Vol. 7 No. 15


Mother's Day
Give the gift of great writing and ideas! Purchase an annual membership for your mom for just $35 and she'll receive discounts on books and Festival events, and a personal invitation to attend our Members' Reception. We'll also package her new membership in an attractive gift envelope! To purchase, call the office at 604-681-6330 x109.

If being a member of the VIWF didn't already have enough benefits, we've added an extra incentive! Every two weeks new and renewing members will have a chance to win a book by a Festival or Incite author, or tickets to our special event with Richard Ford on May 28. At the end of August we'll have a grand prize draw for a deluxe pack of Festival tickets - two tickets to any event of your choice for each day of the Festival! This week's winner Dave Reid, received a signed copy of Timothy Taylor's The Blue Light Project. On May 2 we will draw the winner of Linden MacIntyre's latest novel, Why Men Lie. Sign up now here, https://www.writersfest.bc.ca/secure/secure_membership.php.


This week is the second in a series of 25 audio archives from past Festival events. School Days, from 2011 features Elizabeth Hay, Alexander Maksik, and Suzette Mayr. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/multimedia/audio-archives.



At the next Incite on May 9, CBC personality Linden MacIntyre takes to the stage with Vincent Lam, the award-winning author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures. Both Scotiabank Giller Prize-winners will be reading from their latest books, Why Men Lie and The Headmaster's Wager. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incite-may9. Also appearing at Incite in the next few weeks are Richard Stursberg, Marsha Lederman, Noah Richler, and Trevor and Debbie Green.

Vincent Lam's transfixing new novel, The Headmaster's Wager, is a story of many twists and turns, full of people who aren't what they appear to be.

Richard Ford
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Richard Ford comes to Vancouver on May 28 with his latest novel, Canada. A visionary novel of vast landscapes, complex identities and fragile humanity. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/richardford.

A Dram Come True
The Vancouver International Writers Festival presents the tenth annual single malt scotch whisky sampling. Enjoy the superb, complex flavours of a variety of rare and distinguished single malts. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/content/dram-come-true.


In addition to the J.W. Dafoe Book Prize, Richard J. Gwyn has won the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times. Four other Cohen prize finalists received $2,500 each from the Writers' Trust.

Patrick deWitt's offbeat Western tale The Sisters Brothers has won the 2012 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. The Sisters Brothers won both the Writers Trust Prize for fiction and the Governor General's Literary Award in 2011.

The 14th annual $50,000 Donner Prize, for the best public policy book by a Canadian, has been awarded to Democratizing the Constitution: Reforming Responsible Government by Peter Aucoin, Mark D. Jarvis and Lori Turnbull.

Judges for the Caine prize, referred to as the 'African Booker', waded through 'a lot of uninspired prose' to short list five stories that 'enlarge our concept of Africa' and offer an alternative view of the continent.

Toni Morrison is one of 13 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In honoring Ms. Morrison, the White House revisited her Nobel citation, which called her an author "who gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

David Bezmozgis is the winner of this year's First Novel Award from Amazon.ca for his multigenerational book The Free World, about three generations of Russian Jews who seek new lives in the West. Amazon's First Novel Award recognizes outstanding achievement by first-time Canadian novelists.

Winners of the 2012 Manitoba Book Awards were announced last weekend, including Esmé Claire Keith, Jennifer Still and J.R. Léveillé (the only author to take away two awards).


Caddy's World by Hilary McKay appears to be the last in the Casson Family series, but really it is the first one. "This is an enjoyable read with an exciting plot", writes The Snork Maiden. Ages 8 to 12.

James Dawson, author of the supernatural thriller Hollow Pike, is the first man shortlisted for a prize (Queen of Teen) which celebrates the 'feistiest, frothiest and most fantastic' writers in teen fiction. The 10 nominated authors for this year's prize were voted for by thousands of teenagers. Ages 13 and up.

Dawson's top 10 favourite school survival stories can be found here:

Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel drew inspiration from trips they'd made with their two young sons (now grown) to create Travels With My Family, and its sequel, On the Road Again: More Travels With My Family. Summer in the City, third in the series, sees Charlie (the narrator) in Grade 6 and approaching a summer stay-cation. Ages 7 to 10.


