Check out next week's edition of Book News for the winners of the 13th annual VIWF Poetry and Short Story writing contest!
The first Incite of 2012 features William Gibson reading from Distrust That Particular Flavor, his new collection of nonfiction writings. Also appearing at Incite in the next few months are Tess Gallagher, Merilyn Simonds, Linden MacIntyre, Richard Wagamese, Anne DeGrace, Will Ferguson, Richard Stursberg, John Boyne, Yasuko Thanh and Robert Hough, among others.
AWARDS & LISTS
Wade Davis, author of Into the Shadows; Charlotte Gill, author of Eating Dirt; J.J. Lee, author of The Measure of a Man; Madeline Sonik, author of Afflictions & Departures; and Andrew Westoll, author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary are the finalists for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. The prize will be awarded in early March.
Anna Bikont (Poland) was awarded the essay prize in the 2011 European Book prizes, for Le Crime et le Silence. The "novels and narratives" award went to Maxim Leo (Germany) for Histoire d'un Allemand de l'Est.
The poet Jo Shapcott, who began the year by winning the Costa book of the year award for her collection Of Mutability, ended 2011 by being named the latest recipient of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
Caitlin Moran's witty take on modern feminism, How to Be a Woman, has been voted book of the year by the public. What Lauren Laverne has dubbed "an indispensable guide to Ladyhood" came in ahead of titles by esteemed literary names.
A new British literary prize aims to reward book reviews with edge. The Hatchet Job of the Year Award honours "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant" review published in a newspaper or magazine in 2011. Eight finalists for the prize were announced Tuesday; the prize will be awarded February 5.
NEWS & FEATURES
Stephen Lawrence, a poem by the British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, was prompted by the recent conviction of two men for the teenager's murder in 1993.
The internationally acclaimed, bestselling novelist Chinua Achebe and 36 other Nigerian authors issued a "Statement of Solidarity with the Nigerian People", following the announcement that the country's state fuel subsidy programme would be discontinued. The authors called the timing of the move "ill-advised".
Bosnia's national library is set to become the country's third cultural institution to close its doors, the victim of political disputes over its funding.
An influential conservative Indian Muslim cleric has declared Salman Rushdie should be barred from India. Rushdie is scheduled to speak on "Inglish, Amlish, Hinglish: the Chutneyfication of English" at the Jaipur festival, the biggest literary festival in Asia. Rushdie will "absolutely" be attending, said Festival organizers.
A YouTube video featuring books that come alive to dance after dark inside a Toronto bookstore is delighting viewers online. Shot inside Type Books's Queen Street West location, the video uses stop-motion to make the books move to music seconds after the owner locks the door and leaves for the night.
The biggest literary mystery is how very many Canadian authors are topping the bestseller lists in Norway and elsewhere in Scandinavia, as well as Germany and Brazil.
Kate Harrad is reinventing classic novels with 'genderswitching'. Dr. Jane Watson? James Eyre?
A new set of Royal Mail stamps celebrating the work of children's author Roald Dahl went on sale this week. A gallery of photos of the stamps is here:
Random House of Canada has become the sole owner of McClelland & Stewart. It says it has made long-term commitments to the publishing house, including existing programs and prizes.
Michael Patrick Albano, resident stage director at the University of Toronto's opera program, has written the libretto for 'Rob Ford: The Opera.' The "wonderful veneer of silliness" allows the opera to entertainingly explore serious issues. There will be one performance on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Under attack from e-books and e-commerce, independent bookstores fight back by creating their own unique titles.
When asked about Where the Wild Things Are as an e-book, Maurice Sendak responded: "It's not a book. It's a tchotchke. It's a toy."
Rick Geckowski examines the question: what is the definition of a great book?
Bestselling authors aren't always what they seem, writes Greg Quill. So, instead of the usual year-end best-of round-up, he offers some unusual and little known facts, anecdotes and revelations about 10 great writers, present and past.
The latest issue of The Thing Quarterly, an American periodical in the form of an object, is by Dave Eggers. Fans can buy Eggers' imagining of a monologue told to him by his shower curtain, published on an actual shower curtain one could read while showering.
Ron Charles describes the production of the Washington Post's annual guide to the best books of 2011, and points out that Amazon would not have been able to help.
Alison Flood explores how British reading habits differ from those of North American readers. There is a strong difference when it comes to adult non-fiction.
Traditional print dictionaries have long enlisted lexicographers to scrutinize new words as they pop up, weighing their merits and eventually accepting some of them. Not Wordnik, the vast online dictionary.
