Vol. 6 No. 46


Incite - Complete details here: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incite
Join us Wednesdays at 7:30pm in the Alice MacKay Room at VPL Central Library.

December 7: Two writers bring their debut books to Incite. JJ Lee and Heather Jessup read from their work and discuss the writing process; http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incitedecember7


2011 National Book Awards went to Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones for fiction, Stephen Greenblatt's The Swerve: How the World Became Modern for nonfiction, Nikky Finney's Head Off & Split for poetry, and Thanhha Lai's autobiographical novel Inside Out & Back Again, in the young-adult category.

Richard Wagamese has been named the 7th recipient of the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness for his non-fiction collection One Story, One Song.
http://www.abcbookworld.com/newspaper_files/newspaper_2011_4.pdf, scroll to p.4

The Culdill Award, McGill University's award for historical non-fiction (nearly $77,000), has been given to Sergio Luzzatto, 48, a modern history professor at the University of Turin, for his work Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age.

Alice LaPlante's Turn of Mind is the first work of fiction to win the Wellcome Trust prize for medical writing. LaPlante explains how, after numerous failed attempts to write about her mother's Alzheimer's, she landed on the idea of a murder mystery.

Quebec Writers Federation Awards this week went to Lazer Lederhendler for Apocalypse for Beginners, Nicolas Dickner for translation of Tarmac, Joel Yanofsky for Bad Animals: A Father's Accidental Education in Autism, Ann Scowcroft for The Truth of Houses, Gabe Foreman for A Complete Encyclopedia of Different Types of People, Dimitri Nasrallah for Niko, Alan Silberg for Milo, Gillian Sze for Like This Together, as well as three winners of the Quebec Writing Competition Prize.

Stephen King and Haruki Murakami are among the dozen authors on the short list for the Bad Sex Award. The winner will be named December 6.


Seventy years after The Grapes of Wrath was published, its themes – corporate greed, joblessness – are back with a vengeance. The Grapes of Wrath seems as savage as ever, writes Melvyn Bragg, currently making a BBC film on Steinbeck.

Martin Amis claims that "When we say that we love a writer's work, we are always stretching the truth: what we really mean is that we love about half of it. "Are any writers always brilliant?

Niall Ferguson's spat with critic Pankaj Mishra is the latest in a long line of literary feuds, writes Robert McCrum. There are rows literary (a bad review), rows personal (e.g., Tom Wolfe and Mailer) and Vendettas-Visceral. Michel Houellebecq and Bernhard-Henri Levy have ended their feud with self-promotion, publishing their disputatious letters as a book, Public Enemies.

Some campaigners attempting to stop the closure of their local libraries have won their case. The judge ruled that the decision to axe services in Gloucestershire and Somerset was unlawful and should be quashed, councillors not having properly assessed the disproportionately severe impact on the most vulnerable.

Jonathan Lethem states that the literary world is like high school. In an article, he reveals the downside of getting into the cool kids club. The Ecstasy of Influence is, in part, an attempt to discuss the things artists and writers rarely talk about.

Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, the 2002 winner of the Caine prize for African writing, finds British authors insular, claiming that they fail to tell 'universal' stories, leaving their books 'indigestible' for modern Africans.

Hilary Mantel is writing two sequels to Wolf Hall. Book two, Bring up the Bodies will focus on the downfall of Anne Boleyn. The third book, The Mirror & the Light, will continue Cromwell's story until his execution in 1540.

At an event about the Not the Booker prize, Sam Jordison heard many comments about newspapers' book reviews being bland, boring and formulaic.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Anthony Burgess's notorious novel A Clockwork Orange. The author's widow has donated an archive of previously unseen work, including music written by Burgess—some for an operatic version of Clockwork—to the Anthony Burgess Foundation.

Print books may be under siege from the rise of e-books, but they have a tenacious hold on a particular group: children and toddlers. Their parents are insisting this next generation of readers spend their early years with old-fashioned books.

Many popular self-published authors are coming down hard on the self-publishing services that Penguin added to community writing site Book Country earlier this week, calling the initiative overpriced, royalty-grabbing and "truly awful." "Vanity press, pure and simple," writes one commenter at The Passive Voice.

Amazon has begun a new Amazon Lending Library for free, for those who own an Amazon Kindle, and belong to the Amazon Prime service. Works from the Big Six U.S. publishers—Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., Penguin Books Ltd. and Hachette—are not included in the Amazon library.

The Authors' Guild calls this Lending Library "a mess".