Ian Rankin received a series of elaborate drawings etched into the pages of old parchment on his 51st birthday Saturday, the latest in a series of unexplained sculptures to appear across the libraries and cultural locations in Edinburgh.

Robert McCrum has identified the ten best first lines in fiction.

Six major British science fiction authors are calling for closer collaboration between the arts and the sciences, hoping for a body that will match scientists with creative projects needing advice. Credible science fiction needs arts and sciences collaboration, say the authors.

"I'm content to regard the internet as the best and brightest machine ever made by man, but nonetheless a machine with a tin ear and a wooden tongue. The more data we collect, the less likely we are to know what it means," writes Lewis Lapham.

Oxford University academics have identified Thomas Middleton as the most likely co-author with William Shakespeare's of All's Well That Ends Well.

Tor, the world's biggest science fiction publisher has shaken publishing with the news that its entire list of ebooks is to be made digital rights management-free. DRM is the way publishers currently protect their ebooks from piracy; it limits the sharing of titles between electronic devices.

The New Yorker addresses the problem or, some would say, the curse of the diaeresis.

Carol Ann Duffy has invited leading poets to recall the 60 years of the Queen's reign, each recalling a year in verse. Participating poets includie Wendy Cope, Andrew Motion, Tishani Doshi and Carol Ann. Their poems are here.

In an interview with Laura Miller, Margaret Atwood discusses Jennifer Balchwal's documentary Payback, a dramatisation of Atwood's book of essays, Payback, Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.

Thinking about a life in writing, Jackie Kay says: 'I think the short story suits people who feel displaced or misplaced or who don't fit in, people who feel their very bones are lonely'.

Can we ever know Susan Sontag? Her son David Reiff has edited her journals and notebooks, which will become three volumes of her work, beginning with her teenage years.

A profile of Hunger Games' author Suzanne Collins quotes Collins' saying "I don't write about adolescents. I write about war for adolescents."

Amazon aren't destroying publishing, they're reshaping it. Google, Apple and Amazon are vying to become literature's new gatekeepers but good publishing is about more than market share, writes Nick Harkaway.

With May's being mystery month, Canada Writes! will publish six new short stories by some of Canada's top mystery novelists: William Deverell, Gail Bowen, Peter Robinson, Mary Jane Maffini, Therese Greenwood and Doug Moles. More information, including about Louise Penny's master class, is here:


Ivan E. Coyote's One in Every Crowd: Stories is her first collection for queer youth. Stories tells tales of ‘those who are boys with girls inside and girls with boys inside', how we're different and how we're the same, says Mary Ann Moore.

Stephen Finucan writes that Etgar Keret's short story collection Suddenly, A Knock at the Door is like reading thirty-five brilliant explosions. One of the hallmarks of Keret's short stories is their shortness. Another is that they express a universality of experience.

Dial M for Murdoch by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman is a tale of stupidity, fear, lying, and corruption in high places. A quote from Carl Bernstein pinpoints the parallels with Watergate's bugging the White House office and News International's own chief executive officer.

Cynthia Ozick reveals the highs and lows of writing Foreign Bodies, which has been shortlisted for the Orange prize 2012.

As Octavio Paz sees it, the fragment is the form that best reflects the ever-changing realities of our modern lives. And M.A.C. Farrant's The Strange Truth About Us: A Novel of Absence is a full-bodied incarnation of the fragment as literary form, writes Diane Schoemperlen.

Radio Belly, Buffy Cram's book of short stories, is full of kooky tales that reel a reader in and don't let go. Cram tackles issues, but combines them with magical thinking. The resulting stories are simultaneously far out, and very real.

Elaine Showalter welcomes a new slice of life from Anne Tyler in The Beginner's Goodbye. "Anything is manageable if it's divided into small enough increments, was the theory; even life's most complicated lessons."

Adria Vasil's Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy and Looking Good, is part Consumer Reports, part political manifesto when it comes to enviro-friendly body products, writes Gideon Forman. The book identifies brands deemed safer for people and the planet.

In his new essay collection Farther Away, Jonathan Franzen reflects with betrayal, anger and sorrow on the suicide of his best friend David Foster Wallace.


