Vol. 7 No. 8
UPCOMING VIWF EVENTS
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.
Benjamin Wood's The Bellwether Revivals is part psychological thriller, part philosophical coming-of-age grand saga, writes Tracy Sherlock. The author plays with the power of music, and the dangers of supreme intelligence.
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.
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Capital One will give an extra $10 to any donation made to the VIWF above $1 until March 31. Click here to learn more, http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/supportus/donate
AWARDS & LISTS
Emma Donohue's The Sealed Letter and Esi Edugyan's Half Blood Blues are among the twenty novels longlisted for the Orange Prize, Britain's only annual prize for fiction written by women.
The West Coast Book Prize Society has unveiled the finalists vying for the 28th edition of the annual literary prizes in seven categories. Among the authors are Carmen Aguirre, Michael Christie, Esi Edugyan, Gary Geddes, Charlotte Gill, Patrick Lane, JJ Lee and Moira Young. Complete list:
The National Book Critics Circle gave its 2011 fiction prize to Edith Pearlman, for Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories at its annual awards ceremony. British author Geoff Dyer won the criticism award.
Nobel Prize Laureate Wislawa Szymborska has left instructions in her will for the establishment of a new literary prize and a foundation that will guard her literary achievements. Krakow authorities aim to create a museum of literature in the city.
Novelist, playwright, journalist and composer, Anthony Burgess, best known for A Clockwork Orange, wrote many reviews for the Observer. The Observer and the Burgess Foundation have jointly established The Observer/Anthony Burgess prize in his memory, to encourage promising new arts journalists.
Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson is her first teen/ tween book. It is all about a girl called Leonora Watts-Chan (Leo) who runs away from home. I couldn't put it down, says Kertan. Teens.
Russell Hoban said that all his work was about looking at the world and finding it strange. Soonchild bears that out – and it is also full of insight into human nature. Tony Bradman writes “Every adolescent should have a copy of this one. Trust me, nobody will be writing stories quite like this any more.” Teens.
Dan Wells' dystopian Partials kicks off a young adult series that follows Kyra Walker, a teenage girl working as a medic, carrying out research for a cure to a virus wiping out the human race. For YA.
NEWS & FEATURES
Randy Fred thought that life after residential school would be drinking, watching TV and dying. Instead, he became the "greatest blind Indian publisher in the world." Michal Kozlowski's profile of New World Publisher Randy Fred is one of a series of Geist profiles.
Tucked among the café tables in the Brooklyn Public Library headquarters', a new machine whirred and buzzed. Then, down a chute, slipped a fresh, warm paperback. The Espresso Book Machine, an instant, on-demand printing press, had arrived in Brooklyn, writes Jennifer Maloney.
Deeper into the Twungle by Margaret Atwood is in the most recent New York Review of Books, along with a DIY Margaret Atwood mask.
The U.S. Justice Department has warned Apple and five large publishers that it was planning to sue them for price fixing. But Authors Guild President Scott Turow suggests that it's Amazon's ultimate monopoly and predatory pricing that is of greatest concern. http://www.salon.com/2012/03/13/scott_turow_on_why_we_should_fear_amazon/singleton/
Turow's letter to the Authors Guild:
Mathew Ingram and Laura Owen debate the merits of the agency-pricing model.
Inspired by Dave Eggers, and recognizing the absence of encouragement in his own schooling, Roddy Doyle has established Fighting Words to encourage creative writing in students of all ages across Ireland. Since 2009, the centre has seen several thousand come through its doors.
Sir Salman Rushdie claims an investigation into price fixing of ebook sales by Apple and publishers will only result in destroying the income of writers and further encourage the belief that consumers can get everything for nothing.
Less than two months after being forced to pull out of the Jaipur literary festival, Rushdie has brushed aside death threats and will return to India this week to speak at a literary event in Delhi.
A collection of fairytales gathered by historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth had been locked away in an archive in Regensburg for over 150 years.
500 new fairytales have been discovered. The Turnip Princess is one of the discovered fairytales:
The Encyclopedia Britannica has announced that after 244 years, dozens of editions and more than 7m sets sold, no new editions will be printed.
