Vol. 7 No. 9
UPCOMING VIWF EVENTS
At the next Incite on April 4, Will Ferguson takes readers behind the scene of the world's most insidious internet scam in 419 and Journey Prize-winner Yauko Thanh reads from her new collection of short stories, Floating Like the Dead. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/inciteapril4. Also appearing at Incite in the next few months are Linden MacIntyre, Vincent Lam, Richard Stursberg, John Boyne, Buffy Cram, Owen Laukkanen and Trevor Green.
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.
Make your donation count with a $10 top up!
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
South Korean novelist Kyung-sook Shin has become the first woman to win the Man Asian Literary Prize, Asia's most prestigious award for writers, for her novel Please Look After Mom. The author has won an award of US$30,000; the novel's translator, Chi-Young Kim, received US$5,000.
The Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize went to Penny Sarchet for 'The nocebo effect' and Tess Shellard for 'Bacteria and the power of teamwork'.
Timothy Tayor's The Blue Light Project has been nominated for a CBC Bookie Award, along with Patrick deWitt, Esi Edugyan, Brian Francis and Elizabeth Hay.
There are five Bookie nominees in each of this year's 10 categories, chosen by CBC's book-loving producers. Readers across the country are invited to cast their votes in each of the categories—by 11:59 pm EDT Saturday, March 31. Winners will be announced Thursday, April 5.
Patricia Donahue, author of Mighty Orion - Fate is the winner of the Okanagan Literary Arts Award, 2012.
Acts of Courage: Laura Secord and the War of 1812 begins when Laura was 12. She was 38 when she walked 20 hours to warn the British commander of an imminent American attack. "No one had really wanted [the War] ," says young Laura. Ages 10-14.
In Carl Hiaasen's Chomp, a young boy named Wahoo helps his father recover from an iguana-caused concussion. However, the rollicking plot pulls back the curtain on so-called reality TV and its biggest outdoorsy phenom, "Man vs. Wild." A delightful, laugh-out-loud send-up, says Susan Carpenter. Middle School, and not just for kids. Ages 10-14.
Miriam Rudolph's grandfather was a Canadian Mennonite who moved his family to Paraguay in the 1920's. Miriam was born in Paraguay but moved to Manitoba when she was 20, to study art and education. David's Trip to Paraguay, The Land of Amazing Colours, in both English and German, which Rudolph both wrote and illustrated, is the result. All ages.
NEWS & FEATURES
For the next two weeks, the CBC will present one of the ten shortlisted entries for the CBC Short Story Prize. This week features Clea Young's Dock Day. Note the Q & A following the story. The "people's choice" poll enabling you to vote for your favourite shortlisted story opened March 19.
While Salman Rushdie dismissed death threats and returned to India to speak at a literary event in Delhi, Imran Khan, the Pakistani cricketer-turned-conservative politician, has pulled out of a conference in Delhi because of Rushdie's expected attendance.
Andrew Motion talks to William Skidelsky about life after being poet laureate and about Silver, his sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.
Toronto writer Kyo Maclear launched two books this week—Virginia Wolf, an illustrated book for children and Stray Love for adults—part of a growing writers' trend to cross genres. They both deal with similar themes: "of not belonging".
At a recent TEDx/Observer ideas conference, Ben Drew, aka Plan B, focused on the importance of letting kids, and yourself, read for pleasure.
In Facing the Camera, Alberto Manguel attempts an answer to the question: How much does a photograph really capture the essence of a person?
In an interview with Emma Brockes, prior to the April publication of his The Chemistry of Tears, Peter Carey reveals why he likes breaking the rules and making it up as he goes along.
Kafka and Leonard Cohen can help young people make sense of the world, Sheila Heti argues, while grown-ups can escape Hunger Games. Teens should read 'adult fiction'—and vice versa, writes Heti.
Armistead Maupin is Patrick Gale's hero. "By the time I...met Armistead and became his friend and biographer, his creation had already exerted a powerful influence on my own writing. A gently comic tone can work wonders," writes Gale.
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here: Dante's medieval classic The Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, antisemitic and Islamophobic by a group calling for it to be removed from classrooms.
As celebrities land book deals to detail the minutiae of their lives to date, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison has cancelled plans to write a memoir over concerns her life is not interesting enough. She'd rather write fiction, she says.
The Hunger Games trilogy, Delirium, Pandemonium, Blood Red Road, and similar books present dystopian worlds of cowed populations and tyrannical governments. Lucy Mangan wonders whether the books are so popular because the stories describe the teenage experience of living with perpetual unease.
We do judge books by their covers, writes Dennis Loy Johnson in The Economist.
David Bell writes about what we've lost with the demise of the print encyclopedia: an overview of all human knowledge, with that knowledge in a coherent, logical order and above all, the linking of the material together thematically—all of it.
Geoff Dyer explores what 'the literary establishment' is. "The important thing is the unspoken assumption that this establishment–whatever it is–is a bad thing", says Dyer.
The Canada Writes Poetry Prize competition is now open. Deadline for entries is May 1 at 11:59 pm ET. More information at:
Geist has announced the opening of the Second Annual Geist Erasure Poetry Contest. Writers are asked to create their own poetic masterpiece from an excerpt of How Should a Person Be? a creative non-fiction novel by celebrated author Sheila Heti. There's $1000 in prizes, plus publication! $20 entry fee includes an entire year of Geist. More information at:
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
Wade Davis wants to save an area of B.C. known by first nations people as the sacred headwaters. The Sacred Headwaters: The Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass, is a bid to do just that.
Patrick Gale's title A Perfectly Good Man sets the tone for this gently ironic tale, exemplifying a peculiarly English irony, implying a quality of goodness that falls far short of perfection and yet, at the same time, is acceptably sufficient, writes Salley Vickers.