"Breach of contract", "without permission", "brute economic power" are some of the phrases used in the intense ongoing discussions taking place.

A speaking event in Auckland, N.Z. featuring controversial Chinese author Liao Yiwu has been cancelled. Some blame low ticket sales; others, political pressure.

Historical novelists have to deal with readers that believe historical fiction is flawed and unreliable history, family descendents and others ignore the word ‘novel' on the cover, and the genre is simultaneously despised and popular. Philippa Gregory, Wayne Johnston and Kate Taylor, discuss their work in this genre.

Best-selling American science fiction author Anne McCaffrey, who created the hugely popular Pern series of books about the symbiotic relationship between humans and 'good guy' dragons, has died, following a stroke.

The Writers' Trust of Canada is accepting submissions for the Bronwen Wallace Emerging Author Award, which is awarded to authors under the age of 35 whose work has been published in a magazine or anthology. The deadline for submissions is January 30, 2012. Full submission guidelines here:


The Last Colonial: Curious Adventures & Stories from a Vanishing World by Sir Christopher Ondaatje (elder brother of Michael) is a collection of mini-memoirs that evoke an odd affection for the last days of the Empire, writes Greg Quill.

Robert K. Massie's Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman convinces the reader he's looking out of Catherine's eyes. Catherine's ruthless abrogation of any threat to the power she claimed is at least as delicious as it is deplorable, writes Kathryn Harrison. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/books/review/catherine-the-great-portrait-of-a-woman-by-robert-k-massie-book-review.html?_r=1&nl=books&emc=booksupdateema1&pagewanted=all

In the year following the terrorist attacks of September 2001, US hate crimes against Muslims increased by 1,600%. The subsequent injustices are brought to light in HM Naqvi's Home Boy, winner of the DSC prize for south Asian literature.

China in Ten Words by Yu Hua, concerns Yu's childhood in a backwater town during the Cultural Revolution, writes Laura Miller. Yu's revelation—that the Chinese often find their society bewildering, self-contradictory and ridiculous—is reassuring, says Miller.

Edmonton-born and BC-raised, Craig Taylor has written Londoners: The Days and Nights of London, describing the voices and hidden corners of London, Funny, epic, and moving stories from England's capital, says Sukhdev Sandhu.

In Fools Rule, William Marsden tells how the international community has failed to act for the collective, planetary good in the fight against climate change. And then Australia acted. Maybe there is hope for us, after all, says Steven Guilbeault.

The success of Maus, Art Spiegelman's story of the Holocaust in graphic form, has followed him since its publication. 'MetaMaus,' deconstructs the original work as Spiegelman explores living in the shadow of Maus, says D.L. Ulin.

Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk addresses one of the greatest cases of Victorian England's greatest detective. At the climax of this exceptionally entertaining book, Sherlock Holmes solves three interrelated mysteries, writes Michael Dirda. A terrific period thriller, says Dirda.

Born Ojibway, Richard Wagamese was lost to his roots as a teenager but was reborn to his culture as an adult. Runaway Dreams amounts to an autobiography in fifty poem/chapters, not a chronological account but a moving back and forth through the journeys, both inner and outer, writes Hannah Main-Van der Kamp.
http://www.abcbookworld.com/newspaper_files/newspaper_2011_4.pdf, scroll to p.23

In Life Times: Stories 1952-2007 and Telling Times, a companion volume of her essays, Nadine Gordimer shows her focused anger at the inequities of life in South Africa to full effect, writes Natasha Tripney.

Unlike an Inspector Alan Banks book, Peter Robinson's After the Poison is involved with history, mystery and romance. A thoughtful, wonderfully written book that will stay in the mind long after the last page is read, writes Cheryl Parker.

Edward Riche's Easy to Like lives up to its promise, by offering a spry, light-hearted defence of cultivated taste and an artist's prerogative in the face of entertainment by committee, writes Kevin Chong.

The Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia is offering the entire collection of 10 Vancouver 125 Legacy books for sale.


Join author Roberta Rich for a discussion about her novel The Midwife of Venice. Part book club, part literary reading, the event also includes wine and light refreshments. Thursday, November 24 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $20. Christianne's Lyceum, 3696 8th Ave. W. More information is available at www.christiannehayward.com. Call 604.733.1356 or email lyceum@christiannehayward.com to register.

Evening of fiction, remembrance, and intercultural dialogue features authors Rebecca Lau, Chad Reimer, and Larry Wong. Also includes a Q&A session, light refreshments, and a reception. Thursday, November 24 at 7pm. Tickets: $12/members get in for free. Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street. More information at www.museumofvancouver.ca.

