influence of extreme politics." For this, if nothing else, this book should be read, writes Michelle Berry.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/under-the-hawthorn-tree-by-ai-mi/article2354111/

Recent fiction reflects the anxiety of the times. Grim tidings abound. With Every Third Thought: A Novel in Five Seasons, John Barth's "rebeginning" restores a qualified sense of optimism to American fiction, writes Matt Kavanagh.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/every-third-thought-by-john-barth/article2352593/

Alexander MacLeod's Light Lifting is an unusual collection of short stories that dwell on the significance of the little things in life, writes Chris Ross. MacLeod, has recently been shortlisted for four literary prizes. On this evidence, he deserves it, says Ross.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/02/light-lifting-alexander-macleod-review

Without Anne Lamott, the entire sub-category of contemporary parent writing probably wouldn't exist, writes David L. Ulin. Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year was a bestseller. Now there's Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-anne-lamott-20120304,0,1121052.story

Patricia Cohen's terrific In Our Prime makes the compelling argument that middle age was invented "as much a manmade creation as polyester or the rules of chess," writes Brett Josef Grubisic. The goal is to listen to science and ignore the salespeople.
http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/books/Prime+Breaking+down+stereotypes/6236513/story.html

Sarah Johnson describes Elliot Perlman's The Street Sweeper as an extraordinary tale powerfully told, how the stories we hear affect how we see the world. It's a tremendously moving work that deserves to be read and remembered, says Johnson.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/the-street-sweeper-by-elliot-perlman/article2357149/

Granta 118: Exit Strategies' short stories and poems focus on departures and escapes, the weight of the past rather than the promise of the future, writes James Smart. Contributors to this issue include Alice Munro, Anne Tyler, John Barth, and Chinelo Okparanta.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/28/granta-exit-strategies-review

Margaret Cannon writes that Mo Hayder is emerging as one of the best crime writers in Britain. Hanging Hill is a tale of very modern evils, horrible dilemmas and terrible choices.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/new-in-crime-fiction-the-latest-thrillers-and-mysteries/article2356589/

Flowers, a short story by Sylvia Townsend Warner has recently been discovered and is extracted from The Dolls House and Other Stories.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/02/flowers-sylvia-townsend-warner-story

Sarah Waters writes about Sylvia Townsend Warner, the neglected author.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/02/sylvia-townsend-warner

Barry Forshaw's Death in a Cold Climate describes Scandinavian crime fiction in each of the Nordic nations and places the texts into illuminating social, political and geographical contexts. He identifies a preoccupation with "bloody death" that reaches back to ancient myth.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/28/death-cold-climate-barry-forshaw-review

A satire that imagines an elderly Anne Frank, alive and well and living in the attic of an American Jewish family, stays hilariously on the right side of bad taste, writes Elizabeth Day about Shalom Auslander's Hope: A Tragedy.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/04/hope-a-tragedy-shalom-auslander

John Lanchester's Capital follows a small cross-section of the inhabitants of one south London street, and the people who come to work for them. A finely observed novel, says Claire Tomalin.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/04/capital-john-lanchester-review

Naomi Benaron's prize-winning novel Running the Rift tells the story of a Rwandan runner striving to win an Olympic medal for his country. A Tutsi, with Hutu neighbours, he inevitably runs for his life.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/three-new-books-worth-a-look/article2356851/

COMMUNITY EVENTS

ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Sean Johnston (The Ditch Was Lit Like This) and Anne Simpson (Is). Thursday, March 8 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

FROM BOMBS TO BOOKS
Author and Edmonds Community School principal David Starr discusses his new book. Thursday, March 8 at 7:00pm, free. Registration required. Lynn Valley Main Library, 1277 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver.

TAHEREH MAFI
The author signs her debut novel Shatter Me. Saturday, March 10 at 2:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.

IRVING LAYTON CENTENARY CELEBRATION
Poets and friends will read Irving's poems or share personal anecdotes. Saturday, March 10 at 4:00pm. Heather Haley's Place, Cowan Point, Bowen Island. Call 778-861-4050 or email hshaley@emspace.com for directions.