Everything about Wilkie Collins makes him perfectly fitted to roam through Peter Ackroyd's imaginative universe, writes Kathryn Hughes. The public was in thrall to Collins's addictive prose. Failing that, they bought Woman in White bonnets and perfume, and danced Woman in White waltzes.
Ru, Kim Thúy's account of her childhood odyssey from Saigon, a Malaysian refugee camp and eventually to Quebec, is a French-language sensation, writes Greg Quill. Now Ru—the word means "lullaby"—has found a second life in an English translation by Sheila Fischman.
In Arcadia, Lauren Groff has constructed an entirely believable settlement of Free People dedicated to the Needs of Everyone, writes Ron Charles. A boy struggles to understand himself, as Groff takes on the more universal myth of paradise lost.
Robert Harris's latest thriller, The Fear Index, is about hedge funds, high frequency trading and algorithms, which explains his quote from Shelley's Frankenstein, writes John Schwartz: "Learn from me...how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge."
At Last is the culmination of a sequence of novels by Edward St. Aubyn, centred on the life of Patrick Melrose, an upper-class Englishman. What sets the Melrose novels apart from other chronicles of abuse, says André Alexis, is their tone: at times, laugh-out loud funny.
Sinead Gleeson writes that Jon McGregor's This Isn't The Sort of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You is his most verbose title yet. There are 30 short stories, some as pithy as two pages long, another is just one line.
Canadian author Craig Taylor is an expert and patient listener," says Leslie Scrivener. The New York Times calls his new book Londoners a "master class in self-effacing journalism." The Guardian praised his "discreet but insistent presence". "It's just keeping quiet", says Taylor.
Montrealer (ex Vancouver) Nancy Richler's third novel, The Imposter Bride, is a gripping mystery with characters drawn so well that one can vividly imagine them strolling the streets of N.D.G., writes Michelle Lalonde. An intensely satisfying read, says Lalonde.
To the question of what it's like to be a bird, there are direct and indirect answers. Tim Birkhead explores the mysteries of the avian world in Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird. This fascinating book has much to teach us, writes David Wheatley.
My Year of the Racehorse tells a lot about Kevin Chong, writes Brett Josef Grubisic. The pluses of Racehorse are numerous. Across 18 pocket-sized chapters, he covers an impressive assortment of material including track lingo, stable routines, jockey politics, and thoroughbred trivia.
In his stories in Whirl Away, Russell Wangersky delves stealthily into disquieting corners--much like the roller coaster at the centre of McNally's Fair, a ride gleaming with fresh paint, about to collapse from hidden rust and broken bolts, writes Mark Anthony Jarman.
David l. Ulin writes that John Leonard's Reading for My Life: 1958-2008 is a brilliant collection of writings on politics, social and cultural engagement and literary life.
Following the conventions of fairy tales, in Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child, a childless man and woman build a child out of snow; then a mysterious girl appears, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the figure. Hope emerges, says Leah Hager Cohen.
John von Neumann and engineering colleagues designed and built the first computer of the digital age. George Dyson's Turing's Cathedral moves between the details of the machine's development and its practical applications, with insights born of Dyson's life experience, writes Douglas Bell.
AUTHORS, PUBLISHERS AND READERS OF INDEPENDENT LITERATURE
APRIL, ten days of events with readings, multimedia, book/pub crawl and panels on independent publishing. March 22-31, 2012 in Seattle, WA. Complete details at aprilfestival.wordpress.com/calendar.
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.
WIN: WRITERS INTERNATIONAL NETWORK CANADA
First annual literary festival bringing together writers of diverse backgrounds and genre to develop appreciation of the art of creative writing. Saturday, March 24 from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Richmond Cultural Centre/Library, 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond. More informaton at http://tinyurl.com/84jv732.
CASCADIA POETRY FESTIVAL
Renowned and emerging poets from the Cascadian bioregion will present talks on Cascadian culture and illustrate it through poetry. March 24-25, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. For complete details, visit splab.org/cascadia.
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.
LUNCH POEMS READING SERIES
First event of a newly minted series features Evelyn Lau and Daniela Elza. Wednesday, March 28 at 12:00pm. SFU Harbour Centre, Tek Gallery. More information at strangeplaces.livingcode.org.
Reading by the author of Letter from Vienna: A Daughter Uncovers her Family's Jewish Past. Wednesday, March 28 at 7:30pm, free. Welsh Hall, West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver.
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.
Vancity Theatre presents the film adaptation of Haruki Murakami's bestselling novel. Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 at 8:30pm. Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street. Details at http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/vifcguide/filmguide/films/2198.
SEATTLE EDIBLE BOOK FESTIVAL
Seventh annual festival celebrating books and food and the people who love them. Saturday, March 31 at 12:00pm. Cost: $10. The Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Seattle, WA. Details at frybooks.blogspot.ca.
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.
US poets Sharmagne Leland-St. John and Ellaraine Lockie, and BC poets Sandy Shreve and Kate Braid read from the newly published poetry anthology Villanelles (an Everymans Library Pocket Poets book). Friday, April 13 at 7:00pm. People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive.
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.
Meet the author of the A Dream of Eagles series and the Templar Trilogy. Wednesday, April 18 at 7:00pm. Register at 604-598-7426. City Centre Library, Surrey Public Library, 10350 University Drive, Surrey.
NVCL LOCAL AUTHOR SERIES
Readings by Gerhard Winkler and the Rogue Writers. Wednesday, April 18 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.
CANADIAN CRIME WRITING
BC members of Crime Writers of Canada will present a lively panel discussion about Canadian crime writing, followed by announcement of nominees for this years Arthur Ellis Awards. Thursday, April 19 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3691.