Showcase of work by Diana Hayes (This is the Moon's Work) and Daniela Elza (The Weight of Dew). Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3716.

Readings by Stephanie Bolster (A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth) and Theresa Kishkan (Mnemonic: A Book of Trees). Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

Author presents his latest book, The Serpent's Shadow. Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $25 (includes book). Hellenic Centre, 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. For complete details and to purchase tickets, visit www.kidsbooks.ca.

Annual festival of children's literature intended to promote literacy, celebrate language arts and cultivate creative thought in West Vancouver. May 4-31, 2012. Complete details at www.booktopia.ca.

Meet Canadian children's authors and illustrators for a fun-filled and entertaining day with writers such as Michael Kusugak, Julie Flett and Paul Yee. Saturday, May 5, 2012 in Nanaimo, BC. Cost: $10 per child or $25 per family; ticket sales start March 26. Details here: www.bookfest.ca.

Book launch of the new biography of Vancouver legend Joe Fortes with Lisa Anne Smith. Saturday, May 5 at 1:00pm, free. Refreshments provided. Old Hastings Mill Store Museum, 1575 Alma Street (at Point Grey Road). For more information, visit www.ronsdalepress.com.

Author of the popular Mysterious Benedict Society series presents his newest book in the series, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict. Saturday, May 5 at 2:00pm. Tickets: $21 (includes book). West Point Grey United Church Sanctuary, 4595 8th Ave. W. Details and ticket purchase here, www.kidsbooks.ca.

Reading by the author of Passing Through Missing Pages, a chronicle of the life of Annie Foster Hanley. Monday, May 7 at 7:00pm, free but registration required. White Rock library, 15342 Buena Vista, White Rock. More information at 604-541-2201.

Reading by the documentary photographer and writer Gabor Gasztonyi from his new book. Wednesday, May 9 at 7:00pm, free but please register by phoning 604-937-4155. Board room, Poirier branch, Coquitlam Public Library, 575 Poirier Street.

Reading by the author of Falling in Time. Thursday, May 10 at 2:00pm, free. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Point Grey Campus, 1961 East Mall. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

Meet bestselling medical thriller author with his novel, The Far Side of the Sky: a novel of love and death in Shanghai. Thursday, May 10 at 7:00pm, free but register at 604-598-7426. Meeting room 120, City Centre Library, 10350 University Drive. More information at www.surreylibraries.ca.

Finalists for the 2012 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize read from their nominated work. The evening will be hosted by Evelyn Lau, Vancouver's Poet Laureate. Friday, May 11 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St.

Book launch of award-winning Pamela Porter’s new collection of poetry, No Ordinary Place. Sunday, May 13 at 2:00pm, free. Refreshments provided. Old Hastings Mill Store Museum, 1575 Alma Street (at Point Grey Road). More information at www.ronsdalepress.com.

Featuring readings by Lilija Valis, Kate Braid, Chris Gilpin, George McWhirter and Evelyn Lau. Sunday, May 13 at 3:00pm. Entry by donation. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street, Vancouver. Details and registration here, www.deadpoetslive.com.

Reading by the author of Love Has Wings. Monday, May 14 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.


Reading by the author of Deadly Lessons, his first novel that was nominated for the Crime Writers of Canada award. Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.

Readings by Catherine Owen (Catalysts) and Waubgeshig Rice (Midnight Sweatlodge). Thursday, May 17 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.

Three days of poetry, song and storytelling featuring Carolyn Forche', Tony Hoagland and many others. May 17-20, 2012. La Conner, WA. Complete information at www.skagitriverpoetry.org.

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.

Author reads from her book Whoever Gives Us Bread, that tells the stories of BC's Italian immigrants. Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.

Canadian economist and author reads from his new book The End of Growth. Thursday, May 24 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $24. Admission includes one free copy of the book. North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver. More information at www.capilanou.ca/nscucentre.

26th annual Margaret Laurence Lecture featuring Canadian poet, novelist, essayist and documentarian. Friday, May 25 at 8:00pm. Alice MacKay room, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at www.writerstrust.com.

Linda Hutsell-Manning talks about her writing career and reads from her novel. Monday, May 28 at 7:00pm, free. Meeting room, level 3, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street.