IRVING LAYTON CENTENARY CELEBRATION
Local poets read poems by, and tell stories about, Irving Layton. Lineup includes Adrienne Drobnies, Heidi Greco, Sandy Shreve, Russell Thornton and others. Sunday, March 11 at 3:00pm. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street. More information at www.deadpoetslive.com.

DANIELA ELZA
Celebrate the author's launch of her first full-length book of poetry, "the weight of dew". Sunday, March 11 at 5:30pm. The Railway Club (in the private back room bar), 579 Dunsmuir Street. Author reading and books for sale.

THREE LOCAL AUTHORS READING
Explore fiction with Bob Friedland, poetry with Manolis Aligizakis, and autobiographical fiction with Ben Nuttall-Smith. Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3691.

BERNICE LEVER
Reading by Bowen Island poet. Wednesday, March 14 at 7:00pm, free. Dr. G. Paul Singh Study Hall, North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th Street W., North Vancouver. More information at 604-998-3450.

AN EVENING WITH MICHAEL SLADE
Vancouver mystery-horror author Jay Clarke, aka Michael Slade, leads an evening of conversation and exploration about his "Mountie noir" genre. Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30pm, free. VCC King Edward Campus, 1155 E. Broadway. More information at www.vcc.ca.

TWS READING SERIES
Reading by guest author Betsy Warland. Thursday, March 15 at 7:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway, Vancouver. More information at sfu.ca.

MY MOTHER'S STORY
An evening of storytelling from the project and see the process of turning personal stories into a finished production. Thursday, March 15 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $25. Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield Ave., North Vancouver. More information at www.phtheatre.org.

Upcoming

PEN IN HAND READING SERIES
Readings by Gabriella Goliger and Arleen Paré. Monday, March 19 at 7:30pm. Cost: $3. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria. More information at ainbinder.collins@gmail.com.

AN EVENING OF CANADIAN POETRY
An evening of Canadian poetry with Ruth Roach Pierson, Rhona McAdam and Edward Blodgett. Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kay rooms, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St.

KAREN ARMSTRONG
Lecture by former nun and the author of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and A History of God. Thursday, March 22 at 7:00pm, free. Gladstone Secondary auditorium, 4105 Gladstone Street, Vancouver. More information and to register, visit http://www.sfu.ca/dialogue/study+practice/armstrong+lecture.html.

ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Dani Couture (Algoma) and Nicole Lundrigan (Glass Boys). Thursday, March 22 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

ON EDGE READING SERIES
Presents World Water Night, featuring readings by Lee Maracle and Michael Blackstock with a screening of Samaqan: Water Stories. Thursday, March 22 at 7:00pm, free. SB301, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street. More information at http://www.ecuad.ca/about/events/198107.

CAMPBELL RIVER WRITERS' FESTIVAL
Eleventh annual Words on the Water Festival featuring Gurjinder Basran, Trevor Herriot, Daphne Marlatt, Garry Thomas Morse and others. March 23-24, 2012. Maritime Heritage Centre, Campbell River. Details at www.wordsonthewater.ca.

ROBSON READING SERIES
Billeh Nickerson launches his latest collection Impact: The Titanic Poems. Tuesday, March 27 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

KAREN ARMSTRONG
On March 28 the CBC Studio One Book Club is partnering with SFU's Centre for Dialogue to welcome TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong - one of the most provocative and original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world. This Book Club will be part of a city-wide conversation on compassion and will mark the launch of the Greater Vancouver Compassion Network. For details go to www.cbc.ca/bc/bookclub.

LEE MARACLE
Reading by the author of First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style. Thursday, March 29 at 2:00pm, free. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Point Grey Campus, 1961 East Mall. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

STAN BEVINGTON
The Alcuin Society presents its fifth Robert R. Reid Award and Medal to Stan Bevington. John Maxwell will also give a talk entitled Coach House Press as a Digital Pioneer. Friday, March 30 at 7:30pm, free. Fletcher Challenge room, Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings. More information at 604-732-5403.

ROBSON READING SERIES
In celebration of National Poetry Month, readings by Margaret Christakos (Welling), Leigh Kotsilidis (Hypotheticals) and Steven Price (Omens of the Year of the Ox). Tuesday, April 3 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.