Welcome aboard the White Star Line Titanic! Safe passage guaranteed. Lifesavers for all. Sarah Ellis and Julie Lawson will be at Kidsbooks, at the West Broadway store on Thursday, November 24. RSVP by email to general@kidsbooks.ca. Tickets are not required.

The Canadian author launches his book In Flux: Transnational Shifts in Asian Canadian Writing. Friday, November 25 at 7:30pm, free. Audain Gallery, SFU Woodward's, 149 W. Hastings. More information at www.sfuwoodwards.ca.

News reporter and author signs his new book Here's Mike. Sale proceeds from each book sold will help support Variety The Childrens Charity. Saturday, November 26 at 1:30pm. Black Bond Books, Haney Place Mall (141-11900 Haney Place), Maple Ridge. More information at www.blackbondbooks.com.

Meet the soccer legend Bob Lenarduzzi and sports writer Jim Taylor as they sign their new book. Saturday, November 26 at 1:30pm. Black Bond Books, Lynn Valley Centre (1199 Lynn Valley Road), North Vancouver. More information at www.blackbondbooks.com.

Authors from across Canada, the U.S., and Israel participate in the six-day event that includes meet-the-author opportunities, literary readings and panel discussions, a literary cocktail evening, a book-club event, writing and self-publishing workshops, children's authors, film screenings, and bookstores. November 26-December 1, 2011. Jewish Community Centre, 950 41st Ave. W. More information at www.jewishbookfestival.ca.

Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter signs her new biography Falling Backwards and her new album Uncover Me 2. Monday, November 28 at 12:30pm at Chapters Robson, 788 Robson Street. Also at 7:00pm at Chapters Metrotown. More information at www.chapters.indigo.ca.

Youth poetry slam featuring Jeremy Loveday. Monday, November 28 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $6/$3. Cafe Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive. More information at vancouverpoetryhouse.com.

The Canadian author and recipient of the 2010 Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence reads from his recently published work Reading the 21st Century: Books of the Decade, 2000-2009. Wednesday, November 30 at 7:00pm, free. North Vancouver City Library, 120 W. 14th. More information at www.nvcl.ca.

An evening of poetry featuring Jennifer Still, Meira Cook and Daphne Marlatt. Wednesday, November 30 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at www.vpl.ca.

Local published authors Patricia and Terrence Young read and answer questions about their work. Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30pm. Pelican Rouge Coffee House (15142 North Bluff Rd., White Rock).

The Canadian author and instructor speaks about the novel-writing process and her latest novel Mighty Orion—Fate. Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30pm. West Vancouver Memorial Library (1950 Marine Dr., West Vancouver).

Ricepaper magazine celebrates its green and diversity/hybridity issues with video screenings and readings from writers Janey Lew, Rita Wong, Ray Hsu, and Valerie Sing Turner. Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $10-$15. VIVO Media Arts, 1965 Main. More information at www.ricepapermagazine.

Book launch and reading by Caitlin Vernon from her new book Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest. Thursday, December 1 at 7:00pm. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/events/nowhere-else-on-earth-2.

Arley NcNeney launches her new novel set during the 1930s and 1940s in the BC interior. Thursday, December 1 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room. level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at www.vpl.ca.

Readings by Michael Christie (The Beggar's Garden), Kim Clark (Attemptations) and Ashley Little (PRICK: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist). Thursday, December 1 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

The Vancouver author launches her latest novel The Time We All Went Marching. Thursday, December 1 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St.

The New Westminster author and Governor General's Literary Award nominee talks about his new book The Measure of a Man. Thursday, December 1 at 7:00pm. New Westminster Public Library, 716 6th Ave. W., New Westminster).


Join journalist Allen Garr, publisher Howard White, broadcaster Red Robinson and others to celebrate the launch of The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver. Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00pm, free. Central Branch, VPL (350 West Georgia Street, Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms). More information at www.harbourpublishing.com.

After a six-year absence, Chris Paolini comes to Vancouver with the final book in the cycle: Inheritance, Wednesday December 7 at 7 pm at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Gymnasium, 2550 Camosun Street (at W.10th Ave.) Vancouver. Note: Each person will require a ticket to attend. Tickets are $5.00 each and are fully redeemable toward any of Chris Paolini's books on the night of the event only. For more information, call Kidsbooks at 604-738-5335.

Readings by Esi Edugyan and Jen Sookfong Lee. Thursday, December 15 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.