Liberty Hardy visits GNAW, a support group for the chronically mispronounced, which includes in its membership many literary prizewinners.
Farhad Manjoo writes how independent bookstores can fight back against Amazon.
A rare first edition of John James Audubon's sumptuously illustrated The Birds of America, is going on the auction block for an estimated $7 million to $10 million, writes Ula Ilnytzky. 120 complete first editions remain of the original 200.
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 Writers Union of Canada has announced the jury and the submission deadlines for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which will be awarded to the best first short fiction collection by a Canadian writer. The submission deadline is January 31, 2012 and submitted words must have been published in 2011.
BOOKS & WRITERS
Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Yvette Edwards' A Cupboard Full of Coats stays with you long after you have finished the story of Jinx, whose past collides with her present, writes Laura Eggertson, describing Edwards as a ‘natural-born storyteller'.
For two centuries, outsiders have offered explanations for why Haiti remains so poor. There are few better places to turn than Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution, by Laurent Dubois, writes Adam Hochschild.
For David Adams Richards, hunting is a way of life, writes David Carpenter. Facing the Hunter is stuffed with hunting stories that are a far cry from the usual fare; a sort of oral history that an old hunting guide might have recounted, says Carpenter.
Miranda July's mission to interview every small ads seller in her area has produced a collection of touching, unsettling stories, writes Hermione Hoby. In It Chooses You, July pursues the question of how other people are making it through life.
As Charles Dickens died before he could finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Gwyneth Hughes set out to complete it for the BBC. She soon wished she hadn't. She describes how Katey Dickens Collins, Dickens's "wise and sensible favourite daughter", came to her rescue.
Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding may be the first debut novel to have another book written about it before it was even published, writes Ruaridh Nicoll. The literary hive is buzzing, says Nicoll.
Under The Hawthorn Tree, a novel by an anonymous Chinese author living in America, has become a worldwide publishing sensation. Publishers bought the book, based on the writing. None of the publishers, translators or editors knows the author's identity.
In Hemingway's Boat, Paul Hendrickson traces Ernest Hemingway's life through the thing he loved most purely – his cabin cruiser Pilar. The result is both original and beautiful, writes Olivia Laing. A bewitchingly beautiful near-biography of Hemingway, says Laing.
Smut, Alan Bennett's two novellas about two British matrons, is of a piece with The Uncommon Reader, writes David L. Ulin: farce with an unlikely punch. The subject is sex, approached with a certain tongue-in-cheek reserve.
Pico Iyer travels widely in his thoughtful The Man Within My Head, writes Ronald Wright. Biography, memoir, travelogue, literary criticism and personal meditation, this is a tale of fathers and sons, real and assumed. Insightful, eloquent, and truthful, says Wright.
Gregory Maguire gave the world a new take on Frank L. Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with four sequels. Out of Oz provides a satisfying conclusion to Maguire's series, writes Kelley Armstrong.
75 YEARS OF CONTROVERSY
75 Years of Controversy: The Governor-General's Literary Awards come to UBC for all of January. The UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections, located on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, will display a number of the Literary Award-winning books. The exhibition is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. More information at: http://wire.arts.ubc.ca/events/75-years-of-controversy-the-ggs-come-to-ubc/.
GRACE LI XIU WOO
Author of Ghost Dancing with Colonialism discusses her new book. Thursday, January 12 at 7:00pm, free. Alma vanDusen room, lower level, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street.
A HUNT TO THE DEATH
John Vaillant takes you to the dangerous Siberian wilds with a show of photographs and reads from his book The Tiger. Thursday, January 12 at 7:30pm, free. West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. More information at www.westvanlibrary.ca.
TWS READING SERIES
Come and hear established and emerging writers read their poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and help support the writing community. This month, guest author will be Heidi Greco, whose novella, Shrinking Violets, was published in 2011 by Torontos Quattro Books after it was selected as co-winner of their annual manuscript competition. Friday, January 13 at 7:00pm. Take 5 Cafe, 429 Granville Street.
WRITING FROM REAL LIFE
Madeline Sonik, award-winning author and university teacher of writing, will teach autobiographical writing techniques, structure and theme. Saturday, January 14 at 1:00pm, free. Alma vanDusen room, lower level, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at www.vpl.ca.
Meet Brian Herbert as he signs Sisterhood of Dune, the newest addition to this amazing legacy and the first installment in a new and exciting trilogy. Sunday, January 15 at 2:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.