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:
BOOKS & WRITERS
Marilynne Robinson's When I Was a Child... is not, as its title might suggest, a memoir. Nor is it about childhood or about the literature that has fed her imagination. It is, writes Kate Kellaway, – in a homespun, ordinary, autobiographical sense – about herself.
Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy contain numerous parallels with Jane Eyre, writes Candace Fertile. The similarities continue in the presentation of the material, which is Gothic, even melodramatic. But Gemma is ultimately herself, not an updated Jane, says Fertile.
Lilian Nattel's psychological thriller, Web of Angels, peers into the world of Dissociative Identity Disorder, writes Greg Quill. Quill quotes Nattel, "I want the reader to feel it's the kind of story that can happen anywhere."
Just as early Christians appropriated pagan sites and rituals, so should contemporary atheists repurpose religious ideas. Alain de Botton's Religion for Atheists proposes a series of weird and wonderful improvement projects for the betterment of secular society. says Brett Josef Grubisic.
Dutch novelist and filmmaker Threes Anna's Waiting for the Monsoon takes place in Rampur, India, from childhoods through Indian independence. The book conveys the feel of India and its language, writes Georgie Binks, an achievement considering Anna's first language is Dutch.
In her review of Margaret Atwood's I'm Starved for You and its controlling regime, Aretha van Herk writes: "Here is a solution for a crime-ridden time: put everybody in the slammer, and leave the criminals and miscreants outside."
Audrey Schulman's novel, Three Weeks in December, refers to two stretches of time—in 1899 and in 2000. Both stretches take place in Africa with terrifying events, writes Philip Marchand. It's a page-turner, and a fascinating study, says Marchand.
Hari Kunzru's Gods Without Men prompts Douglas Copeland's suggestion that we are in a new reality manifest in the literary world in a new literary genre: call it Translit, collapsing time and space, inserting the contemporary reader into other locations and times.
Rollo Romig stares into the void with Hari Kunzru in The New Yorker.
Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It is a wonderfully cranky title for a book, but as Howard Jacobson admits in the introduction to this wide-ranging collection of columns he wrote for the Independent, "There is a great deal that I do like."
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.
NAKED GIRLS READING
An entirely Neil Gaiman-themed show features readings by Riannaconda, Sweet Sashay, Mama Fortuna, and Diamon Minx. Sunday, March 18 at 8:30pm. Tickets: $20/$15. Backstage Lounge, Arts Club Theatre, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver.
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 email@example.com.
Reading by mystery author Debra Purdy Kong from her soon to be released novel Deadly Accusations. Tuesday, March 20 at 8:00pm. La Fontana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings Street, Burnaby.
Capilano University Creative Writing presents the author of Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, and Daughters Are Forever. Wednesday, March 21 at 11:30am, free. Room 321, Capilano University Library, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver.
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.
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 Mark Lavorato (Believing Cedric) 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.
Launch of The Enpipe Line, poetry written in resistance to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal. Friday, March 23 at 7:00pm. Outside the Enbridge office, 505 Burrard Street. More information at enpipeline.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TWISTED POETS LITERARY SALON
Performance by Kate Braid and Daniela Elza with bass player Clyde Reed. Thursday, April 5 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation: $5. The Prophouse, 1636 Venables Avenue, Vancouver. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON EDGE READING SERIES
Presents readings by Kaie Kellough and Cornelia Hoogland. Thursday, April 12 at 7:00pm, free. SB301, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street. More information at http://www.ecuad.ca/about/events/198108.
LIT FEST NEW WEST
All day event featuring speakers, authors, workshops, readings and more. Saturday, April 14 at 9:00am. Douglas College, 700 Royal Avenue, New Westminster. More information at artscouncilnewwest.org.
Author reads from his most recent book My Year of the Racehorse: Falling in Love With The Sport of Kings. Books will be available for purchase. Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00pm, free. Tommy Douglas branch, Burnaby Public Library, 7311 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-522-3971.