ROYAL CANADIAN BARE FARCE
Literary readings by naked Burlesque artists Trixie Hobbitses, Bunny Meugens, Sherry Hymen, and Diamond Minx. Sunday, January 15 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $20/$15 from ngrvanfarce.eventbrite.ca. Backstage Lounge, 1585 Johnston Street, Granville Island.
BETTY JEAN MCHUGH
Please join the author as she reads from My Road to Rome: The Running Times of BJ McHugh, the story of how she became the world's fastest senior long-distance runner. Monday, January 16 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street.
PEN-IN-HAND POETRY/PROSE READING SERIES
Featuring readings by JoAnn Dionne and DC Reid. Monday, January 16 at 7:30pm. Cost: $3. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria. More information at email@example.com.
Readings by bill bissett and Alex Leslie. Wednesday, January 18 at 5:00pm. Piano lounge, Graham House, Green College, UBC. More information at talonbooks.com.
The YA author reads from her latest work Unravelling Isobel, a darkly comic teen novel. Wednesday, January 18 at 7:00pm, free. North Vancouver City Library, 120 W. 14th. More information at www.nvcl.ca.
NOWHERE ELSE ON EARTH
Book launch and reading by Caitlyn Vernon from her new book Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest. Thursday, January 19 at 7:00pm. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/events/nowhere-else-on-earth-1.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Sachiko Murakami (Rebuild) and Nick Thran (Earworm). Thursday, January 19 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
SHE-DEMONS: A MISTER JINNAH MYSTERY
Local author Don Hauka will read from his new book She-Demons: A Mister Jinnah Mystery, about a flirtatious and resourceful detective who has to use his investigative genius to solve a crime and make a few dollars on the side. Thursday, January 19 at 7:00pm, free. Burnaby Public Library McGill Branch, 4595 Albert Street, Burnaby. More information at www.bpl.bc.ca.
AFRICA'S FIRST FEMALE PILOT
Kucki Low talks about her memoir This Is Kucki Your Pilot Speaking, which recounts the challenges, triumphs, and joys of being a twentieth-century aviation pioneer. Registration required. Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00pm, free. Parkgate Branch Library, 3675 Banff Court, North Vancouver. More information at 604-929-3727.
REAL VANCOUVER WRITERS SERIES
Second anniversary celebration with Angie Abdou, Zsuzsi Gartner, David Lester, Arley McNeney, Garry Thomas Morse, Jen Neale, Ayelet Tsabari. Tuesday, January 24 at 8:00pm. W2 Media Cafe, 111 West Hastings Street. More information at talonbooks.com.
Reading by the author of his debut poetry collection, Embouchure. Featuring percussionist Nicholas Jacques. Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 2:00pm. Rm301, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre 1961 East Mall, UBC.
Spoken word and music mash up where poets create new work based on songs from Gordon by the Barenaked Ladies. Friday, January 27 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $10. The Kosmik Zoo, 53 West Broadway. For more information, phone 604-215-9230.
Vancouver Book Club presents an intimate conversation with the author of Eating Dirt. Saturday, January 28 at 2:00pm. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the first time ever, Canada Reads 2012 is a battle of non-fiction books! CBC Radio's North by Northwest is running a special writing contest celebrating the themes of the two BC books in the battle, and the winners will receive all the 2012 Canada Reads books, plus the Canada Reads book bag! To enter, describe in 400 words or less: your own true life experience with an amazing animal OR your own true life experience with being in personal danger. For all the details, go to www.cbc.ca/nxnw. Contest closes January 29 at midnight.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Lynn Coady (The Antagonist) and Anne Perdue (I'm a Registered Nurse Not a Whore). Thursday, February 2 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
Author reads from Cinder, the first novel in the Lunar Chronicles series. Saturday, February 11 at 2:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.
Jennifer Kramer will sign copies of the catalogue written to accompany the exhibition Kesu': The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer. Tuesday, February 14 at 4:00pm. Museum of Anthropology, UBC, 6393 NW Marine Drive. More information at www.moa.ubc.ca/events.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Steve Burgess (Who Killed Mom?) and Daniel Griffin (Stopping for Strangers). Thursday, February 16 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL
Second annual festival and poetry slam championship. April 23-28, 2012. Registration deadlines and complete details here: http://www.vancouverpoetryhouse.com/vipf-2012-is-coming/.
The author will talk about his new novel In One Person on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts. Capilano University, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver. Ticket price of $30 includes a copy of the new novel available for pick up at the event. More information at 604.990.7810 or http://www2.capilanou.ca/news-events/nscucentre.html.